“You Don’t Seem Young Tho”

The whole “You don’t seem young though” line, made me think I was literally the baddest bitch to walk this earth and not in fact actually just a fucked-up justification to make these men feel better about their nonciness.

By Laura Moss

We all remember it, listening to Justin Bieber through our wired earphones (can u imagine), picturing the day he decides to pick us out of the crowd at one of his concerts – when some near-middle-aged-fuckwit beeps their horn or shouts some vintage pervy comment at us, all whilst we’re still in our school uniforms. Even more disturbingly (if u can imagine), I honestly think the last time I was beeped at was aged 16, still in that uniform, you know the one, (unfashionably) oversized blazer and fluorescently striped tie…not exactly screaming hot adult women en route a high-powered city job. Unsurprisingly (due to the shiteness of life), the same goes for pretty much every woman I’ve spoken to. Why is it that such noncy behaviour has been allowed to perpetrate our society?

It feels like a bit of a chicken/egg scenario, like what came first? Your dad, obvs, patriarchy amirite? But seriously, is it this catcalling, old-men-lusting-after-young-girls bullshit, or the message that the media and the sex industry presents us. Like why is sexy schoolgirl a fetish, and why is it an outfit that’s so readily available in every sex or costume shop? No shade to Britney, of course. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to kink-shame, I’ll suck toes till the cows come home, but when it’s something that arguably perpetuates and legitimises the fetishisation of under-age girls, it becomes worrying, problematic, and an entirely Prince Andrew-esque concept. 

So what is it about young girls, or should I say, fucking children, that men find so attractive? One of the many interesting conversations I’ve had with my legend-of-a-mother was on this topic (other faves include: her newfound football-hooliganism, her love of a circumcised penis, and her desire to try ketamine whilst out for lunch on a Monday afternoon). She explained how whilst she could appreciate guys in their teens, twenties, and even thirties as “nice-looking boys”, she could never feel any sort of actual physical attraction to them, because she knew A) that it should never happen, and B) that it could never happen. So I think this is what’s key here, I’m honestly not trying to man-bash, I’m sure we all know at least one good guy…right? But, there definitely is something in the (socially constructed) male ego that causes them to think that this behaviour is first, acceptable, and secondly, a feasible possibility. 

When we look at the sexual desire aspect, there are all sorts of triggering roads we could go down but I think it really comes down to a power thing, why would an adult man desire a sexual/romantic encounter with someone who can’t legally drink in a pub? Other than to elicit some feeling of superiority and control? It’s an easy way for men to assert the most toxic aspect of their masculinities to feel better about themselves (as they are likely feeling emasculated in other areas of their lives). Underage girls seem like an attractive possibility because they’re more likely to flatter your ego and perceive you as some cool ‘older guy’, while adult women can see right through your toxic bullshit.

This brings us onto the second point, it’s the fucking ego! Take Scott bloody Disick for example, a near-middle aged, incredibly short, father of three, dating girls who are barely eighteen! Okay, it’s not quite the same as girls who haven’t even completed their GCSE’s, but it ain’t too far off. And this is what it comes back to, they desire these young girls because they are so far up on their own noncy arses that they think it’s an actual possibility that these girls could want them too, in any more sense than being young, vulnerable, and newly susceptible to the false sense of validation that these interactions appear to offer. And it’s dangerous because society allows this. I still can’t believe a ‘sexy schoolgirl outfit’ is available in the ‘pre-teen section’ of dress-up shops! This accessibility into the mind of the nonce transforms this ego-trip and duuusty desires into a legitimate reality, basically agreed on by society…no wonder we’re fucked!

As a 15-year-old girl, being approached by adult men, I definitely felt complimented at the time! The whole “You don’t seem young though” line, made me think I was literally the baddest bitch to walk this earth and not in fact actually just a fucked-up justification to make these men feel better about their nonciness. My conversation topics largely consisted of how much I related to Effy from Skins, and the way my GCSE drama class was “Like sooo mentally taxing”. At the time, I genuinely believed I must just look like some age-appropriate goddess. Reality check: I absolutely reeked of a potent cocktail of impulse spray and lynx attract, and me blending my bright orange Rimmel London foundation was a concept that was more than foreign to me. 

So why was it that, somehow, it still ended up being the teenage girl that got the blame for attracting this sort of attention (thanks a bunch for that judgy tone Karen). Somehow the question was always, what did you do to get his attention? Instead of, what the fuck he was doing, trying to get yours? As though the situation was that the attraction to inappropriately young girls is normal and an intrinsic part of conventional masculinity, and it’s our job, as young girls, to resist the false flattery of being painted as a sophisticated adult, acting way above our years. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, if you’re a woman in her 20s, and who would enjoy some consensual, financial support from a respectful sugar-daddy, then more fucking power to you. But, this concerning sexualisation of school-age girls really isn’t on…and shouldn’t be accepted and presented as a socially legitimate desire and fetishisation.

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