Whenever you expose truths that may or may not be ugly about youth culture and youth empowerment there are always those who declare it inappropriate. However I have always thought that Skins portrays teenagers in an honest way. Yes it is a heightened show that shows teenagers having sex and partying hard core, but underneath all of that there lies a story with heart and in my opinion lessons to be learned.
I do not think the lessons of Skins are the ones that adults and many parents seem to be worried about. I do not think that Skins is about doing drugs or having sex. I think ultimately it is story about relationships and growing up. I touched upon a few of the things I have learned while watching Skins, but this is a more well rounded version of the things I have learned. These are the things you can learn from Skins if you watch it for the right reasons and you see it as a show about characters.
Life is complicated. It is filled with bad days, good days, easy days, and hard days. You never know what is going to happen and in a second everything can change. Life happens quickly and sometimes it can run away from you or run right at you with little time for you to prepare. This concept has been shown throughout all three generations.
Most of Life is out of your Control: I think one of the greatest quotes has to be said by Rob Fitch “People do stupid things when they are trying to act like they are not trapped.” Things happen in life and most of it is out of our control. I think this is also told by the many deaths that Skins has introduced. Life is not something we can predict or something we control.
Life is Easier with Friends: I think this is proven definitely with Generation 1 and Generation 3 that you can get through almost anything if you have a group of friends or a friend that will be there for you through thick and thin.
How Adults Define You Isn’t You: Teenagers are more than what adults think they are. I learn this with Skins but also everyday at work. There’s more to a teen than getting a D in history. They have dreams, fears, passions, and talents. They are capable of more than what we are willing to give them. Most of the angst and depression that teenagers go through is due to adults talking at teens instead of listening.
First Impressions Mean Nothing: There is more to a person than a mistake and more to a person than at first glimpse. We rarely show our baggage and our heart so readily. Sometimes it takes awhile to see the beauty in someone. But I have no doubts that most of us have that beauty.
Everyone Has Baggage: Some more than others, but all of us have stories. Most of us have disappointments, failures, and some kind of neurotic disorder. This is proven with EVERY one of the characters that Skins has created. We all have something and some of us have harder journeys than others. Therefore we must be understanding and kind.
I think that I have learned all these lessons from Skins. Recently though I have learned that there can exist a love that is pure and can help you become a better person. With the characters of Rich and Grace. It was a much needed lesson. Compared to all of the other characters these two characters have transformed in personality, spirit, mind, and even physically due to their pure love from one another.
The point is. You may focus on the parties and the sex scenes. I’m looking at the characters and the context. You may get that you must be out of control, chaotic, and get drunk from the show. I learn from their mess ups and the relationships they have. Skins if you let it can show you to be moral. Moral yet undeniably the life of the party!