Is our generation going to shit? Thoughts on The Bling Ring

Let’s face it – our generation is constantly plagued with stereotypes that we’re self-absorbed and unjustly entitled. We’re lazy, disrespectful and don’t know the meaning of hard work. Crap, even TIME recently profiled us as the ‘ME, ME, ME generation.’

As a millennial, I feel the constant need to defend us. We’re also a generation that’s well-educated, creative, driven to start companies and look for cures to some of society’s biggest problems. We’re not all that bad. Well, at least not all the time.

But as much as I’d like to defend us, there’s some truth to the claims that we’re a greedy bunch of narcissists. Case in point – The Bling Ring. This movie, regrettably based on true events and adapted from the 2010 Vanity Fair feature, “The Suspects Wore Louboutins,” does nothing to dispel any of our generation’s unfortunate stereotypes. A fame-hungry group of teens stealing from Hollywood stars just for the hell of it? They’re like Robin Hood…if Robin Hood stole from the rich, to keep nice things and money for himself because he was only sort-of-rich. We live in a world of excess. We want more, we want more!

The Bling Ring isn’t the only movie this year that profiles up-to-no-good, easily influenced millennials. Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is about a group of college girls that hold up a restaurant to finance their spring break trip to Florida. Seriously, since when is the cure for boredom robbery?

While Spring Breakers is a horrible excuse for a movie (in my humble opinion), I get where Korine’s head is at. We’re supposed to be uncomfortable and question why our generation is obsessed with drugs and violence, generally lacks moral standards and incapable of thinking for ourselves. Side note: the only part worth seeing is James Franco’s rendition of Britney Spears’ ‘Everytime.’ You’ll laugh, mostly because you’re confused but also because it’s hilarious. But I digress…

Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring and Korine’s Spring Breakers have been exhaustively compared for months even though The Bling Ring just premiered in June. You can’t deny the similarities that exist between the two, but is it really our generation to blame here? Or are we victims of an unjust stereotype?

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Yesterday, while scrolling through my newsfeed, I saw a post from my host brother of the family I once stayed with in Johannesburg, South Africa . It read that his parent’s house had been robbed, but everyone is physically OK. Today on Facebook, another post from my host sister detailed that she and her parents were home and six armed-men barged in, tied them up and cleaned out the house. Absolutely horrifying, but it’s clear that she didn’t care about the “things” that had been taken. She’s focused on the fact that she and her family are OK. Luckily. Not only that, but her other friends in South Africa are posting about how it’s happened to them before too. It’s a region where that’s normal, a common occurence. These are real issues our generation faces across the globe. They’re not concerned if they don’t own a Chanel bag or can’t afford to go on spring break this year.

So what am I getting at? I guess it’s all perspective, but I don’t think it’s our generation that’s the problem. I think it has more to do with what our culture values. “Stuff” is important to us and as I mentioned earlier, we’re a country that likes everything in excess.

But enough about what I think. What do you think, darlings? Are stories like The Bling Ring and Spring Breakers highlighting generational or cultural issues? You can be the judge, but regardless of what you think, let’s prove the stereotypes wrong. And if you need a good example of what not to do, get to your closest movie theater and see The Bling Ring.

View Comments (2)
  • I find it ironic that a self proclaimed Millennial can’t get to the deeper meaning of a film like “Spring Breakers” and only found Franco’s performance of a Brittany Spears song to be ” the only part worth seeing.” Moreover, the fact that she is comparing a life & death (survival) scenario with ones of narcissism & greed (tools to escape boredom), only validates the very things she is criticizing, to be as important as life and death situations. Logic, might be the Millennial’s worst strength, at least it is the Author’s in this case.

  • I’m sorry that I’m just seeing this comment now, but in response to the Spring Breakers part of your argument, I couldn’t get past the bad acting and Gucci Mane’s guest appearance to actually appreciate the deeper meaning of the story.

    As for the life/death vs. narcissism/greed scenario, my point was that as a culture, we value things differently than people in other parts of the world and chose to compare the ‘portrayal’ of our generation in entertainment, to the ‘reality’ our generation faces globally.

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