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CALLING ALL THE BASIC BITCHES...
July 1, 2012 2:13 PM   Subscribe

CALLING ALL THE BASIC BITCHES... Thirteen year-old Lohanthony (Tumblr) is a homophobe's worst nightmare: a flamboyant little diva-obsessed somebody whose Siri is the next Nicole Ritchie, who dances suggestively and does the cinnamon challenge in his religious private school uniform, and seems (so far) unfazed by bullies and haters despite his rapidly growing visibility.
posted by hermitosis (126 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
The day the Cinnamon Challenge ceases to be funny is the day that laughter dies.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:33 PM on July 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


I totally forgot that Kreayshawn was a thing...and just like, what, a year ago? That's the whole "basic bitches" deal, right?

(The "R.I.P." montage at the end of the cinnamon challenge video is hilariously good too, by the by. Nice job.)
posted by psoas at 2:36 PM on July 1, 2012


i hope i have a kid like this
posted by p3on at 2:40 PM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Awww, <3. Lookit him twerk. If this is what he's like at 13, he is going to be ferocious in 10 years.
posted by LMGM at 2:46 PM on July 1, 2012


awesome kid
posted by facetious at 2:47 PM on July 1, 2012


"Well then you must not have watched 'The Simple Life'"? How old was this kid when that show even aired? The studying that must have taken place, I am impressed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:49 PM on July 1, 2012


I can't believe I agree with a YouTube commenter, but: "I seriously feel like I should be put in jail for having watched him twerk."
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:50 PM on July 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


I dunno. That would be pretty fucking annoying if that were my daughter. Why would it somehow be cute if it were my son?
posted by 2N2222 at 2:53 PM on July 1, 2012 [47 favorites]


I'll be that guy: in that if this was a thirteen year old girl's twerking videos, I doubt very seriously the MetaFilter consensus would be: AWESOME!

The place confuses me sometimes. We were just screaming down gender roles and presentation in video games, and now we're screaming up hypersexualized adolescent acting-out.

Oh well, the place contains multitudes, etc.
posted by mrdaneri at 2:55 PM on July 1, 2012 [35 favorites]


Okay, that's it. I really have reached That Age, the point where it's not that I want him to be anybody but himself, but I just want to tell him that young man, you are not allowed to do sexy dances on Youtube until you are at least sixteen, and don't you talk back to me mister.

Of course, the world is full of thirteen-year-old girls wearing skirts that are too short and dancing in ways that are too sexy and the self-confidence is hopefully going to serve him well in the long run. So, I'm kind of outraged, but it's equal-opportunity outrage, and that's... progress? I think?
posted by gracedissolved at 2:59 PM on July 1, 2012 [34 favorites]


We were just screaming down gender roles and presentation in video games, and now we're screaming up hypersexualized adolescent acting-out.

The obvious point is that the gender roles being attacked are those imposed on women by patriarchal structures in a misygonist society. That is not the case here.
posted by howfar at 3:00 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Misogynist, even. I think a misygon is a special D&D die.
posted by howfar at 3:01 PM on July 1, 2012 [20 favorites]


He appears to be doublejointed if that first video is any indication.
posted by jonmc at 3:07 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'll be that guy: in that if this was a thirteen year old girl's twerking videos, I doubt very seriously the MetaFilter consensus would be: AWESOME! "

It might be worth it for you to spend some time considering the possibilities of how it might be that a 13-year-old girl twerking on YT is something different from a 13-year-old boy twerking on YT. Clearly, this distinction involves gender and orientation.

One possibility might be that we have the traditional double-standard about teen male and female sexuality. Except that, being mefi, and this being a 13-year-old boy who is behaving outside traditional gender norms for sexuality in our culture, that possibility isn't likely.

Another possibility for the distinction might be that female teen sexual displays have a different context than male sexual teen sexual displays in our culture, and differing orientations makes the distinction larger.

Or you could just assume hypocrisy because the collective culture to which you are attributing a shared belief (a dubious assumption at best) doesn't simply judge that all sexualized early teen behavior deserves outrage.

Which would be a mistake, too, because I'm pretty sure that several someones will come along sooner or later and express such outrage.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


actually, there is a culture encouraging him to behave like that. you guys should visit West Hollywood sometime, the twerking is nonstop.
posted by roger ackroyd at 3:13 PM on July 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


The dancing video made me worry that I was about to get a visit from Chris Hansen. The gender of the person involved here is 100% irrelevant - that video is completely inappropriate for a 13 year old to post on the fucking Internet. Where the hell are his parents?
posted by deadmessenger at 3:14 PM on July 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


Twerk has been added to my list of stupid words.
posted by jonmc at 3:16 PM on July 1, 2012 [29 favorites]


(You can tell I'm old and out of touch, because until now I wasn't really clear on what the word "twerk" referred to.)

I think it's a little sad if the only conversation we can have about this is "Is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?" If nothing else, the only sane answer to that question is "Both." Dude is clever and engaging as hell and probably also in need of a lot more adult supervision than he's getting. Lining up into Pro and Con camps seems like it's totally missing what's actually going on.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:18 PM on July 1, 2012 [21 favorites]


I thought the kid looked kind of unhappy.
posted by deo rei at 3:18 PM on July 1, 2012


Here's a sort of similar conversation on MeFi about young gay boys doing suggestive dance moves.

Also more twerking via female rapper Lady (previously on MeFi), who oddly doesn't actually twerk in her own video.
posted by hermitosis at 3:21 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, MetaFilter... I guess the kids are still all right. But what is it with you and young teens?
posted by Nomyte at 3:23 PM on July 1, 2012


*googles twerking*

Oh. Glad I didn't click on the video of him tweking.
posted by Kevtaro at 3:25 PM on July 1, 2012


I am ashamed. I thought because I listened to WRAS and checked Tumblr everyday, I was not as old and out of it as I thought. But lo, apparently I am ancient, since I did not know what "twerk" meant.

Now, after having checked out Urbandictionary.com watched that... really unfortunate Lady video... I do. Good times.

Bleh.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 3:29 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hate to break it to some of you, but teens (male and female) are sexual all on their own. I know this is hard to believe, but if we keep them away from media and other stuff like, well, books and, um, other teens...that still won't prevent them from being sexual.

But maybe shaming them will help. It's worth a try.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:29 PM on July 1, 2012 [22 favorites]


I'm thrilled for this kid. Just thrilled that he can be so comfortable in his skin and so comfortable with his identity. I'm also just a bit jealous because when I was thirteen I was doing drugs and contemplating suicide every five seconds. We've come a long way (basic) bitches.

None of this mitigates me feeling like a dirty old man watching these videos however.
posted by PapaLobo at 3:30 PM on July 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


A kid posting a video on the internet of himself dancing like this -- in his Jesus school uniform, no less -- is basically living in open revolt. That's what makes this so fascinating to me, and why (I suspect) so many people are cheering him on.
posted by hermitosis at 3:31 PM on July 1, 2012 [36 favorites]


(In one of his other videos, he mentions having been recently transferred back to public school.)
posted by hermitosis at 3:32 PM on July 1, 2012


It might be worth it for you to spend some time considering the possibilities of how it might be that a 13-year-old girl twerking on YT is something different from a 13-year-old boy twerking on YT.

Is it totally out of left field to consider the possibilities of how it might not be that a 13-year-old girl twerking on YT is something different from a 13-year-old boy twerking on YT.

I think it's a little sad if the only conversation we can have about this is "Is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?" If nothing else, the only sane answer to that question is "Both." Dude is clever and engaging as hell and probably also in need of a lot more adult supervision than he's getting. Lining up into Pro and Con camps seems like it's totally missing what's actually going on.

This. I'm not particularly outraged over his behavior, as annoying as it may be. If anything, I think it speaks quite well for the state of our world and his character that the boy can unapologetically behave like this without fear of reprisal from the world. I'm not deluded enough to believe that thirteen year olds expressing their sexuality in whatever way is strictly due to oppression patriarchal structures (or even at all). But I can understand why reasonable adults might find it unsettling. And it is kind of odd that some folks would assume a girl doing this would only be doing so because her gender role was imposed on her, while a boy acting the same has pure and noble motivations.
posted by 2N2222 at 3:33 PM on July 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


exhaling cinnamon clouds is funny
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:40 PM on July 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Was there a 60's acid-rock band called Cinnamon Clouds? If not there should have been.
posted by jonmc at 3:42 PM on July 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also more twerking via female rapper Lady, who oddly doesn't actually twerk in her own video.

My computer is quite old and that played in kind of stuttering, silent slow motion for me, and my unholy twerking goddess, it was hypnotic. Has anyone shot it on a Red One yet?

(Also: it's very hot and I might be a bit out of it, but I really had no idea about all this until I found out about it through Metafilter and dear god I'm old...)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 3:45 PM on July 1, 2012


> if this was a thirteen year old girl's twerking videos, I doubt very seriously the MetaFilter consensus would be: AWESOME!

A 13 year old girl suggestively dancing (no, I will not use the term "twerk") is conforming to a suite of gender stereotypes that benefit no one. An outrageously gay 13 year old boy doing the same mocks and subverts those stereotypes.

That being said, I really wish I had a time machine, so I could jump ahead a decade and show these video to him. Things like these really make me support the right to have any and all juvenile internet excursions be permanently sealed. Of course, I'm a crumudgeon who thinks no one should be allowed on the internet until they are 18 25 31 42 65 NEVER.
posted by Panjandrum at 3:46 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


(In one of his other videos, he mentions having been recently transferred back to public school.)

I noticed that. I am not surprised. I don't know if it was a Catholic school. I went to Catholic schools as a youngster, and I can say in most instances, this behavior would have gotten him kicked out, even if he never acted out in school and his online presence had no traces back to the Church. It's a situation where the evil isn't necessarily a deed, but the appearance that a deed would reflect badly on the institution. To scandalize the Church seems to have been among the most unforgivable things one can do. The one exception was the high school seminary, where half the students could have been this kid. But that's another story altogether.
posted by 2N2222 at 3:47 PM on July 1, 2012


Yeah, we wouldn't want to allow a student to get away with making the Catholic Church look bad.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:49 PM on July 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Twerk: Not on my word-a-day calendar.
posted by Mojojojo at 3:50 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hate to break it to some of you, but teens (male and female) are sexual all on their own.

Yes. We know. That's why it's necessary for parents to, like, supervise them a little bit.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:52 PM on July 1, 2012 [4 favorites]




... but his blog is just awesome
posted by deo rei at 3:52 PM on July 1, 2012


It may mock and subvert and etc but also that shit is like chum for predators. Hopefully he's as smart as he sounds and wouldn't meet some strange man somewhere but... I mean, men three and four times his age are going to masturbate to that, right? I think it's ok to be like "ok it's great that you're being all you and stuff but putting it on the internet is perhaps not the safest move."

He seems like a nice young kid, and I'm sure he'll be fine. But I worry.
posted by kavasa at 3:53 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


"And it is kind of odd that some folks would assume a girl doing this would only be doing so because her gender role was imposed on her, while a boy acting the same has pure and noble motivations."

Who's assuming that? The argument is that their motivations are different, and function differently, and are differently influenced by a culture that primarily values females as sexual objects and doesn't primarily value males as sexual objects. That doesn't mean that both aren't advertising their sexual attractiveness, or exploring their sexuality, or conforming to stereotypes, or that the female version is wholly "bad" and the male version is wholly "good".

What it does mean is that when a 13-year-old girl behaves this way, she's behaving well within a narrow range of cultural gender roles that reduces her value to that of her sexuality while, in contrast, when a 13-year-old boy behaves this way, he's behaving well outside a cultural gender and orientation role and, as such, makes an argument that his sense of self and his interests are valuable in a way that our culture generally denies. In that context, they are very different things.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:54 PM on July 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Appreciate the clarification: It sounds like MF would be for the hypothetical-13-year-old girl's twerking videos if she were broadcasting from a conservative small town somewhere that had outlawed all dancing within the strictures of some patriarchal church.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got an idea for a screenplay.
posted by mrdaneri at 3:56 PM on July 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


a culture that primarily values females as sexual objects

I believe the preferred term around these parts is "ass-jittering cattle"...
posted by hermitosis at 3:56 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


he's behaving well outside a cultural gender and orientation role and, as such, makes an argument that his sense of self and his interests are valuable in a way that our culture generally denies. In that context, they are very different things.

Again, Ivan, this kid is 100% conforming to a role expected of a young gay male out on the scene in West Hollywood. I fully expect that he'd freak out if he gained 5lbs too.

Still, as kavasa noted, I'm sure he'll be fine.
posted by roger ackroyd at 3:57 PM on July 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


>>I hate to break it to some of you, but teens (male and female) are sexual all on their own.

Yes. We know. That's why it's necessary for parents to, like, supervise them a little bit.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:52 PM on July 1 [+] [!]


I'm not seeing the inherent connection. He's ~13. He's probably got a sex drive. Heck, I knew kids who were having sex at that age. We supervise him so.. what? What are we trying to prevent?




It may mock and subvert and etc but also that shit is like chum for predators. Hopefully he's as smart as he sounds and wouldn't meet some strange man somewhere but... I mean, men three and four times his age are going to masturbate to that, right? I think it's ok to be like "ok it's great that you're being all you and stuff but putting it on the internet is perhaps not the safest move."

He seems like a nice young kid, and I'm sure he'll be fine. But I worry.
posted by kavasa at 3:53 PM on July 1 [+] [!]


I realize this may be genuine concern, but this comment really rings close to "her skirt was too short..." I'm not saying you think he's asking for anything, but there's a lot of the blame/responsibility being put on this [hypothetical] victim.
posted by FirstMateKate at 4:00 PM on July 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Who's assuming that? The argument is that their motivations are different, and function differently, and are differently influenced by a culture that primarily values females as sexual objects and doesn't primarily value males as sexual objects.

Why are you assuming their motivations are different?

What it does mean is that when a 13-year-old girl behaves this way, she's behaving well within a narrow range of cultural gender roles that reduces her value to that of her sexuality while, in contrast, when a 13-year-old boy behaves this way, he's behaving well outside a cultural gender and orientation role and, as such, makes an argument that his sense of self and his interests are valuable in a way that our culture generally denies. In that context, they are very different things.

Unless you can get into the heads of every 13-year-old girl or boy who behaves this way, this is total bullshit. Why assume such nonsense when the simplest explanation is that they are expressing their sincere sexuality, however inappropriate or precocious it may be?
posted by 2N2222 at 4:00 PM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]



I realize this may be genuine concern, but this comment really rings close to "her skirt was too short..." I'm not saying you think he's asking for anything, but there's a lot of the blame/responsibility being put on this [hypothetical] victim.

I wouldn't blame a 13 year old, but he definitely puts himself at risk. Not just from predators but from homophobes. His guardians should be watching out for him.

BTW, the cinnamon challenge bit was great.
posted by Mojojojo at 4:06 PM on July 1, 2012


I should find him unbearably annoying, and yet I can't hate a boy who Facebook-married one of the guys from One Direction and took his last name.
posted by book 'em dano at 4:08 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I had a 13 year old daughter who uploaded suggestive dance videos of herself to the web, I'd be upset. And if I had a 13 year old son, I'd be upset, too and for the same reason: there's all kinds of weirdos and pervs out there and kid that young aren't equipped to deal with them yet.
posted by jonmc at 4:08 PM on July 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


BTW, the cinnamon challenge bit was great.

His "cinnamon pants!" aside in that video is something I hope to never forget.
posted by hermitosis at 4:09 PM on July 1, 2012


"Why are you assuming their motivations are different? "

Because males and females are bombarded from pre-adolescence onward with strong messages about how male and female sexuality are different and how they should behave differently with regard to their sexually. You argue otherwise because, apparently, you're some kind of conehead. Here, have a six-pack.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:11 PM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


The "getting discovered" video (final link in the FPP) shows some amount of basic immaturity on his part, in that he has classmates who are recognizing him from his YouTube videos and he's saying that the people watching them are invading his privacy.

I don't care much about the content of his videos, I certainly was talking like a sailor and talking about sex (although not obsessing about the sex lives of celebrities like he does)... but it seems like someone needs to sit him down and give him a quality series of talks about what exactly this whole "internet" thing is and how it works.

I guess the one thing I'm glad about is that he doesn't seem to have fallen into the all-too-wide-spread young gay man habit of standing outside of everything and offering up snarky criticism as a substitute for wit. If he can remain sincere and enthusiastic without displaying that kind of bitter outwardly-directed hate (which I'm convinced is a defense mechanism against a world which has given out nothing but hate toward those who act that way), he'll end up being more interesting than not. And I'm okay with that.
posted by hippybear at 4:12 PM on July 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


I guess the one thing I'm glad about is that he doesn't seem to have fallen into the all-too-wide-spread young gay man habit of standing outside of everything and offering up snarky criticism as a substitute for wit.

Hey!
posted by The Whelk at 4:13 PM on July 1, 2012 [23 favorites]


Kids are a lot smarter and more sophisticated than I was when I was 13. I am torn between being glad I am not a teen growing up into the Great Recession and kind of wishing that I could have grown up with more cultural and intellectual resources and been, thus, smarter.

I mean, leaving aside all the angst over the sexuality angle, that's a fairly astute 13-year-old.

(Also, the only thing that makes sense on the "regulating teen sexuality" front is to regulate the adults. If this kid wants to twerk on Youtube, fine, whatever. The moral of the story is that adult creepers need to stop being creepers. It's not that difficult; the world is full of salacious videos by people over 18 which can be subbed in as needed.)

(Although still, sometimes I get sort of depressed by contemporary dance moves. I grew up in the nineties and in the riot grrl end of the punk scene, and I really didn't think a lot about sex when dancing; it was just fun and exhilarating and soothing. I like bounce as much as the next late-life hipster, for example, but I can't dance correctly to it because it's like aerobics crossed with porn and that just puts me in a depressing headspace.)
posted by Frowner at 4:15 PM on July 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Hey!

Sometimes the shoe feels like it's custom made, doesn't it? ;)
posted by hippybear at 4:19 PM on July 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


I like bounce as much as the next late-life hipster, for example, but I can't dance correctly to it because it's like aerobics crossed with porn and that just puts me in a depressing headspace.

I just dance how I like to music that makes me feel like dancing. I couldn't care less if I don't know how to do it "correctly". Correct dancing is for ballroom competitions.
posted by hippybear at 4:22 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it's the confident, outgoing kids who are primary targets for paedophile grooming, I have to tell you that paedophiles have really changed since I was a kid.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:25 PM on July 1, 2012 [6 favorites]



I just dance how I like to music that makes me feel like dancing. I couldn't care less if I don't know how to do it "correctly". Correct dancing is for ballroom competitions.


That's because you're some kind of hippie. That whole "do your own thing in a healthy, self-actualized way" thing....my crowd isn't ready for that.
posted by Frowner at 4:25 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Parents, please control your brats!
posted by ReeMonster at 4:26 PM on July 1, 2012


"The day the Cinnamon Challenge ceases to be funny is the day that laughter dies asphyxiates from bronchial constriction."
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:27 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because males and females are bombarded from pre-adolescence onward with strong messages about how male and female sexuality are different and how they should behave differently with regard to their sexually. You argue otherwise because, apparently, you're some kind of conehead. Here, have a six-pack.

Expressing sexuality in accordance with traditional gender is due to being bombarded by strong messages? Could it not be that these youngsters are expressing their sexuality as they sincerely feel it? Or is that a coneheaded thing to expect?
posted by 2N2222 at 4:27 PM on July 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


That last video was cloying. Don't put attention-seeking videos on the internet if you don't want people who spend an awful lot of free time on the internet to find out about them.

Also, please stop calling everyone a "bitch".
posted by King Bee at 4:28 PM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's the feeling or expressing sexuality that's necessarily the issue; it's that expressing it on the internet can open the kid up to a whole lot of attention that is beyond his ability to handle. I think his parents do have a responsibility to not let their children act like prey; that's why they're generally not allowed to walk down dark alleys by themselves. I guarantee you he's going to get messages from creepy old guys that he may not have gotten without having put up the suggestive videos. And he may not be mature enough to know what to do with those messages.
posted by desjardins at 4:33 PM on July 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


Also, please stop calling everyone a "bitch".

How easily we forget what it was like to be thirteen...
posted by hermitosis at 4:34 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope my kids are this confident and funny when they're his age. I also hope they know better than to put videos of themselves swearing and dancing suggestively on the Internet.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:35 PM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Setting yourself up to the world as fitting a certain profile when you’re 13 is a terrible idea. This leaves no room for changing your mind and growing up, and causes enormous pressure to live up to some image you created when you were too young and stupid to know better.

The idea that 13 year olds are more sophisticated and mature today than in the past is a totally ridiculous myth that some people really want to believe. They know some words and have seen things on the internet, that’s all.
posted by bongo_x at 4:38 PM on July 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


And he may not be mature enough to know what to do with those messages.

As it stands, he's going with publically make fun of them with a reaction gif.
posted by book 'em dano at 4:42 PM on July 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


Parents, please control your brats!

Your parents must be on vacation.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:00 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


An outrageously gay 13 year old boy doing the same mocks and subverts those stereotypes.

This doesn't read to me as mocking or subverting a stereotype; it looks more like engaging wholeheartedly in a different stereotype. I'm not sure that's an improvement.
posted by ook at 5:02 PM on July 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


So you would prefer that gays don't behave in "stereotypical" ways? How exactly would you like other people's gayness to manifest?
posted by hermitosis at 5:05 PM on July 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Could it not be that these youngsters are expressing their sexuality as they sincerely feel it? Or is that a coneheaded thing to expect?

I think you're viewing the double standard from the position of judging the kids' motivation or actions, when the double standard is more about the context of those actions within the greater society and culture. The messages that we're surrounded by may not always shape our reasoning, but they do shape the environment that our actions live in, and often create the consequences of those actions. In that way, societal roles and expectations shape us whether we like it or not.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:17 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


is a homophobe's worst nightmare...

A scrawny 13 year old is not a homophobe's nightmare.

I had no idea what the cinnamon challenge is.

I still don't know what tweaking is. I am quitting why I am only a little behind.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:17 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


You guys are hilarious. It's so cute that you think "13 year olds should not be themselves on the internet!" is a reasonable expectation. For that to happen, this kid doesn't need better parents; he need to be born 20 years ago.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:17 PM on July 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


twerking I mean. I obviously know what tweaking is.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:18 PM on July 1, 2012


I still don't know what tweaking is. I am quitting why I am only a little behind.

I see what you did there...
posted by hermitosis at 5:21 PM on July 1, 2012


So you would prefer that gays don't behave in "stereotypical" ways?

That's not what ook said.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:21 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"This doesn't read to me as mocking or subverting a stereotype; it looks more like engaging wholeheartedly in a different stereotype. I'm not sure that's an improvement."

People look to role models and otherwise for clues about who they can be, what kind of social identity they can have. In doing so, they form stereotypes and they more, or less, conform to those stereotypes. This is a fact of human nature.

Another fact of human nature is that all people are not alike and there are different subcultures. Conforming to the dominant culture's stereotype when that feels like a poor fit, but doing so because there's a great deal of pressure for such conformity, is a much different thing than conforming to a subcultural stereotype when that feels like a much better fit than the majority cultural standard.

Furthermore, the lack of availability of subcultural, alternative stereotypes coupled with strong enforcement of conformity to majority cultural norms results in a kind of impoverishment of imagination that causes people to conform but not comfortably.

All stereotypes are not equal and all conformity is not equal.

When such a day arises that men are primarily valued as sex objects and stereotypical gay male behavior is the American cultural norm, then on that day we can rightly be angry that a teen boy twerks on YouTube and conforms to what some are calling a West Hollywood stereotype. That day is not today and it's not tomorrow.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:22 PM on July 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Good for him that he doesn't care what people say about him because he's annoying as all get out. A self confessed Diva? Well done. That is not someone I want to be around or encourage.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 5:24 PM on July 1, 2012


I think it's nice that a young gay boy today can feel free enough to post stupid shit like this on the internet. If he was my kid, I'd love the hell out of him and probably become the final arbiter on what he was allowed to post. Or, I'd be too lazy. I don't know.
posted by Red Loop at 5:27 PM on July 1, 2012


How exactly would you like other people's gayness to manifest?

However it suits them. This kid is, at least outwardly, confident in who he is, and seems to be having an awesome time. And that is great. But there should also be room for, and celebration of, gay male teens who are football stars, or computer geeks, or are shy by nature, who don't have the reassurance that comes with fitting into an established cultural role.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 5:33 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I bet the thinktank over at McCormick brand ground cinnamon are brainstorming a slightly more mature glam-vertising campaign spokes-person with superior twerking skills.
posted by vozworth at 5:35 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is twerking something like Eerk & Jerk?
posted by Catblack at 5:35 PM on July 1, 2012


ut there should also be room for, and celebration of, gay male teens who are football stars, or computer geeks, or are shy by nature, who don't have the reassurance that comes with fitting into an established cultural role.

This works both ways. For every "gay stereotype" portrayal in movies or television, there's a person who "just happens to be gay." Both are equally unrealistic in terms of representing all gays, or being relatable to all gays. In both cases, certain people feel left out, or pigeonholed.

But I assure you there is PLENTY of celebration and role models out there of gays who just seem like everyday people and just "happen" to be gay. The entire "masc" subculture kind of thrives on it, actually.
posted by hermitosis at 5:38 PM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yay for this kid to be comfortable enough in his own skin to make videos like these and post them where anybody in the world can view them, without fear.

Boo, to the parents - are they aware that their son is posting videos like this? If so, have they sat down and discussed it with him? It's not a *bad* thing, but when you're 13 you might not be aware of possible ramifications later in life due to Internet stuff you did when younger.

Also, I feel really, really old.
posted by mrbill at 5:43 PM on July 1, 2012


So you would prefer that gays don't behave in "stereotypical" ways?

Not even vaguely close to my point. It's just -- we're cheering this kid on for subverting the norm and being himself, but it doesn't look like he's being himself; it looks like he's acting out a learned-from-badly-written-television caricature of the Flaming Gay Guy. I don't see him in there at all, just a pastiche of practiced subculture signifiers.

There's nothing wrong with those signifiers, per se; and I get that part of being 13 is searching for an identity and usually that involves trying on a few preexisting ones for a while... (On preview, yes, Ivan, exactly.) It's just that to buy so thoroughly into any predefined stereotype of how one should behave as this kid has -- whether that's gay, goth, jock, emo, hippie, buttrock, whatever -- seems problematic, and just as, if not more, constraining on the kid's true developing personality than the "mainstream".
posted by ook at 5:43 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just watched all of these videos and maybe I'm really dense, but do we have any reason to believe that he's actually, you know, gay?

I was friends with a lot of flamboyant boys in middle and early high school and some ended up being gay and some didn't.

That being said, yay for being comfortable in your own skin.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:48 PM on July 1, 2012


That reaction GIF on his Tumblr is perfect.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:50 PM on July 1, 2012


> You guys are hilarious. It's so cute that you think "13 year olds should not be themselves on the internet!" is a reasonable expectation. For that to happen, this kid doesn't need better parents; he need to be born 20 years ago.

Posting goofy videos of yourself to the Internet is not a requirement, not even for people born in this century. There are many children who don't dork out in such a public way.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:52 PM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Posting goofy videos of yourself to the Internet is not a requirement, not even for people born in this century.

Oh, it will be. Just wait until Obama's third term when he rolls out a whole new slew of liberty-denying "individual mandates". Just wait....
posted by hippybear at 6:00 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


we're cheering this kid on for subverting the norm and being himself, but it doesn't look like he's being himself; it looks like he's acting out a learned-from-badly-written-television caricature of the Flaming Gay Guy. I don't see him in there at all, just a pastiche of practiced subculture signifiers.

-and-

I just watched all of these videos and maybe I'm really dense, but do we have any reason to believe that he's actually, you know, gay?


Is it ok to mock and subvert the gay stereotype if he isn't really gay? Does it matter?
posted by 2N2222 at 6:06 PM on July 1, 2012


I'm probably alone in this, but I don't see these videos as sexual in nature. I see them as a kid who expresses himself, unreservedly, and in-your-face-outrageously. I can well imagine why. I congratulate him on feeling so secure within himself that he doesn't shrink, or pull punches. Can you imagine what he had to put up with from other kids and the hate-messages from the Church about his very identity? Is it wrong for him to rebel? I love that he was not suppressed and defeated. That is the spirit in which I take his "acting out" - he is not using sexual messaging because of the sex, but because it is transgressive - because it's the very thing that is constantly attacked by society at large, his schoolmates, Church authorities etc. He knows of people who committed suicide because they were bullied. He will not be a victim. He fights back, by acting however the fuck he wants to. If you see horrible sexual expression here, I'm afraid that says more about your preconceptions and expectations than his intentions, though yay, he got to you. This is so insanely different from a 13 year old girl who is consciously trying to assume a role she's been designated to by society for millennia. In this society, one is rebellion, the other is submission.
posted by VikingSword at 6:07 PM on July 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is it ok to mock and subvert the gay stereotype if he isn't really gay? Does it matter?

Eh? I just think it's kind of weird to make assumptions about a thirteen-year-old's sexuality either way, especially as he doesn't seem to really want that.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:12 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I was a young adult, I volunteered at a drop-in for gay teens, most of them dropouts or marginally housed or in some kinds of serious family drama because of who they were. The motto - "There will only be one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself." And several of the kids scratched out, "fearlessly," and wrote "fiercely."
I've often thought of how fiercely those young gay people felt they had to defend who they were, and their right to be well, whole young adults who still expressed themselves as members of a sexual minority. And how often that self-expression looked cliche, in part because they really needed to fit in somewhere, and show they belonged.
I see a kid who's brave, defensive, fierce, and determined to fit in with a particular stereotype of the sexual minority he clearly aligns with. We are most likely very wrongly assuming that his parents know about his videos, and accept him just as he is. Who knows what kinds of drama and pressures he's under due, at least in part, to his allegiance to being himself?
I hope that, one day, 13-30 year old newly out gay men can be slobs, and unfunny, and completely un-fierce, if they choose. That the world is so bored with the sexuality spectrum that coming out is like changing sports, or getting body hair. Nothing worth considering yourself an outsider about, and nothing worth feeling defensive about. If you're fierce, you're fierce. If you're a boring gay kid with no funny at all, great, whatever. You still get to be loved, and accepted, and live in your family home. But you still gotta do your Algebra. And you still can't post sexy videos on YouTube.
posted by pomegranate at 6:19 PM on July 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Shouldn't this kid be busy making a Swastika pillow for Larry David?
posted by ShutterBun at 6:27 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The cinnamon video shows a sense of comic timing and basic editing skills that is pretty damned impressive for a young teen. I was just making shitty PowerPoint animations set to Queen then.
posted by The Whelk at 6:35 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm afraid that says more about your preconceptions and expectations than his intentions, though yay, he got to you. This is so insanely different from a 13 year old girl who is consciously trying to assume a role she's been designated to by society for millennia. In this society, one is rebellion, the other is submission.

But your reading of this says more about your preconceptions than his intentions, too. It's odd to me that so many folks are intent on shoehorning one explanation for his behavior, and another for the hypothetical inappropriately behaving girl. His behavior may be insanely different from the 13 year old girl who is consciously trying to assume a role she's been designated to by society for millennia. But not so different from the precociously aware 13 year old girl, whose behavior may very well be on the spectrum that sets the curve for the rest of us, simply because that's the way her nature tells her to behave.

Though it's difficult to say with certainty, since I don't think anyone here really knows what he thinks.

FWIW, I don't see these videos as particularly sexual, either. I feel like we're witnessing the emergence of yet another internet narcissist, even if I do admire his ballsiness.

The cinnamon video shows a sense of comic timing and basic editing skills that is pretty damned impressive for a young teen. I was just making shitty PowerPoint animations set to Queen then.

Yes. The videos are surprisingly slick for what they are. No doubt the kid is pretty brilliant, and/or has some good help. Or are you saying we've been punked?
posted by 2N2222 at 6:40 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I speak as someone who didn't WTFV or RTFTumbler, but what reason do we have to believe that Lohanthony is actually gay? I mean, please feel free to shoot me down, but does he at any point come out and say, "I prefer guys to girls," or is it all just sassy talk and floor-humping, as if he's latched onto this ridiculously obnoxious and abrasive persona and is doing his best to hang on with every shred of his being?
posted by Nomyte at 6:48 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd say his reaction (and demeanor) in the last video linked in the FPP was surprising to me. It's decidedly less "gay" than previous videos, he's complaining about his "privacy" being violated and asserting that whatever he does outside of school shouldn't be mixed with inside of school...

It could entirely be a persona he's developed as an online thing.

I'm not saying that I think that it is, but that could be the case. That's pretty sophisticated for a 13 year old, if that's indeed true. When I was 13, I barely knew who I was, let alone realized I might be able to invent other versions of me for different settings. But I was 13 in... um... 1981. So things were different then.
posted by hippybear at 6:56 PM on July 1, 2012


He's great. I love him.
posted by 200burritos at 7:07 PM on July 1, 2012


It could entirely be a persona he's developed as an online thing. I'm not saying that I think that it is, but that could be the case. That's pretty sophisticated for a 13 year old, if that's indeed true.

It doesn't have to be entirely online. Or it could be. I'm not saying that this is a persona that, for example, I could put on at the drop of a hat, but it's definitely something that's available out there. Let's not sell teenage boys short. There are lots of, say, teenage girls who put on a similar act in certain settings. Lohanthony didn't have to make up "sassy bitch" out of whole cloth, although his version of it is definitely very polished and natural, so he's clearly spent a lot of time practicing it. And there's nothing more monomaniacal than a 13-year-old. It's just not a performance that I, as a potential online viewer, want to applaud.
posted by Nomyte at 7:08 PM on July 1, 2012


Thank you, oh internets, for not having been accessible until I was well beyond adolescence.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:13 PM on July 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


I mean, heck, here's that old lip-synching classic. Boys that age know a lot about sexual displays.
posted by Nomyte at 7:14 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The real travesty here is that the bedroom of a 13 year old boy is both bigger and cleaner than mine.
posted by desjardins at 7:23 PM on July 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


Thank you, oh internets, for not having been accessible until I was well beyond adolescence.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:13 PM on July 1


and thank you, madamjujujive, for sharing those adorable 8mm films with me.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:59 PM on July 1, 2012


I got the sense that he's realized the twerking and being overtly sexual isn't the greatest idea. The Emma Watson gif was an excellent response to a pedo (I assume) and taken in stride -- not ashamed but fuck off y'all. The rest of it is just some kid who's very bright and confident and internet-savvy having a good time. I don't see anything here that will endanger him, he seems to know what he's doing, and he's having fun. So what? He gets a bit of notoriety for a little while.

I was scared of my shadow at that age. He's got the internet, I had marijuana. Not saying one is better/worse than the other. I appreciate his confidence is all.
posted by wallabear at 9:52 PM on July 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's not really important whether or not he's gay. The important thing is that he is fabulous. For a guy, regardless of sexual orientation, to act this fabulous in what seems like a totally genuine expression of who he wants to be right now (maybe a little intensified for the camera) is really daring and totally punk rock and I approve with all of my heart, except PUT SOME PANTS ON AAAH MY EYES YOU ARE NOT GOING ON THE INTERNET DRESSED LIKE THAT YOUNG MAN okay I'm better. Anyway I hope he has tons of success.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:18 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thirteen year-old Lohanthony (Tumblr) is a homophobe's worst nightmare

Few of those homophobes will have any reason to know Lohanthony ever existed.
posted by Yakuman at 10:51 PM on July 1, 2012


I wrote that because of how many comments I saw on his videos that said things like, "If this was my kid I would beat him until he stopped acting so gay" or "every parent's worst nightmare come true" (paraphrased, but there are tons of these comments).

For so many, the idea of raising a child who turns out this way -- not just gay, but THIS way -- is genuinely one of the worst things they can imagine. His flamboyance seems to strike a serious nerve in older people.
posted by hermitosis at 11:03 PM on July 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I really enjoyed his talent for faces and voices, as well as his confidence. I hope he gets himself an agent or something, because while I love his videos, I think there's even more he could do, while maybe being a bit less vulnerable...?

But I mostly just wanted him to be my nephew or something, because the kid's confidence and humor is so lovable in a kid-like way. I imagine saying something like "wow, anthony, yeah, that is some great twerking. ha ha, I love that face you make. so funny! say, how's your homework coming? did you get your homework done? why don't you finish your homework before you do another video?"
posted by salvia at 12:47 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was distinctly uncomfortable.

I'm not sure 13 year olds should be twerking on the Internet, if that's what he was doing.

I suppose it's nice that he's not getting the ever-loving-snot beaten out of him at school, as he would have in my school days. I guess things have changed a lot in 30 years.
posted by Mezentian at 2:40 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want SNL to parody this kid. Oh wait - Stefon. Never mind.

Oh, and fuck the haters and shit because this is who he is and he never deletes his comments or whatever and he's just a praying, twerking little freak who goes uptown to that new club called Cinnamon Challenge where they have everything!: traffic cone pinatas, 40 oz. motor oil cocktails, and JujuBee Pushups.

What....what are JujuBee Pushups?

JujuBee Pushups is that thing where you have to go to the bathroom at a packed club and you're not sure if you're finished at the urinal so you hop up and down to make sure, but not so much that someone notices.

(covers face with hands)
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:18 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


The metabolic costs of reproduction are not distributed equally. Pregnancy reduces the capabilities of the female while it increases the energy that she needs to consume (cf. Bateman's principle). This is one of the (unconscious) reasons why we police female mating displays differently than male mating displays. A woman's reproductive capacity doesn't scale as well as a man's. Her reproductive capacity is limited by her womb. His reproductive capacity is limited by his access to fertile mates. Therefore, she has to more carefully consider the opportunity costs of mating with a poor quality mate.
posted by Human Flesh at 6:09 AM on July 2, 2012


I've said it before and I shall say it again - dammit - GLEE (tv show) has a LOT to answer for!
posted by Faintdreams at 6:47 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyways, shouldn't this kid be mowing the damn lawn? Stop twerking and start working, ya brat!
posted by jonmc at 7:41 AM on July 2, 2012


Aw, I read some of the comments and was fully prepared to be disturbed, but I LOVE this kid! He has such great self-awareness, and crazy good timing with the sounds and editing. And I take it as a good sign of the times that he's so healthily unselfconscious. How fun would it be to have a friend like that at that age?

Also, he doesn't seem too unsupervised at all--except that someone should have counselled him to disable youtube comments. I can't imagine being the parent tasked with suppressing this kid's energy. My mom got a kick out of my antics, encouraged my creativity, and trusted me to look after myself. I was travelling across the city alone on a daily basis on public transportation when I was Lohanthony's age, which I would think put me at a way greater risk of being physically exposed to creepy weirdos than internet shenanigans.
posted by sundaydriver at 8:02 AM on July 2, 2012


For all of you worried about his parents, there's a video of him vlogging in traffic with his mom and little brother. His mom got some good one-liners in there, so she seems pretty funny too, but there was also a gap of awkward silence when he said he was going to upload the video on his blog. I suspect it's a point of contention for them.

(He's also posted text conversations with his sister complaining about their dad and wanting to get out of the house. Complicated home life, probably, but isn't that how it is for a lot of 14 year olds?)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:28 AM on July 2, 2012


Seems like a normal 13-14 year old to me.

If you look deeply at that teen's private life (leaving aside how he's putting a lot of it out for public display/discourse), you're going to find stuff that bothers you. Lord knows the crap I got up to when I was 13-14 would have looked really bad if even only I looked in on it now at 43.

But he'll likely survive (and who knows if he'll stay gay or not, but my wish is that he be or become who he wants to be), maybe he'll have some rough moments (we all do), and like LMGM, I think he's going to be ferocious when he grows up.
posted by kalessin at 10:19 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


" Just thrilled that he can be so comfortable in his skin and so comfortable with his identity."

Overcompensation != knowledge of self
posted by falameufilho at 10:46 AM on July 2, 2012


I should clarify in case the inquisition comes by, when I said "stay gay" I meant who knows if he'll keep behaving flamboyantly as well as who knows what ultimate sexuality he'll express in life. But I do hope he just concentrates on enjoying himself. That's the important bit.
posted by kalessin at 1:17 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


As far as 13-year-olds being unable to maintain multiple versions of themselves, I think you're underselling your 13-year-old self. I know I consciously presented different versions of me to my parents, my friends, my teachers, and the internet. I had a blog of my own, and a blog of the idealized person I wanted to be (complete with protective big brother) and she had her own AIM and interacted with people and wrote short stories in what felt like a different voice than I did (they were totally better). Maybe it was because I internalized all the "MAINTAIN ANONYMITY ON THE INTERNET!!" to some degree? I don't know. Anyway, while I get the feeling he's being pretty genuine, it's not beyond the realm of possibility for an 8th grader to be a sharp kid and on top of things and be able to manipulate the internet.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:02 PM on July 2, 2012


it's not beyond the realm of possibility for an 8th grader

Is this kid 13 years old in 8th grade? I seem to remember being 12 in 6th grade, and I was one of the oldest in my class (with enrollment birthdates cutting off with the calendar year, and being born in January)...

I'd bet he's in 6th or 7th, but I'm also not doing the research to see what grade he is in, if it was mentioned anywhere.
posted by hippybear at 6:18 PM on July 2, 2012


On average, you add five years to the grade to get the age. So 13 years old in 8th grade makes sense.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:07 PM on July 2, 2012


He also says in one of his videos that he's almost 14.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:11 PM on July 2, 2012


I was 13 when I started 9th grade.
posted by desjardins at 9:13 PM on July 2, 2012


Yes, but you're special.
posted by hippybear at 10:54 PM on July 2, 2012


You're smarter than the average bear, desjardins.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:57 AM on July 3, 2012


Yeah, I know bears who are 18 and still haven't graduated from junior high. It's tragic, really.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:28 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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