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Happy Birthday to M!

July 31, 2012

Happy birthday to my biffer who has now joined me at the ripe old age of 22!

This, of course, makes us feel a little antsy because it means we are real grownups… But I wanted to take a minute to discuss the representation of age in the media.  I’m sure most of you (if you watch tv or movies) have noticed that everyone sort of looks like they are in their twenties?  When Rachel McAdams played the teenage Regina George in Mean Girls, she was actually 26.  When Ben McKenzie played the teenage Ryan Atwood in The OC, he was actually 29. All you have to do is look at the cast of Pretty Little Liars to see what I’m talking about.

  • Lucy  Hale (Aria): 23
  • Shea Mitchell (Emily): 25
  • Troian Bellisario (Spencer): 26
  • Ashley Bensen (Hannah): 22
  • Bianca Lawson (Maya): 32
  • Tammin Sursok (Jenna): 29
  • Sasha Pierterse (Allie): 16

 

Only one of these supposed teenage girls is actually a teenager. (The actor who plays Ezra is 28, not so scandalous to be with a 23 year old) And he is younger than the actress who plays Jenna! I don’t think we even need to bring up the actress who plays Maya, she is in her 30’s!

They are a bunch of pretty little liars- ABOUT THEIR AGE.

Now, as I walk the shitty road towards becoming an adult (yes, I refuse to believe I’m currently an adult), I have realized this has done two things to me.

1. “High school students should look like they are 26.” It made me think I was an awkward baby teenager.  It wasn’t so much as, “why aren’t I as pretty as them?” as it was- “why do I have baby cheeks? why don’t I have a body like theirs?” Looking back on it, it seems simple: because they were women and I was not.

And honestly now that I’m twenty-two, I still don’t have a body like theirs, and I still have baby cheeks. So maybe that is besides the point. But I think for most girls, a lot changes from when they are 16 to when they are 22.  That’s 6 years after all.

2. “26 year olds should look like they’re in high school.”  How is it possible that these shows and movies did both these things to me? Well, let me tell ya!  When I was in high school I compared myself to the age that represented my age.  When I got older I compared myself to the age that represented my age.  Now that I am 22, I am perplexed.  Everyone is supposed to look young? No one wants to age!

It’s as if we’re living in a world that wants to be like that of Logan’s Run!

(Side note: Logan’s Run is a really bad 70’s movie that you’ve probably never heard of and probably won’t until the remake with my love, Ryan Gosling.)

This is unfortunate for several reasons.  I was scared of the responsibility and tough road that lies ahead… Now society is telling me I have to be afraid of looking older than what they think represents a high school age? Shut up!

I want to see more women on the screen of different ages PLAYING THEIR AGE.  Where my 50 year olds at? Where my 60 year olds at? 

Give me some women being truthfully represented. I don’t want to see any 26 year olds playing 17 year olds. Or 30 year olds playing mothers of 18 year olds.  It’s confusing and sending a really annoying message.

Peace and Love,

-K

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