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Youth in Milan

© Lauren Greenfield

The privileged youth of Milan look and act remarkably and shockingly like "fast-forward" American youth. 14-year olds dress seductively, stay out all night in discos, dress like hip-hop gangsters from the American inner city, and act out their sexuality with confidence and exhibitionism.
Their affluent parents practice a laissez-faire philosophy with their children that seems antithetical to traditional Italian family values. Although the family meal has been a sacred ritual in Italian life, these kids often eat out with their friends in bars and restaurants. The girls devote themselves to fashion with religious fervor. The thong is the staple of every outfit, hiked high and colorfully above low-riding jeans with provocative panache.

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