I've talked about body language a lot on this little bloggy, and it came up yesterday in a non-writing conversation. My friend and I were talking about teenage boys (no need to call the cops; it was an innocent conversation) and the propensity of them that slunch. Why yes, we did coin a new term.
slunch, verb: to assume a slouching, slumping, hunched position when walking or sitting.
My friend and I were having a difficulty understanding the slunch. Is it the result of the too-tight girl pants or the too-big baggy pants? Is it an effort to disguise body odor or a bad complexion?
Whatever the cause, we've determined the slunch is a direct result to poor self-esteem or self-confidence issues. You see this reflected from time-to-time in YA literature -- like Rhiannon in EVERYDAY by David Levithan is the master of the slunch when her no-good boyfriend Justin is around.
Slunching is more common in teens than adults (and when adults slunch it's super sad), but it's just one of many bits of body language that share a message about a person or character with out a lot of purple prose. (Okay, okay!! You don't have to use the word slunch. Slump or hunch work fine too. Slunch is just more expressive).
There is actually a LOT of teen-centric body language that changes as we mature. Girls lose that bouncy walk (probably because more body parts jiggle). Teens and New Adults are more likely to stand with their hips forward in conversations than their adult counterparts. Teens also fail at eye contact, especially when speaking to superiors or when they feel inferior.
I'm sure there are a hundred other little things that differentiate between teen and adult body language. If you can think of something else, please post it in the comments.
Until we make a list of teen tendencies, check out this nifty little graphic from Online Universities. I think a lot of the dont's are things that teens tend to do a LOT.
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