简体 | 繁體
移动应用 • Apps | 订阅新闻电邮

风尚

为什么少女都爱翻白眼(英文)

Getty Images

摘要:翻白眼是个再普遍不过的动作,但青春期的少女似乎特别热衷于将它作为一种交流方式。很多成年人在面对少女的白眼时会感到被冒犯,有些时候白眼的确传达了恶意,但大部分情况下并非如此。了解白眼背后的含义,会帮助成年人更好地理解青春期的孩子们。

Many people can roll their eyes, but adolescent girls have practically monopolized the ocular gesture as a form of communication. Adults on the receiving end of an eye roll are often offended, and sometimes that’s just what the girl had in mind. But frequently, it’s not. Eye-rolling serves a variety of purposes, and the meanings behind the mannerism tell us a lot about what it’s like to be a teenager.

Adolescents usually hate being told what to do, and will reflexively resist even suggestions with which they agree. Imagine a girl who is planning to put on her warmest coat when her well-meaning mother urges her to bundle up. If the teenager is developing normally, not a cell in her body is inclined to respond with a sincere, “Great idea, Mom! I was just thinking the same thing.” (And her mom might be stunned, or at least wonder what her daughter was up to, if she did.) But the girl still wants to be warm. Enter the eye roll! One spin around the socket while donning the coat and the girl advertises her resistance while doing as she intended all along.

Given that the drive for autonomy is a central force during adolescence, taking orders can be especially annoying for teenagers. So how should a girl respond when her parents say she can’t go out for the evening until she unloads the dishwasher? She may see no point in fighting back, but still feel compelled to broadcast her objection. Again, ophthalmic calisthenics offer a useful solution. By rolling her eyes while putting away the plates, the girl establishes that she’s an independent state electing to yield, for now, to the regional power.

At other times, girls roll their eyes when adults poke at a sore spot. A teenager hurting over a fight with a friend might shoot a skyward look when a parent asks gently, “How’s Julia? She hasn’t come over for a while?” What seems to be a rude brush-off might actually be the girl’s valiant attempt to hold herself together. Teens can be easily overwhelmed by their own feelings, and they’re often ambivalent about leaning on parents for support. A girl might decide that irritating her dad with an eye roll beats dissolving into tears in his presence.

Girls also use eye-rolling to communicate that an adult has crossed a line. If parents hold irrational expectations, make arbitrary rules, or recruit shame when ordinary anger would do, girls sometimes stick up for themselves by rolling their eyes. Teens who appear to be disrespectful rarely spur adults toward self-reflection, but eye-rolling may be the best defense a teenager can muster in a heated moment. When girls in my practice tell me about their fights at home, I’m often moved by how carefully they weigh the decision to sacrifice something in their relationship with their parent so as not to sacrifice something in themselves.

Of course, girls occasionally use eye-rolling as an immature act of aggression. They attack one another and adults with the dismissive, demeaning gesture and can provoke reasonable people into retaliatory responses. When eye-rolling is clearly meant as an insult, parents can try to raise the relational bar by saying, “That’s rude. I’m trusting you’ll soon find a more mature way to let me know what you’re thinking,” or something along those lines. But more often than not, teenage eye-rolling serves as an efficient solution to the typical challenges posed by adolescence. And it presents adults with a choice: We can take the behavior personally, or we can try to see things from their perspective.

纽约时报中文网邀你试译这篇文章。译作请发给[email protected]。点击这里查看“常见问题解答”。

本文内容版权归纽约时报公司所有,任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。
点击下载iOS APP 扫描二维码下载iOS APP 点击下载Android APP 扫描二维码下载Android APP 点击下载Android APK 扫描二维码下载Android APK