TIME movies

The Diary of a Teenage Girl Should Be Required Viewing

Bel Powley poses for a portrait during the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2015 in Park City, Utah.
Larry Busacca--Getty Images Bel Powley poses for a portrait during the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2015 in Park City, Utah.

And not just for teenage girls

The first time Minnie Goetz (Bel Powley) has sex, she marks her lover with an “X,” triumphantly drawn from her own blood. She commands him to take her picture, curious about what a 15-year-old teenager looks like moments after losing her virginity. Later that day, she walks with a skip in her step, noticing things she previously hadn’t—a jogger’s bouncing breasts, the way her own weight shifts as she saunters—as though she’s suddenly put on a pair of glasses that allows her to see the world in a whole new way.

But for all the excitement Minnie feels in this moment, there’s a darker way to read what’s just happened to the titular teenaged girl of The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller’s directorial debut, in theaters Aug. 7. Minnie’s first sexual experience was with her mother’s boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard), who is more than twice her age; until this encounter, he served as a kind of informal guardian. Her mother (Kristen Wiig) self-medicates with booze and drugs, regularly getting high in front of Minnie and her younger sister. The only responsible adult in the girls’ orbit is their ex-stepfather Pascal (Christopher Meloni), who lives across the country and, despite his good intentions, is unable to offer much meaningful support beyond the occasional check.

This tension between the newfound agency Minnie is discovering as a sexual being and some of the more disturbing features of that process of discovery courses through the movie at a steady hum. And what makes this movie stand out from the admittedly underdeveloped subgenre of films dealing with young female sexuality is its refreshing candor in relaying that tension. It is presented without judgment, with full agency in the hands of its protagonist and with a nuance rarely achieved among its predecessors.

When coverage of the Patty Hearst trial comes on the local news in the Goetz home, it is more than a subtle nod to the time (1976) and place (San Francisco). The family’s debate about whether Hearst was a victim or a willing participant in her own ordeal could just as easily have been about Minnie’s budding sexuality: Is she a victim of what she may someday perceive as trauma? Is she being controlled or is she in control?

The answer, as with many of the trials of adolescence, may rest somewhere in between. Since its warm reception at Sundance, The Diary of a Teenage Girl has been mostly described as an empowering tale of teenage female sexuality. It’s not hard to count the ways in which the film normalizes and even celebrates teenage female sexuality: Minnie makes declarations like “I like sex” and thinks about it incessantly, embodying traits which cinema has historically associated with the teenaged male. When she sleeps with a boy from her school, she takes control, showing him how to do it so that she will feel pleasure.

But Diary’s empowerment does not derive solely from Minnie’s agency. It pulls from the moments of shame, disappointment and anger as much as it does from those of pride, satisfaction and joy. Empowerment comes from offering up a realistic portrayal of one young woman’s experience, to which another young woman watching might possibly relate. If you are a young woman whose sexual development has not been a path paved with roses, it is not empowering to watch a fictional tale that consists only of roses. It’s alienating.

It’s tempting to say that Diary is fresh because we are so accustomed to seeing sexual coming of age stories about heterosexual teenaged boys—Porky’s, Losin’ It, Superbad, American Pie—in which boy is subject and girl, consequently, is object. Certainly, the number of male-centric virginity-loss tales far exceeds the number about young women. But the latter do exist.

And they tend to go in one of two directions. There are those that present a young woman’s sexual awakening as a time characterized by danger and darkness. The 2009 British drama Fish Tank, in which a 15-year-old girl has sex with her mother’s boyfriend, could share a log line with Diary. But its protagonist is angry and isolated, and the encounter and its aftermath read more like the world-is-dark-and-cold kind of growing up than the world-is-magical-and-full-of-possibility attitude Minnie feels.

On the opposite end of the tonal spectrum, there are movies that take a more comedic approach to female sexuality. The To-Do List (2013), for one, stars Aubrey Plaza as a clueless high school grad preparing for college by checking sexual exploits off a list she keeps in her Trapper Keeper. They generally go humorously awry, though she picks up a sex-positive attitude along the way. Many that fall in this lighter camp feature a high school peanut gallery passing judgment on the protagonist’s exploits—the so-called slut, the nerdy virgin, the Christian saint a la Mandy Moore in Saved and Amanda Bynes in Easy A.

These movies are valid and important—for some young women, their first sexual encounters are damaging and painful, and for others, they are full of humiliating kerfuffles good for a laugh in later years. But in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Minnie embraces sexual discovery head-on—not for laughs, and not to check it off a list. For her, sex is not the butt of a joke or a summons for danger or a stale right of passage. There is no peanut gallery to contend with, only her own sense of self and the fruits of her exploration, some juicy, some rotten.

And it’s not just teenaged girls who stand to benefit from such a refreshingly honest take on a subject that pertains directly to them. The non-teenaged, non-girl population—those who hold opinions about how teenaged girls should be, who influence access to birth control and sex education curricula, who weigh in on what defines consent and whose stories are believable—might walk away enlightened, as well.

TIME Teenagers

Celebrate Twins Day With Vintage Photos of Identical Twins

Betty and Barbara Bounds were typical American teenagers who just happened to look exactly alike

This weekend, thousands of twins will descend upon the town of Twinsburg, Ohio, for the 40th annual Twins Days, the largest gathering of twins and other multiples in the world. Twins have long been a source of curiosity to non-twins—who wonder what classes they might have gotten away with skipping had they had an identical stand-in—as well as to scientists, who study twins to better understand the genetic versus environmental origins of certain traits.

When LIFE photographed 17-year-old identical twins Betty and Barbara Bounds in 1947, the magazine was more concerned with what the Bounds sisters had to say about the life of the postwar American teenager than that of a twin. Photographer Nina Leen captured the lives of the Bounds’ teenaged cohort in Tulsa, Okla., from their hairstyles (they “wear it shoulder-length”) to their accessories (“combs are often carried in sock”) to their interests (“boys and parties”).

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME Japan

Japan’s Elderly Now Commit More Crime Than Its Teenagers

Over 23,000 seniors have been caught breaking the law this year

For the first time ever, Japan’s senior citizens are responsible for more crime than its teenagers.

More than 23,000 people over the age of 65 faced police action for unlawful activities during the first half of 2015, the BBC reported, citing Japan’s Kyodo news agency. In comparison, the number of criminals aged 14-19 was just under 20,000, a reversal of every year since the East Asian nation began releasing age-related crime data in 1989.

More than a quarter of Japan’s population is now of retirement age, and crime rates among the elderly have reportedly risen by over 10% from last year’s figures despite a reduction in the country’s overall crime rate.

Japan isn’t the only East Asian nation grappling with the sudden rise of geriatric lawbreakers, however, with neighbor South Korea — also home to swelling ranks of senior citizens — seeing a spike of nearly 40% between 2011 and 2013.


TIME portfolio

How a Right-Wing South African Group Incites a New Wave of White Fear

An extreme right-wing group is teaching white teens to eschew South Africa’s vision of a multicultural rainbow nation

When Dylann Storm Roof, the suspect in last week’s mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, told his victims that black people “are raping our women and taking over the country,” he was echoing a belief held by white nationalists worldwide, who feel that their way of life is under threat from people of color, be they in the United States, Europe or South Africa.

Roof is thought to have penned an inchoate manifesto laying out fears of a “white genocide” in the days leading up to the attack. On a Facebook page attributed to him he can be seen stomping on the American flag, and proudly wearing the flags of white-ruled Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa.

In South Africa, the old flag on the jacket of Dylann has created uproar and discussion. A lot of people don’t want South Africa to be linked to what happened in Charleston, and say that even the old flag has nothing to do with hate crimes. Still, South African columnist Max du Preez feels there is a link to be made: “No, apartheid didn’t aim to wipe out black South Africans. But that doesn’t change the fact that apartheid was an extremely violent ideology and state policy. In short: at the heart of apartheid was the belief that a black life was worth less than a white life. Dylann Roof believes that too,” he wrote for the South African website News 24.

It is unlikely that Roof had any direct connection to South Africa, but the ideology of white primacy, and whites under threat that may have inspired his actions on the night of June 17 still exists in a country that only 25 years ago brought an end to the legal separation of blacks from whites. Though rare, there are still white communities in South Africa who believe that separation must be maintained.

Photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien and writer Elles van Gelder followed a group of white South African teens, who attended a camp designed to enforce those beliefs.

After a three-hour drive from Johannesburg the boys, aged between 13 and 19, spill from the bed of a rusty truck, lugging huge bags full of military clothing. “There are old blood stains on my uniform,” one of them says, as he trades his sneakers for army boots. Shouted orders ring out. Groaning, the boys raise 15-foot tent poles among the cow paddies dotting the grassland. The large army tent will be their home for the next nine days. South African teenagers often go to camp during school holidays to learn how to start fires, build huts and identify animal tracks. But this survival camp is different. Here, the focus is on the survival of white South Africans.

The participants are all Afrikaners, descendants of Dutch, German and French colonists. They are also all children of the “born-free” generation, born after 1990 into a multiracial South Africa. “I don’t know what apartheid is,” 13-year-old Jano, the youngest member of the camp, says. “But a long time ago, Nelson Mandela made it so everyone has the same rights.”

Their position as the first generation of whites after apartheid in South Africa makes them an interesting demographic. According to Professor Eliria Bornman at South Africa’s UNISA university many of them feel unsure about their place in their homeland. “They have a strong Afrikaner identity and they are struggling to determine their position in South Africa,” she says. “There’s a great deal of anger, too. They know they’re different from the rest of the population.”

That anger is fueled in part by positive discrimination, which has made it harder for white youth to find jobs and which fans the flames of racism. Many of them feel unwanted. “Anyone [in authority] can take their frustration and channel it in a negative way,” Bornman says.

The boys run from the army tent to the mess hall. Before them, under the glare of fluorescent lighting, stands 57-year-old Franz Jooste. Army decorations gleam on his uniform; Jooste fought in the old apartheid army. “We’re going to make men of you all,” he says in Afrikaans.

Jooste is the head of the Kommandokorps, a little-known but potentially dangerous extreme right-wing group. On its website, the Kommandokorps describes itself as an elite organization, “protecting its own people” in the event of an attack, necessary “because the police and the military cannot provide help quickly enough”. The organization claims to have trained more than 1,500 young white Afrikaners in defence skills since 2000. Jooste, who spreads his message via email and newsletters, says that 40 per cent of boys sign up themselves. The rest are volunteered by their parents.

Kommandokorps feeds on anxiety. Though the national crime rate is dropping, South Africans are increasingly anxious. Every year, 16,000 murders are committed and 200,000 assaults with intent to cause bodily harm. The violence breeds a sense of fear. As a result, farmers organise themselves into countryside militia that patrol at night to ensure their cattle are not stolen, urban residents form neighborhood watches, and every South African (white and black) who can afford it hires a private security company that will send an armed response team to his home when the alarm goes off. All of which provides fertile ground for an organisation such as the Kommandokorps. “We always have to lock our doors at night,” 18-year-old Nicolas says. “This camp will teach me how to protect my father and mother and little brother and sister.” But the group’s leader has a greater objective.

It is 4:30 on the first morning of camp. The boys are sent out on a one-and-a-half mile run in their heavy army boots, down a rocky country road filled with potholes. Sixteen-year-old E. C. is in the middle of the exhausted troop. Though not one of the youngest present, he is one of the smallest, a childlike teenager who is primarily excited at being able to shoot his paintball gun. “I want to be able to defend myself. And I am also doing this for my paintball career,” he says with a smile.

At 18, Riaan is more self-assured. “I want to learn how to camouflage myself in the field,” he says. As we talk about their country, the teenagers say they believe in the idea of South Africa, the “rainbow nation”. “People generally get along pretty well,” Riaan says. “We have to fight racism.” E. C. has two black friends, Thabang and Tshepo. “I don’t like racism,” he says.

Yet some of the older generation’s fears are visible in these boys, even though they were born after the end of apartheid. “I’m terrified to walk past black people,” Jano says. E.C. adds he would never marry a black woman. The boys seem trapped between the ideas their parents have passed on to them and what they learn at their mixed-race schools.

Leader Jooste sits in the mess hall and looks through the glasses on his nose at the following day’s programme. Kitsch paintings of buffalos, elephants and rhinos hang on the wall. The wicker furniture is covered in zebra-print fabric. Jooste is a proud veteran. He fought along South Africa’s borders with Zimbabwe and Mozambique and in Angola in the 1970s and is scarred by what he calls treason. While he was fighting for the white regime, his leaders were making peace with Nelson Mandela. “Aside from the Aborigines in Australia, the African black is the most underdeveloped, barbaric member of the human race on Earth,” he tells the boys during one of his lectures.

Few of South Africa’s 4.6 million whites (in a population of almost 52 million) share Jooste’s desire to return to the past. The majority of whites support the new democratic South Africa. “There are a few right-wing splinter groups, though I think they have no more than a thousand active members,” says Professor Hermann Giliomee, a historian specializing in Afrikaners.

The most prominent is the Afrikaner Weerstandbeweging or AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement), with which Jooste shares certain ideological views, but that organisation has lost momentum since the murder of its leader, Eugène Terre’Blanche in 2010. As the voice of hardcore Afrikaners has become quieter, men like Jooste have become more desperate to preserve, as he sees it, the Afrikaner identity – its culture, language and symbols. That means cultivating a new generation.

Jooste is lecturing in the mess hall. “Who is my enemy in South Africa? Who murders, robs and rapes?” His cadets sit cross-legged on the ground. “Who are these creatures?” he asks. “The blacks.” He goes on to tell the boys that black people have a smaller cerebral cortex than whites, and thus cannot take initiative or govern effectively.

Jooste boasts that it will take him just an hour to change the boys’ minds. “Then they’ll know they aren’t part of the rainbow nation, but part of another nation with an important history.” He picks up the South African flag, which was adopted in 1994, and lays it before the entrance to the mess hall like a doormat. He orders the boys to wipe their filthy army boots on it. They laugh uncertainly, then they do as they are told. Jooste tells them that they should love the old South African flag and the old national anthem.

Indoctrination takes root best in exhausted minds and hungry bodies. Outside, the cadets are made to crawl across the ground, army-style, gripping a wooden beam they call “sweetheart” in their arms, their knuckles bleeding. “Persevere! You’ve got to learn to persevere,” Jooste shouts. The sound of crying rises from the rearmost ranks. Jooste’s assistants, older members of the Kommandokorps, grin as they take photos of the boys with their mobile phones. It feels almost sadistic.

E. C. is struggling. The beam weighs almost a third as much as he does. The nights, too, are hitting him hard. “We sleep on the ground and our sleeping bags get wet. In three nights, I’ve slept six hours. Every day I think about giving up.”

Frans Cronje, director of the Institute for Race Relations, insists that “relations between black and white are civil” in South Africa, but while he dismisses Kommandokorps as a extremist fringe, he believes that the camp nonetheless represents a real concern. Jooste’s message is that conflict between whites and blacks is just around the corner. “I think we’re sitting on a time bomb here in South Africa,” Jooste says. “It’s inevitable that something is going to happen in this country, because there is discord.”

Cronje’s worry is that it only takes one boy to act upon Jooste’s words for there to be a serious incident. “When you convince a child that blacks are the enemy, the danger is that he will act upon it. He gets a gun, climbs onto a bus full of black schoolchildren, and shoots 20 of them dead. That’s a realistic danger. It’s brainwashing, and it’s easy to do.”

At camp, the young faces are increasingly marked by exhaustion as the days pass, yet the boys seem to grow more and more confident. “The training has taught me that you should hate black people,” E. C. says. “They kill everyone who crosses their path. I don’t think I can be friends with Thabang and Tshepo any more.”

Riaan repeats what he has learned in nine days almost word for word. “There’s a war going on between blacks and whites,” he says. “A lot of blood will flow in the future. I definitely feel more like an Afrikaner now. I feel the Afrikaner blood in my veins.”

Jooste maintains that he doesn’t want to force the boys in any particular direction and just wants to teach them how to defend themselves. “All we want to do is channel the feeling they already carry within them. We don’t want them to hate. We just want them to love their own culture, traditions and symbols, and to fight for independence and freedom.” As he prepares to leave camp on the final day, Riaan appears to have absorbed Jooste’s message: “This is my country,” he says. “I will fight for it.”

Ilvy Njiokiktjien is a freelance news and documentary photographer based in The Netherlands.

Elles van Gelder is a Dutch freelance writer based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

With reporting by Aryn Baker, TIME’s Africa correspondent.


Here’s Why the Summer Job is Disappearing

PeopleImages.com—Getty Images

Teens today are half as likely to have summer gigs compared to the 1970s.

A new Pew report finds that employment for 16 to 19-year-olds has been on a steady decline over the last couple of decades, with fewer than a third of teenagers working a summer job last year.

Between 1950 and 1990, employment of U.S. teens generally rose and fell with the economy. But ever since the recession in 1991, young people have had a harder and harder time getting jobs—even during periods of recovery.

Last summer, less than 32% of teens were employed between June and August, compared to 58% in 1978. The current rate is barely higher than the all-time low of about 30% in 2010 and 2011.

fewer teens have summer jobs

One reason for this steady drop in employment, the Pew report suggests, is a declining number of entry-level jobs, as well as an increase in pressure on young people to take unpaid internships rather than waitressing or lifeguarding gigs. Many of these problems aren’t limited to Americans, as younger workers across the world are facing much tougher labor markets than in years past.

Pew researchers also found that teen employment differed across racial groups. White teenagers in the U.S. were more likely to work summer jobs last year, with employment at 34% for white 16 to 19-year-olds—versus 19% for black teens, 23% for Asian teens, and 25% for Hispanic teens.

White Teens Most Likely to be Employed, Especially During the Summer

Read next: These 5 Industries Are Hiring Like Crazy Right Now

TIME Teenagers

How the Class of 1958 Celebrated ‘Gay Schooltime Memories’

LIFE commemorated the glory days with a group of high school seniors

The haircuts are different and the hemlines are shorter, but the 1958 graduating class at Long Island’s Hempstead High was as ready for a taste of freedom as today’s outgoing high school seniors are. To commemorate graduation season that year, LIFE’s Gordon Parks photographed the students for a mini-yearbook the magazine ran in that year’s June 23 issue.

LIFE’s yearbook assigned senior superlatives, such as most popular girl (Jeanette Duggan), most talkative girl (Judy Krug) and best student (Jimmy Edwards). It recognized the students’ favorite teachers, like foreign language teacher Helen Ignelzi (“a fanatic on irregular verbs!”) and English teacher Mary Church (“she did a mean Charleston, but she really dug the cha-cha-cha”). And it recounted the students’ fondest memories of their final year in high school, “like the time Mr. Zara came to school in a red nightgown.”

Despite LIFE’s yearbook’s similarities to the ones hot off the presses this year, perhaps the most striking difference between those students and today’s is one that’s not visible in the photographs: their future plans. In 1960, just a couple of years later, fewer than half of high school graduates enrolled in college. Nearly 50 years later, the number is approaching 70%.

June 23, 1958 cover of LIFE magazine.
Gordon Parks—LIFE Magazine

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME Research

U.S. Teen Trends In Sex, Bullying, Booze and More

Teenager Smoking Cigarette Boys
Getty Images

Good news: Today's teens experience notably low rates of bullying, drinking, pregnancy and unprotected sex

The latest statistics on teenagers paint a rosy portrait of American teens. They’re drinking, smoking and bullying less than they used to, and fewer are getting pregnant.

“Adolescence is an inherently risky time,” says Dr. Stephanie Zaza, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) division of adolescent and school health. “They are stretching their wings. We can’t eliminate all risk, but we are seeing overall good trends in all areas.”

Here’s a snapshot on teen behavior, based on recent reports:


Recent data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics showed bullying at school was on the decline. Bullying among kids ages 12 to 18 dropped to 22% in 2013. The rate is lower than the 28-32% that was reported in all other survey years since 2005. Even cyberbullying—the use of electronic services to harass someone—has dropped. Only 6.9% of students reported being cyberbullied in 2013 compared to 9% in 2011.

Zaza adds that bullying has often targeted LGBTQ youth, and with increasing acceptance and major policy changes regarding same-sex marriage in the news, social norms regarding sexuality may be changing too, and that may contribute to less fighting.


Teens are smoking less, too. In the last CDC National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which analyzes health risk behaviors among high school students, revealed that the high school smoking rate had dropped to 15.7%, the lowest recorded level since the survey started in 1991. It meant that the CDC had met its goal of lowering the adolescent smoking rate to under 16% by 2020, several years early.

Zaza says what’s responsible is a combination of widespread public health initiatives and changing social norms. “When you look at excise taxes, smoking bans, quit lines, campaigns and innovations in therapies, you see this amazing trend in adult and youth tobacco use,” says Zaza. “With all of those changes came a really big change in the social norms around smoking.”

Still, data from the CDC suggests that while high schools are smoking fewer cigarettes, e-cigarette use tripled among middle and high schoolers in just one year.


The number of students who drink alcohol also dropped. Though it was still high at 35%, teens reported less physical fighting in school, and most students who were sexually active used condoms.

Sex and Babies

National teen pregnancy rates are also at a record low, with recent data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) showing a continuous drop over the last 20 years, with a 10% decline just between 2012 and 2013. It’s unclear what is driving the decrease, but it appears teenagers are less sexually active than they have been in the past, and teens that are sexually active report using some form of birth control.

“There’s no doubt birth control and sex education are the most important factors in reducing unintended teen pregnancy,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood said in an email. “Teens are increasingly using IUDs and implants, which are the most reliable methods of birth control.”

America’s teen pregnancy rate is at a record low, but it’s still higher than many developing countries.

Texting While Driving etc.

Zaza says she’s worried about the number of teens who text and drive—41%—as well as the nearly 18% of teens who report using prescription drugs without a prescription.

“I worry about these numbers,” says Zaza, adding that there’s still room for improvement.


Skidding Kids Learn Safe Driving at BMW’s School for Teens

A two-day course at BMW's U.S. headquarters teaches both safety and fun. A free, trimmed down version is coming to a city near you.

BMW, which bills its brand as “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” is trying to improve the skills of teenagers who may be driving its cars.

The German manufacturer is taking its teen driving school on the road this year, offering a free, two-hour classes in Miami, Washington, DC, Seattle, and other major cities. Go to ude.bmwusa.com for reservations and details about the classes — which are offered alongside free and paid BMW-centric programs for adults.

The traveling class is an abbreviated version of a two-day driving school that BMW offers at its U.S. headquarters in Spartanburg, S.C., and near Palm Springs, Calif. To get a first-hand look at the two-day class, I accepted an invitation to attend the Teen Driving Program in Spartanburg. I brought along the most recently licensed teen I know, my stepson-to-be, Gavin.

The $1,295 course started off with a classroom session led by chief instructor Derek Leonard. After a quick meet-and-greet, Leonard stated his goals: Safety, fun, excitement, and education — and likely not in that order.

He then jumped right into specifics, such as the importance of keeping your eyes up and looking where you want to go — not at what you want to avoid! Make sure your seating position is upright and closer to the steering wheel than you think you should be. Hands should always be at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock. And adjust your side mirrors. Eighty percent of drivers mis-adjust their side mirrors and cause overlapping fields of vision, said Leonard.

By mid-morning, Gavin and the other 13 teens were put into teams and led outside to a flock of awaiting M235i’s. As one group learned the quick way about oversteering and understeering on a wet skid pad, the other group practiced lane changes and ABS braking at increasing speeds. By afternoon, the students were competing for points on a challenge course.

Day Two turned the heat up even more with double lane-change exercises, high-speed braking, more skid pad laps, and, finally, what BMW calls a “performance drive.” Teens took turns doing laps on a small road course in several different BMWs, including a Z4 convertible (very popular), a 5 Series sedan, and an X3. By then, there was a clear air of confidence about all the students.

In the end, 14 new drivers had improved road and car control skills — and presumably a greater attachment to BMWs.

Luckily, BMW runs concurrent adult driving schools, so I didn’t just have to observe. Why should the teens have all the fun?

TIME celebrities

Justin Bieber Crashed a High School Prom This Weekend

You better Belieb it

Justin Bieber crashed a Southern California high school’s prom on Saturday night.

According to Hollywood Life, Bieber was on the way to a recording studio that was at the same location as Chatsworth Charter High School’s prom. In an apparently impulsive decision, the pop star decided to show his face — and chaos ensued.

One girl was even lucky enough to get a (extremely short) dance with music idol.

Let’s hope the DJ was wise enough to play “Baby” immediately afterward.

TIME viral

Teens Are Doing the #KylieJennerChallenge and It Must Stop

Watch This Prominent German Literary Critic Scrutinize Ikea’s CatalogueWatch a Baby Cry Every Time His Parents Reach the Last Page of a BookPregnant Tourist Posts Video To Find Holiday-Fling Father of Her Child

While Kylie Jenner has asserted that her apparently enhanced lips are natural, teenagers have taken to harming theirs to duplicate the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star’s puffy-pouty look.

If you put your the lips into a small glass container like a shot glass and suck as hard as possible, you can get them to briefly swell in a way that looks like you’ve just had a cosmetic injection. But the results of this do-it-yourself method can also be disastrous, with lips heavily bruised and even tearing.

Many people posted pictures and videos of their own debacles under the hashtag #KylieJennerChallenge, which took off Sunday evening. Some are very graphic, but these are typical examples of the distressing look the challenge can cause:

The trend even crossed gender lines.

After a pair of sisters in Iceland used the technique last month, cosmetic surgeon Pordiis Kjartansdottir told the U.K.’s Metro, “The lips turn blue because blood fills up and they could easily become infected and lose all sensation. It is a really dangerous stunt and I’d advise strongly against anybody trying it.”

Read next: The Kardashians Will Not Stop Until Every Family Member Has a Game

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