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In an age of ubiquitous therapy speak, we don’t need to remind you that so much of our daily discomfort is rooted in scripts we developed during childhood. Although scripts can be unlearned and are in a state of constant revision, it can feel virtually impossible to escape them.


As the submissions for this issue entered our inbox, a handful of themes kept popping up: from embarrassing ‘firsts’ we might try to correct today (55 - 57 & 121 - 124), the phases we morphed into and out of that shaped our identity (43 - 45) – or perhaps even found ourselves in (25 - 36) – to the influences of music (19 - 21 & 159 - 164), films (99 - 103), and trends (83 - 87 & 94 - 98) that were so essential to our coming of age. 


But ‘youth’ today seems much less bound to a defined age range or phase – returning contributor Daisy Whalley questions whether ‘coming of age’ actually has an expiry date by looking at its namesake cinematic genre (111 - 114), while Cringe’s own Georjia looks into the phenomenon of so-called “full-time children” (155 - 157) and the reasons behind a prolonged sense of youth today, which stifle traditional transitions into young adulthood.


‘Youth’ is something you carry with you at all times, and while its markers may disappear over time, we find ourselves returning to it through nostalgia and the lessons we recount in an attempt to become better people. 


As you reflect on our contributors’ interpretations of this issue’s theme, we hope you confront your own versions of youth – be they marked by joy, pain, embarrassment or all of the above – and that you can invite whoever this person may have been into the present without judgement or shame, but with curiosity, understanding, and the courage to accept them as an inevitable part of who you are.


As always, don’t forget to #StayCringeBeHumble,


Annika Loebig 



  • Seventh issue of Cringe Magazine, YOUTH 2024

    A5 Print Magazine, produced with Mixam

    NOTE: If you're unable to purchase a copy due to the Russia-Ukraine war, please email and we'll send you a free PDF of Violetta's essay "Embracing Authenticity as a Kalmyk-Oirad Woman". 

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