Addicted to novelty since 2001

Our New Obsession with Attractive, Lost Teens

Ever since that bride ran away, the US seems to have become obsessed with lost young people. There’s a great rant on Kuro5hin entitled Fuck Natalee Holloway, which discusses the utter lack of perspective this obsession engenders:

This brings us to the case of Reyna Gabriella Alvarado-Carerra. Have you ever heard of her?

I certainly hadn’t until I started doing research for this story. Reyna is a 13 year-old Hispanic girl who is believed to have been abducted by a stranger in Norcross, Georgia. She was abducted just a few weeks before Holloway. A Google search on her name yields a grand total of 6 results.

The same search for “Natalee Holloway” turns up 276,000 results.

If I knew more about sociology or psychology, maybe I could construct a premise that America’s search is, in fact, metaphorical. Maybe they’re out there looking for their innocence.

4 Responses to “Our New Obsession with Attractive, Lost Teens”

  1. -j.

    The material in the rant is virtually identical to an article I read a few years ago (I can’t remember where, sorry) about Corie Williams, who was killed the same night in the same city as Ennis Cosby. Our obsessions with race and celebrity are nothing new under the sun.

  2. Chris

    Yeah, the difference in coverage between missing white girls and everyone else is pretty noticable. It’s a bit easier if you don’t watch any American news – I didn’t see Natalee Holloway very much on local news.

    “This just in – another pretty white girl has gone missing! Stop the presses!

  3. Olaf Gradin

    I’ve certainly heard my share about her. Of course – I work in Norcross, GA. I also live in the Run-Away Bride’s hometown in Gainesville, GA; we went to the same high school. Coincidence? Probably. At an rate, I recently commented on a similar story (similar in the lack of attention). It was an animal rape (and eventual) death charge, and – as a side note – two young girls in the neighborhood were also molested by the same guy. Now back to this poor dead dog and her owner.

  4. Jon

    I think these started with California’s Amber Alerts? People would drive along the interstate and see these things on electronic billboards, so the stories couldn’t help being news. Then when news orgs began looking at the ratings, they began to do more.

    I think they have the newsroom appeal of playing on people’s sentiments and also being cheap to do. High ratings without much use of newsroom resources– unlike, say, the intricacies of climate change.

    But I think there’s something to your assessment that the popular interest is a sign of something larger, and sublimation of lost innocence is as good an explanation as any I’ve heard.

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