It’s tragic that teenage girls think it’s a lesson in how to dress

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What a story for our time. A teacher from a rural school in Wales with strong opinions about the staff, the students and the culture of the school, expressed his feelings in blogs called The Provoked Pedagogue.

Maybe he thought that being anonymous and not giving any names, he would get away with it. But a reader realized that the author was in fact his colleague, professor of design and technology Alexander Price, and reported it to the school principal.

Mr Price was fired and is now fighting for his career in labor court.

Reading the remarks of the Provoked Pedagogue, they seemed a little ripe; he certainly did not spare the director. And to describe the teenage girls at prom as “shameless chicken fillets shoved into criminally expensive, ill-fitting dresses” was harsh.

Melanie McDonagh explores how social media affects the body image of teens, as a teacher is fired for describing her students as ‘Kardashian clones’. Pictured: Kim Kardashian

But it was when I read what he said about girls looking like a cross between “Eastern European prostitutes and transhuman Kardashian clones” that I sat down. Because you know what? Bad language aside, he might be right.

Not that my own 14 year old daughter is suitable – grunge is more her look. But if we’re talking about prematurely sexualized, twerking, gyrating, intentionally provocative girl poses here, then that’s what a lot of young teens are doing.

Looking at the pictures posted by my daughter’s high school girls on social media, I see complicit expressions, flirtatious pouts, garish makeup, feline eyes (yes, the Kardashian aesthetic) – girls who have it. looks good, much older than their age.

Partly, of course, is because they stare at these Kardashian girls (Kim is pictured), with their unrealistic lips and bodies, making hundreds of millions of dollars preening and pouting in outfits to barely there, and they come to believe that this is what beauty, conformity and success looks like.

In part also because, tragically, the teenage world is more polluted than ever by instant access pornography. And that leads to distorted expectations that some girls feel compelled to live up to.

‘Eastern European prostitutes’ might seem like a cruel way to put it, but look at the photos teens post and share on TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, and Mr. Price is right, right? ?

Yesterday I saw a social media post from a 14 year old girl. It wasn’t just the silly content that worried me. It was the way her pose and makeup, skinny top and tight pants made her look like a 19 year old prostitute.

Beneath the practiced pout and sidelong glance and finished lipstick, she was probably just as vulnerable and childish as any of us were at 14, and probably takes her teddy bear to bed, but this is not what you see.

Melanie, who has a 14-year-old daughter, admits she tried to look older when she was a teenager.  Pictured: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

Melanie, who has a 14-year-old daughter, admits she tried to look older when she was a teenager. Pictured: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

I think she was trying to appear in control and grown up. But among the people who got the job, there were boys. . . Did she really realize what kind of signal she was sending? It was a disheartening picture. Is this really what awaits teenagers like my daughter? She, cautiously, doesn’t let me see most of what exists in the world of young teenage girls; she knows what I would say. Also, I spend most of my time trying to take devices away from him.

But when I ask her why her friends pose like that, she just says that some girls are sexualized, but many are just proud of their bodies and want to show it off. Then other girls do the same in imitation, or to stand up against what is known as slut shame – there’s a lot online, apparently: people making nasty remarks like “bitch. “or” bitch “about girls who look defiant.

My daughter says some girls aren’t sure about their body image, but others just want to look that way – so what?

Certainly when I was his age I tried to look older. The nun from my convent fired me from math class because I had made up. And a lot of girls used to hang their school kilt above the knee. But that was before social media.

A recent report found that the number of girls dissatisfied with their appearance had doubled by the age of 14 due to

A recent report found that the number of girls dissatisfied with their appearance had doubled by the age of 14 due to “heavy use of social media.” Pictured: Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kim Kardashian

It becomes terrifyingly clear what perpetual image posting online does to you. If you are a girl, it makes you hyper aware of your look, more so than previous generations. Yesterday, a report from the Education Policy Institute and the Prince’s Trust suggested that the number of girls dissatisfied with their appearance had doubled by the age of 14 due to “heavy use of social media.”

The fun thing about things like Instagram is that right next to the photos of models with enlarged lips, unlikely boobs, and creepy nails are pictures of cute animals and Greta Thunberg.

There is more to contemporary teenage culture than selfies. They’re obsessed with the environment, racism (my daughter keeps talking about Black Lives Matter), sexism, colonialism and, if you’re really unlucky, veganism. Whatever your views on one of them, at least they are motivated by concern for others. They are also very fond of kittens.

But as teacher Alexander Price pointed out, the dominant impression in terms of the presentation of modern adolescent girls is sexualization. In another blog post, Mr. Price described the prom as “a superficial and meaningless affair, nothing more than who has spent the most to look good.” He described “the ugly end of society where only the rich have value and everyone has to emulate”.

Melanie said if she was the principal of the school where Mr. Price worked, she would have had a discussion with him about the teens competing with each other.  Pictured: Kim Kardashian

Melanie said if she was the principal of the school where Mr. Price worked, she would have had a discussion with him about the teens competing with each other. Pictured: Kim Kardashian

Well, I don’t know what teenage life is like in North Wales, but I bet before Covid the same scenario played out among school leavers across Great Britain. Brittany.

If I were the principal of the school, instead of trying to strike Mr. Price off, I would bring him in to discuss the poverty of expectations which means teens are competing to spend huge sums of money. money in tattoos because they don’t have much else to aspire to.

Some girls will always enjoy being the center of attention because they are pretty and want to show off. But if they had a better idea of ​​their own worth, due to their skills and abilities, they wouldn’t attach so much importance to online “likes” and heart emojis and role models. impossible.

The obsession with looks has become a substitute for a fulfilling life. And this is something that schools can – and should – do.



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