11 People On How "Skins" Helped Them Whilst They Were Growing Up
Today is 10 years since Skins debuted on E4.
1. "It taught me to accept that I’d done wrong, but it’s time to move on."
"When I was 16 and living the life of, well, the Skins gang: I was out drinking, discovering drugs, experimenting with my sexuality, running from the police, experiencing mental health issues and generally buckling under peer pressure. So I never actually watched the show when it first aired.
In 2016, just before I turned 25, my long-term relationship of five years ended, I found myself completely lost and wondered who I was. I involuntarily focused on all the things I did during my Skins-like teenage life. It made me ashamed and guilty of all the ridiculous things I did, the people I hurt, and who I could have become if I hadn’t have acted in such a dickhead-ish way.
Enter Skins. Yes, I did stupid things, that had quite often put me in danger, but this show made me realise that I shouldn’t regret those things. It taught me to accept that I’d done wrong, but it’s time to move on. It also made me remember all the good fucking times, and how much I laughed as a teenager.
Young adulthood is nothing, yet everything. In the big picture, it doesn’t matter if you’re the dogs bollocks at sixth form…life continues afterwards.
Skins made me happy that I was happy all along."
2. "It taught me that it was okay to not have everything in my life figured out."
"Skins gave me light on so many new perspectives. It taught me that it was okay to not have everything in my life figured out, and most importantly, it taught me to remove myself from toxic friends.
There were many episodes where I said to myself “My friends would never do something like that for me” or “I wish my friends would understand me”.
Now, at 18, I am living my own life and I’ve found my way. I have two close friends who I know would do anything for me."
3. "Despite a lot of the toxicity especially with the first group of them all, I really admired their friendships."
"Honestly, Skins just made me wish a lot of the times that I had experienced that kind of teenage lifestyle. It made me think that I was missing out on wild parties and such in high school.
But if anything, despite a lot of the toxicity especially with the first group of them all, I really admired their friendships. I had wished that I had friends that I was close to like that."
4. "I think it’s great escapism but it also helps me reflect on my own life."
"I totally related to Effy because I suffered with depression and I have high functioning anxiety.
Although it can sometimes be blown a little out of proportion, I see a lot of myself in a few of the characters because I’ve had a lot of messed up stuff happen to me. I think it’s great escapism but it also helps me reflect on my own life.
It's almost like therapy when I feel I have no one to turn to."
5. "Cassie, Effy, Chris - they were sort of desirable and relatable, but also raw and honest and brutal."
"I watched it a few times throughout the course of having and recovering from an eating disorder, so Cassie was a character I focused on a lot. I loved and hated her because she was often so romanticised but the show actually did a pretty good job of showing how much pain she was in.
I think overall Skins flirted with the fragility of their characters’ mental states a lot, and that was part of what made it so captivating. Characters like Cassie, Effy, Chris— they were sort of desirable and relatable, but also raw and honest and brutal. And as a teenager watching it, you could really see yourself in some of the characters and for me at least, that meant seeing both the beauty and the dark potential of my own issues.
So in that way I think it actually helped me deal with it."
6. "It definitely shows the truth about the under-appreciated and underestimated teenagers in this country."
"Speaking as a teenager right now, I recently watched every series of Skins and absolutely loved it! It inspired me to come out of my safe comfort zone and start taking risks.
Even if the show itself is slightly pretentious, it definitely shows the truth about the under-appreciated and underestimated teenagers in this country."
- Gregor, by email.
7. "Emily and Naomi were the first perfect, problematic lesbian couple..."
"Emily and Naomi were the first perfect, problematic lesbian couple that didn't end up straight or bisexual or some sort of softened lesbian version for TV purposes."
- Casey, Facebook
8. "It wasn’t until I was about 14 that I realised why that relationship meant so much to me, as I realised I was bisexual."
"I started watching this show with my sister when I was far too young to understand it.
I was eight and nine when I watched the third series. The thing that always stuck out to me was Emily and Naomi. I don’t think I’d ever seen gay people before in my life, especially not two girls.
That scene where Emily brings Naomi to the lake really stuck with me and I always thought their relationship was so beautiful. It wasn’t until I was about 14 that I realised why that relationship meant so much to me, as I realised I was bisexual.
Watching Emily and Naomi get together will always be especially significant and terribly nostalgic to me.
Oh and the music and clothes are so 2009. It’s like a time capsule."
9. "Now to this day, I'm still hella gay."
"Skins opened my eyes to my own sexuality. Seeing Naomi and Emily making out all cute blew my tiny mind. Now to this day, I’m still hella gay."
10. "Effy’s character made me acknowledge my mental health issues."
"Effy’s character made me acknowledge my mental health issues. She remained throughout my teen years and still to this day someone I could relate to, when I couldn’t relate to anyone else."
11. And finally...
"It made me realise how much fun it is saying ‘I bought a fucking gateau’ exactly the same as Jack O’Connell in my born and bred Derby accent."