Teenage persona

What’s Hidden under the hair explained by Owen Pickering and Carmen Myler.

Visual Essay with Owen Pickering.

The journey from childhood to adulthood is one that tends to define the persona we carry throughout our lives, even as it matures, the groundwork of our teenage personality is something that is reflected throughout our adult lives. The persona that is created in high school is generally one that is mouldable to feel a sense of belonging with our surrounding peers. It can also act as a protective mask to fit in and break away from parental guidance.

In an interview with Carmen Myler, the research assistant for Maggie Dent, Australian author, and parental educator, Myler talks about how it is safer to feel a sense of belonging in a group and how this can come from certain aspects of our human nature. People have often tried to fit into groups for centuries to protect themselves.

“The uncertain change of adolescence is driven by biological play… it comes from the wanting to figure out identity and the need of belonging,” said Myler.

Myler also discusses the need for teenagers to wear a mask and how this is a form of protection, as well as belonging to a group. Both these two aspects of the teenage persona draw away from childhood as a need to express themselves as an adult.

In the interview with Owen in the above video, he talks about how he would be unrecognisable without long hair as he has had it since such a young age. It is evident that through growth, aspects of a person will always carry through, even if it is expressed in the physicality of hair.
Myler added that generally the change of persona in teenagers can lead to the questioning of parents and other adults, but this comes from the need to pull away from constant parental guidance and into a young adult that is consciously trying to find an independent identity.

Owen knows that his adult self probably won’t have a mullet, and for him, that will be a key transition from the fun youthfulness that comes with having a mullet into a young man.

Self-expression is found in multiple forms as Myler added towards the end of our interview, through hair (the mullet), through tattoos and piercings and through an excessive need for makeup were a few things that she mentioned. I personally have found a strong amount of self-expression through clothing and my piercings, as I learnt to let go of expression through hair when I shaved it all off a few years ago.

How do you express your persona?

I hope you enjoyed a brief insight into what’s hidden under the teenage persona.

By Hailee Pickering.

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