Ypulse Interviews Hollywood Screenwriter, Kirsten Smith

Ypulse had the pleasure of sitting down with Hollywood screenwriter and American novelist, Kirsten Smith; responsible for teen hit sensations like 10 Things I Hate About You and Legally Blonde. Her new book, Trinkets, a tale of three teenage girl shoplifters, is a gritty, dark comedy that takes place in a rich suburb outside of Portland. We had the chance to talk to her about her new book, the politics of making a teenage girl movie (in comparison to a teenage boy movie), the trends of the modern day female, and the cultural shifts of the teenage girl spanning the past two decades. 

YPulse: Trinkets has so far had a great response. Famous blogger Tavi Gevinson said she even wants to devote a “shrine to it”. How was writing it and how are you feeling about the launch?

Kirsten Smith: I’m really excited about it and I am huge fan of Tavi’s. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and I know that sounds crazy because she’s 16, but it’s true. 

KS: It was a long journey to write the book because I was in the midst of getting a bunch of screenplays out so it feels amazing to finally get it out there. 

YP: How long did it take you?

KS: 6 years! 

YP: Wow. Did you find yourself fighting with maintaining relevant subject matter? So much has changed in such a short period of time, primarily technology. 

KS: Yes! Well, my friend and former assistant, Hope Leon always jokes that when I started the book, cellphones were the size of a giant purse. It feels true in a way because when I started writing it iPhones or Andriods didn’t even exist. Another way I went around that was that I chose not to focus on the technology aspect. You’ll notice it’s not very tech specific, it’s a little more classic in the way that the characters are operating. 

YP: It’s funny…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Snapchat, because it offers quick messaging with a time limit that ensures privacy while being highly entertaining.”—Female, 20, FL 

If you want to know what teens are doing online, don’t ask their parents. A survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60% of 13-17-year-olds have a secret online account they say their parents know nothing about, while only 27% of parents suspect their kids have one. This statistic will likely worry parents who are increasingly monitoring online behavior. About 67% of parents say they have a rule in place for kids to be open with them about any “sort of uncomfortable or scary incidents that occur online,” however only 32% of teens surveyed say that such a rule exists in their household. (CNET)

Millennials around the are not only passionate about global issues, but ready to take them on. A World Economic Forum survey found that seven in ten 18-35-year-olds see abundant opportunities for themselves and their peers to tackle global issues, and half believe they have decision making power in their home countries. When the WEF asked about the three most serious issues affecting the world today, Millennials had the same response as the year before: religious conflicts came in third with 33.8% of responses, large scale conflict and wars came in second with 38.5% of responses, and climate change and destruction of natural resources was the top response with 45.2% of respondents. (Business Insider)

Outlet malls are thriving, and it’s all thanks to men and thrifty Millennials. According to Cowen & Co.’s latest Consumer Tracker Survey, outlet visitation by 18-34-year-old men reached a new peak of 44% in July, most likely due to male preference for brand stores over department retailers. Overall Millennial visitation is also up: on average, 31% of 18-34-year-old women and 35% of 18-34-year-old men say they visited an outlet mall every month between December 2012 and July 2016. An analyst of NPD Group attributes the trend to frugal Millennials who would rather save their cash for experiences. (MarketWatch

Teenage girls with depression or anxiety “are less alone than ever.” The Department of Education has revealed that these mental illnesses are a slowly growing epidemic among teen girls in England: about one third report having depression or anxiety, a 10% increase over the last decade. Social media pressure, bullying, and unrealistic body expectations are all cited as factors, which have especially effected young girls all over the world. In America, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that teen girls are three times more likely to be depressed than their male counterparts. (Teen Vogue)

Instagram has made connecting with consumers even easier for brands. The platform’s new “contact” button allows users to call, text, or email brands through their profiles. According to a social media specialist, “social…is a brand’s first line of defense—both for reputation management and customer service,” and the new button eliminates the hassle of having to respond to each individual comment. Brands like Nordstrom, Delta, and Denny’s are already utilizing the new feature. (Digiday

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Pokémon Go, because it's kinda a big deal for those of us who've been dreaming about it for over a decade.”—Female, 21, NJ 

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