A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this online community is based on MTV's My Super Sweet 16, the TV show that follows spoiled teenagers as they plan lavish parties for their sweet 16s, quinceañeras, and other milestone birthdays. While there are some down-to-earth teens on the site, most of the content detailing these girls' special parties is shallow and materialistic, and fuels the need for them to be the center of attention. A few profiles feature words like "bitches" and "s--t". And, although the site says that users need to be 14 or older, there are some party pages belonging to girls younger than that.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
MTV's My Super Sweet 16 has spawned. There's a straight-to-DVD-movie, and because not everyone's party can be on TV, there's the online community of http://www.mtv.com/shows/sweet_16/series.jhtml. Teens create their own party pages with details about invitations, outfits, and gifts; post photos and video; and blog about their special day. Other users can cast votes for one of the parties to be featured on the site's homepage, or the TV show itself.
Is it any good?
MySuperSweet16.com has its share of pampered princesses, and you don't have to dig too deep into the site to find diamond-encrusted iPod invitations, luxury cars as gifts, cakes with price tags equivalent to a mortgage payment, and absurdly grand entrances. Some party pages talk about events taking place a few years into the future (2010?), which makes you wonder whether the proposed parties are real, or a tween fantasy that stands little chance of coming to fruition. And according to the site, a girl turning 16 in 2010 isn't even supposed to be on the site. Nor is the 13 year old who had her birthday at a nightclub.
Because of the site's community nature, you might actually get a glimpse of a more humble and grateful (gasp!) side of the milestone teenage birthday. One girl talks about keeping her party simple because her family isn't loaded; another one can't wait to try out the new tennis racket she received as a gift. Is this enough to cancel out the obnoxious, vapid utterings of most of the teens on the site? Ultimately no. Your kids are better off having no part of this.
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