Was just browsing through the photography section of the library stacks and saw a book called Teenage by Joseph Szabo, with an intro by Cameron Crowe (the writer of Fast Times at Ridgemont High). You'll have to find it at a library, too, since it was released in such small numbers.
Luckily Szabo has a website where he's put up a selection of teenage life during the '70s and '80s around Long Island, New York. See here, here, and here.
You don't see pictures like that from when the Silent Gen were teenagers in the mid-century, and you don't see them for Millennials either. Even Gen Y has pretty lame pictures from their teenage years -- the mid-'90s to early 2000s. I must emphasize this because so many people look at these as shots of a constant presence in the world called "teenage life." But they capture a very specific moment in the oscillating zeitgeist.
Perhaps the most succinct way to describe the differences between the '70s / '80s atmosphere and the mid-century before and Millennial age after is wild vs. tame, or animalic vs. machine-like. The teenagers in Szabo's pictures don't look like they've been programmed by engineers or trained by a team of handlers.
No entirely blank faces, nor caricatured kabuki masks to emotionally distance themselves from the viewer, whether by under-stimulation or over-stimulation. It's just the right level to engage a fellow human being. Even the goofballs aren't distorting their faces that much. They're all animated around their friends and peers, unlike today's and the mid-century's teenagers who sat still and showed little excitement in the physical presence of their friends.
But if they were looking at the photographer / viewer as outsider, they have this look like a feral animal has toward anyone who tries to approach it. Everybody looks streetwise. Slightly, not comically narrowed eyes, direct stare, inner eyebrows slightly raised in suspicion, corners of the mouth in a slight frown.
And look at how touchy-feely they were -- especially the girls. I sure was born about 10 or 20 years too late. It's not all exaggerated and hammed up purely for the camera or to whore for attention from the onlookers (that's more '90s and 21st century). It's more like the creatures you'd see in a nature documentary, entirely lacking in self-awareness and just going for it.
The strangest feeling you get looking at old (but not too old) pictures of teenagers is how mature their facial expressions are, yet how adolescent their bodies look. Some dude with hardly any hair on his chest has a genuine thousand-yard stare, and some babe with tight, glowing skin on her legs has a pensive mid-life-crisis look on her face. Teenage body and grown-up behavior -- that heady combination must have made heads spin among the older generations. (Though maybe it looked familiar to the Flaming Youth survivors of the Roaring Twenties.) You can see why there was such a fascination with them when the youthquake was in full swing.
I wonder if that's how the prevailing parenting style changes direction -- when a generation that grew up so quickly has kids of their own, they remember their own hurried youth and try to put the brakes on their kids' development. Then when the sheltered and stunted have kids, they want them to have the more footloose and fancy-free social life that they never got to enjoy as youngsters themselves.