ABC Family Renames Itself "Freeform;" Is Basically Every Emo Teen

You know that time in your life when you're still not quite certain who you are? You're trying to solidify your identity, and you're railing against authority, your parents, and the other external forces trying to place names, labels, and judgments upon you. Maybe you decide the moniker you were given at birth doesn't quite fit you. Suddenly, "Lauren" is so lame. There are four other people with that name in your grade alone! It's so not you. From now on, everyone should call you Hexagon. Yeah, that's right. Hex. What's that time called again? Oh right, being a teenager.

That's basically what's happening to the television network currently known as ABC Family.

Today, ABC Family announced that as of January, it will no longer be going by that name. It's new name is "Freeform." That's right, Freeform. In addition to rebranding itself, ABC Family has also rebranded its target audience. It used to strive to reach millennials. However, the network notes in a press release, millennials are a specific generation that will grow old, and the term will one day be retired along with said generation. Freeform will instead cater to what it calls "becomers," "a life stage that spans people who are 14-34."

Becomers are as amorphous and fluid as the name Freeform implies. I'm basically picturing Salvador Dali's "Persistence of Memory" right now, but with Pretty Little Liars characters. "They explore endless possibilities and their passions take shape," the press release continues. "Freeform personifies this fluidity and will deliver ideas, forms of content, and ways of interacting with the brand."

Basically, I would pay a zillion dollars to have been a fly on the wall in the months of meetings between marketers, consultants, youth-culture experts, and trend-spotters who were tasked with coming up with the name and concept behind Freeform, and designating a new, fluid demographic called becomers. Here are the words and images I imagine they kept pinned to their inspiration wall (for those of you becomers, that's like Pinterest, IRL) during the months of deliberation:
Photo: Mathieu Young/ABC Family.
socially conscious

You get the gist. Basically, the network execs at ABC Family were all, "Please stop associating us with the days when we aired The 700 Club, and what does ABC Family even mean? That we're like ABC but for families? No way. We have Pretty Little Liars and a show called Baby Daddy. Young & Hungry makes a blow-job joke a minute. We gotta ditch this family shit, ASAP. We've been edging it up on the reg for years now."

Oh, and in case it's not clear, I'm fully on board with this change, because if it means more shows like The Fosters (love you, Stef and Lena), bring it. I kid because I love, ABC Family Freeform. We've all gone through identity crises. I'm here if you need to talk through this awkward, emo-teen stage of yours.

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