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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Teenage Mall Trolls: Then and Now

Last night I went to the mall, for the first time in a WHILE. I never feel older than when I go to the mall and see the packs of Teenage Mall Trolls, with their Hollister shirts and inappropriate skirts. AH YOUTH.

Actually the Teenage Mall Trolls of today are a far cry from that of my youth.

I admit, in high school I spent my fair share of time at the mall. One of my first jobs ever was at the hallowed establishment Contempo Casuals and I thought myself the pinnacle of awesomeness for working there. Plus, consider all the discount pleather?

My affection for the mall, and my conversion to Teenage Mall Troll, began probably my junior year in high school. My fellow TMT and I would hit the mall right after school on Fridays and stay until closing,. We even had a specific bench, between Contempo and the Candy Store, that we would sit on and formulated our plan for the evening (there was many a time when a mall employee noted to us "Hey girls, someone is sitting on your bench". Ah fame, we knew thee well.

When we tired of the mall (i.e. when i closed ) we would persuade whatever guy we knew from school who worked at the mall to give us a ride home or, more often than not, call one of our moms. But if you did a side by side comparison of TMTs then and TMTs now, the differences are astonishing. And a little sad.

Today, teenagers prowl the mall dressed like they are going clubbing. Super short dresses. Bras worn as shirts. Skirts the size of a tissue. Platform stilettos. We rarely dressed up for the mall.. Or if we did, it was with some shiny top we bought on the clearance rack at Claire's, jeans, and our coolest sneakers. OH and maybe a Limited purse.

Teenagers today congregate in the concourses screeching on their cell phones and bellowing about blow-js (at least, they did last night). My friends and I amused ourselves in Noodle Kidoodle trying on the princess tiaras and wands and stocking up on beanie babies. Or hanging out in 5-7-9 because they tended to play The Spice Girls a lot.

Teenage Mall Trolls can often be seen making our hardcore on mall benches. Where as my friends and I, while we were of course aware and interested in boys, confined our sexual exploits to following boys we thought were cute and getting "points" if they looked at us (Lookage, it was called. as in HEY I JUST GOT SOME MAJOR LOOKAGE).

Maybe we were just nerds and there were other teenage mall trolls dressed dressed like skanks and spreading social disease elsewhere in the mall. All I know is I hope the next time I go to the mall I encounter a group of normally dressed high school girls mowing on fries at Joe's and talking about how they should go hit up Wet Seal soon because they play a ton of Ashlee Simpson. It would be good for my soul!


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Also - Happy Birthday ADAM who is 28 today. Happy birthday shmoo, since you love the teenage girls so much Ithought you wouldn't mind having your birthday shoutout tacked onto this post. LOVE YOU TONS!

Queen of the Sparklers

18 comments:

browneyedgirlie said...

This post was great - and so true. The TMT's are not only a big reason why I can't stand to go to the mall anymore, but also the major reason why you could pay me all the money in the world and I still would never teach high school.

Happy Birthday, Adam!

Randall said...

Oh so many teenage memories - Contempo, Claires, 579 and Limited Too (at least for me, before it became all skanky... remember when everything, including the scrunchies matched?).

Mandy said...

How interesting. Where I grew up we didn't have a mall within 60 miles, and we spent Friday nights "cruising the strip" (similar, I would imagine, to trolling the mall). And I totally agree, teenage girls today make me sad--when did it become necessary to dress like a total tramp and act like an object to be used by men? Ugh...

Jenn said...

Oh my God this post is so true. Where/when I grew up (PA and OH, graduated HS in '94), you went to the mall because there was nothing better to do and yeah, my best friend and I would typically buy a half pound of butter cookies at some cookie place I can't remember the name of and share a soda and sit on a bench or wander around the mall. We definitely were wearing jeans, sneakers, and t-shirts or sweaters or even sweatshirts, not skanky minis and heels (heels? in high school? wrong. unless you were going to the Prom.)

Our chief form of amusement at the mall, besides eating (which also often included ORANGE JULIUS and proper soft pretzels - not the buttery Auntie Anne kind), was going to department stores and trying on formal dresses that we found hideous/ridiculous until the sales people caught on to our game and asked us to leave.

We probably were wearing no makeup and fairly likely to be employing scrunchies. And we were indeed nerds, but nobody was dressing and acting like the Mall Trolls of today, I know that for sure. The skankiest outfits we had going at our high school was girls wearing bodysuits (!!!!!!!!!!!) WITHOUT a flannel shirt over them, and with extra tight jeans. Yeah. Remember, we're talking about Ohio here.

Jenny said...

Happy Birthday Adam!

Laura and John said...

I am totally feeling you all the way around on this post!

Alisa said...

Thank you for this post. I was starting to think I was turning into an old lady because I am shocked by what "kids today" wear. I remember getting in trouble in high because my skirt didn't cover my knees when I was sitting down! Now I can see half these girls butt cheeks hanging out.

Stefanie said...

Every time I go to a mall I freak out about how quickly times have changed. I graduated just three short (or so I thought!) years ago and the changes are unbelievable.

I don't know what's worse... the super skankified girls or the emo boys who look like girls with the painted on denim.

Ladybug's Picnic said...

Hee. I love the mall trolls. They're typically middle school girls who are trying their best to look skanky but always get something wrong. Like a super tight outfit, all made up and yet wearing filthy sneakers.

However when I was trolling the mall in HS back in the late 80s/early 90s I was sporting sweatpants and a sweatshirt with roses on it from Express.

Ladybug's Picnic said...

OH! And happy birthday, Adam! 28, woo!

San said...

Couldn't agree more... what happened to jeans and sneakers being "hip"?

I have no idea where this is all going, but highschool girls dressing in skirts and heels = WRONG!

Fashion Addict said...

Great post, although I'm still in my teens I can agree with you that groups at the mall have definitely changed from the past. Dressing has become a must and cell phones are just crazy now....

I love this blog and I was wondering if you would like to do a link exchange with mine, so please contact me when you have the time!

mass girl said...

I could not agree with you more. Although I live north of Boston now, I am born and raised South Shore girl and the South Shore Plaza epitomizes the "new" TMT.

Meg said...

Ah, Contempo and 5-7-9. My go-to malling outfit involved two pair of carefully selected contrasting slouch socks, which I would layer such that my ankles resembled double-scoop ice cream cones. Ah, the good old days.

Miss Mar said...

ugh I know what you mean, I can't even believe some of the outfits I see high school kids wearing these days... and I havent barely been out of high school for only 5 years!! God I feel old....

Anonymous said...

I am grateful every time I see what girls wear today that I was in high school during the grunge era. Flannel was cool, cheap, and non-slutty!

Formercitygirl said...

What a walk through memory lane. Love this post. And, yes, those TMT's are scary. I pray that I never see my daughters dressed like one of those girls

Michelle said...

I agree, they are nothing like when my friends and I were mall trolls. They've changed and it annoys the heck out of me; so during the summer months, I stay the heck away from malls.