By the time you've finished reading this, you'll want to go out and hug a hoodie. Not with some awkward, token, Conservative Party sort of clasp; but a real big, spontaneous, squeeze-him-till-his-spots-pop kind of embrace.Because, after you've taken in what's coming, you'll appreciate – perhaps for the first time – the upside of pasty-faced, feral youths who hang around the underpass with nothing but a pair of branded trainers and their own wits to live on. For the alternative, a prime specimen of which was revealed to us last week, is that truly awful creature, The Spoilt Teenager.
The latest is called Jordan Smith. He lives in Wales, and his mother spent £52,100 on him in the past year. He has two cars (one with a personalised number plate, both of which he's too young to drive), £5,000 jetski, £1,200 motorbike, £1,500 moped, fleet of quad bikes; suite of computer game consoles, three laptops, 40in plasma TV, and diamond earring. But, most of all, he has a mother who just can't stop showing how much she loves him. Take birthday parties. For his 15th, she flew him and his friends first class to Holland; and, for his 16th, she laid on a extravaganza that saw her lad arrive at a country mansion by helicopter, escorted by two models down a red carpet as guests chanted his name, and so into a replica of an Ibiza nightclub, complete with a dancing troupe and music by a radio DJ.
This doting parent is Suzanne Dickenson, 38, a self-made businesswoman married to Jordan's stepfather, seven years her junior. Some weeks, apparently, she spends £1,500 on designer clothes for her son. Jordan realises this can't always be the case. "If she can't afford it one month," he says, "I say, 'Don't worry, you can buy it next month.'" At the top of its report, the Daily Mail asks: "Is this Britain's Most Spoilt Teenager?" And the answer, I'm afraid, is not by a long chalk.
There is, for instance, Anysha Panesar, whose parents own a motor insurance business in South Wales. She has a horse that cost £20,000, an £800 miniature dachshund from Harrods, and, for her 15th birthday, a £1,500 Swarovski crystal encrusted mobile, £2,400 Gucci handbag, and a Golf GTi. Her party was a £26,000 Moulin Rouge-themed occasion at which Anysha wore costumes that had to be flown in from Florida.
Indeed, sourcing a party frock for your little girl can be a real bugger. Earlier this year, Scarlett Leslie, at 13 a seasoned designer clothes hunter, told the News of the World of her frustrating time finding the right dress. "Mummy and I flew to Capri to look for my party dress, but I just couldn't find anything I liked." And then there's Lauren Morris from Essex, who arrived for her 16th birthday party at the Savoy in an Aston Martin convertible, accompanied by three George Clooney lookalikes, and wearing a £3,000 pink dress, plus two of her presents – a £28,000 diamond watch and £1,000 pink sapphire ring. So she could deliver invitations to her friends, Lauren's father hired a helicopter.
Real excess, however, is found across the Atlantic, with teens like Kat, from Palm Springs, whose father hired a liner for her party and gave her a Porsche; Ava, from Beverly Hills, who turned her nose up at the SUV that her father proposed for her birthday; Lacey Myers from Ohio, whose 16th birthday party had 300 guests, tigers, elephants, Ferris wheel, (top present was a silver Range Rover from dad); and Sierra, the 15-year-old daughter of rapper Cee-Lo, who hired models to deliver invites to her party with the words: "No gift? No party." Give me hoodies, any day.