The Life of an American Boy at 17

Is there already a post on this? I couldn’t find it.
The author got a lot of flak for the article (for choosing a white male as the first subject in a series). What do people think about the article?

I think it’s fine. So tired of the “rage”.

I glanced thru the first 2 sentences. Is there a story to this story? Nothing compelling in there at first glance.

Yeah, kind of a vapid article.

I liked it better than another article about a celebrity. Interesting kid with different ideas than we see here about what to do after high school.

The article is as dull as the boy they profile.

Yes, no mention of how many AP tests he will be taking or what clubs he has founded so he can fill up the 10 lines on the Common app. I don’t think the boy is dull.

The uproar is because Esquire published it during Black History Month, less so than the article itself. People called it “tone deaf.”

At the bottom of the web page, you will see that it is the cover story in the Esquire print magazine (image of the cover shown).

The title on the cover is:

What it’s like to grow up white, middle class, and male in the era of social media,
school shootings, toxic masculinity, #MeToo, and a divided country

Perhaps the story is not of interest to the forum bubble of the “upper middle class” families who will not get college financial aid for their kids, and whose kids are chasing AP courses, valedictorian status, SAT/ACT scores, extracurriculars, and recommendations in order to get into a prestigious private college from which they will use as a stepping stone to management consulting, Wall Street, or medical school.

One example of how different the forum bubble is: The profiled high school student’s post-graduation plans involve gap years to work at the local water utility while living at home to save money before attending college for a four year degree. That is very different from the kind of gap years commonly discussed on these forums.

If it were the February Issue of Esquire maybe that would make sense. It’s March.

I don’t get it. Esquire needs new writers & new editors.

On the other hand, Esquire may just have found a sure cure for insomnia.

The usual pattern of a monthly magazine being available more than half a month before the month of its issue date?

I really think that’s splitting hairs. So would it have been ok if it were actually the February issue, because it would hit the newsstands in January? I would guess not.
Having a social media tantrum over this is manufactured outrage. It makes no sense, but at least it’s amusing.

Well, that’s 20 minutes I can never get back. yawn

Manufactured outrage sells.

When is the last time any of you gave a second thought to Esquire Magazine?

I subscribed to Esquire for years. It’s a men’s fashion magazine but they published some outstanding fiction. Seven bucks a year well spent. I never really paid much attention to the $895 dress shirts and the $625 loafers.

I think it’s neat they tell a story of a normal kid. It’s seems all we hear about are the exceptional ones.

Perhaps trying to inform those buying the $895 dress shirts how people outside of their bubble live?

According to the Esquire editor, black, female and LGTBQ versions are coming in future issues. The point of the series is to look through the eyes of these seemingly different kids at what it’s like to grow up in this divided country. Comparing the different (or maybe not so different) perspectives may well prove interesting and revealing.

Unfortunately, it’s a currently popular pastime to characterize “white boys” as dull, boring, uninteresting, vanilla, the root of all evil, etc. My “white boy” teen son is none of these things…he’s quick-witted, clever, funny and engaging, able to carry on intelligent and entertaining conversations with people of varied ages and backgrounds, He’s a kind, empathetic, giving and mature for his age son, brother, friend, and student. But right now the message he’s repeatedly receiving is that he and “his kind” are bad. As you can see from this thread and other media regarding this article…no one wants to read a story about him…he’s just not interesting enough and his concerns and struggles aren’t valid or real. But what’s the harm in generalizing and stereotyping one group based on race and/or gender, right? That seems perfectly acceptable these days.

Esquire made a mistake by running the white boy story first. They could have avoided much of the criticism by beginning with another demographic. But this young man’s story is every bit as valid a perspective as any of the others that will be told in the series.

We can’t strive to be inclusive by being exclusive. We can’t strive to be kind by being hateful. And we can’t strive to avoid labels by labeling everyone. The more we divide ourselves up into groups, the more inherently divided we become. It’s time to begin focusing on what makes us the same rather than what makes us different. Maybe this series will help to do that.

I’m tired of the endless feature stories on people from the rural Midwest. Note: I grew up there and still have many family members there.

Was it a mistake? Or genius? It’s getting attention and people will now want to read the other profiles in the series if nothing else to make sure that the other 17 year olds are treated in the same manner as the first. !