If one is constantly hyperconscious of one's appearance, if you feel that in order to be accepted or loved you have to be "perfect," a kind of vigilance and wariness is created which works against spontaneity and sexual enjoyment. Add anxiety about AIDS, concern about sexual performance, exhaustion from competition at school or work, all these factors which are working to put teens - not to mention their parents - very much out of touch with the more relaxed, sensuous pleasures of the body, and with a spontaneous, unguarded sense of life.

Many of my students are sort of shell-shocked. They crave escape from the pressures of their lives, but also many of them feel numb, empty. They'd like to just go to sleep, but they also want desperately to feel something other than vaguely depressed. I was shocked to find out how many of them are on Prozac and other anti-depressants. And, of course, drugs and alcohol remain key ways of both numbing out to pain and fear, while at the same time trying to get more spontaneous feeling, pleasure or intensity.

I think that we are in the middle of a major sea-change in the way people experience the world, themselves, and what they take to be "reality."

// BACK // INDEX // NEXT //

To inquire about this project
in video, and printed formats,
send an email to project creator Dan Habib.

All photos ©2010, Dan Habib