-by K. Duron

Movies, TV series, and the media in general have been a part of my entire life. I have cried, laughed, been inspired, and been provoked.

One of the films that has provoked me to speak out was a film made the year I was born. In 1995, this film which would later become somewhat of a cult-classic was released: Kids. It depicted the lives of regular teenagers living in the city, doing almost the same things teens do today (the only thing missing being new media, Voila!). They were drinking, smoking, skating, raving, and having unprotected sex. The common denominator between teens almost two decades ago and teens of today is not thinking about consequences.

Something I notice is that especially the younger we are, the older we want to be. When we are in elementary we want to be like the teenagers who party and have fun and go to bed later. But when we’re teenagers we want to be like the people in their 20’s that can drink and smoke and party all the time without our parents telling us what to do. Of course, mostly by the time we get to our late twenties we’ll just want to go back to when we only had to worry about how long recess was and when we didn’t know what weight or pimples or the status quo were.

The issue is real, whether it was 18 years ago like Kids or way before: Doing things just because we think we own the world without realizing that what the adults tell us is true. One scene that really struck me in this film was when two best friends go and get tested for HIV. One girl (played by Rosario Dawson) has been more promiscuous and has had sex more than a few times. The other girl has only had sex once. Guess which one has HIV? When first watching this movie, you can easily think the first girl, because of how she is portrayed and sexually active, and of course, the fallacy that if you only have sex once you won’t get pregnant or any disease. It ends up being the second girl, who just recently lost her virginity, that is HIV positive. What got to me about this was how we often trick ourselves into thinking we are invincible.

Then I stop and think, wait. I know certain facts because my mom always spoke clearly about sex and its consequences, and answered any questions I might have. But what about homes where sex is taboo? Or she might have seen her own mother or female role models changing partners without knowing or talking about unprotected sex. So maybe the second girl in the film simply didn’t know that STD’s could be transmitted regardless of how many relations she’d had.

Today, however, we’re lucky that information about sex is easier to find than ever before. If you have a doubt about something, you can ask adults like health teachers, doctors, or people like the ones here at Project U LA, who are happy to provide answers (for free!) and even discretely when you need it. Just as we use the Internet to learn how to share negative information, how to do a smoky-eye, or how to get extra points in Subway Surfer, we can also use it to be informed about issues that can be vital for our life. And remember, we may be unshakeable, but no one is truly invincible.

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