Because of work I was a day late on this for Tangent Tuesday, so introducing…

Why the F*** Wednesday?

This week: Why the F*** do movies keep casting 20+ year old actors to play high school characters?

Listen, I understand adults can be more reliable, and their schedules are probably easier to work with.

But listen.

If I see one more “fifteen” year old with a fully developed body and acne-cleared skin, I might lose my mind.

We keep asking, “Why do teenagers have such low self esteem? Is it the hormones?”

No, Teresa, it’s not the hormones.

Okay, maybe it’s partially hormones, but when you keep casting women with developed bodies and men with stubble as high school kids, you’re perpetuating ridiculous expectations of what teenagers should look like.

NO TEENAGER looks like this:

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trashing Mean Girls. It’s a great movie.

If they do, that’s great and all, but they are rare–few and far between.

Most are in varying stages of development with acne, too much hair or not enough, awkward teeth, bad haircuts–the works. We all remember that time, and we all remember the flaws we had (some we still have, and reminder: that’s not a terrible thing).

But turn on a movie targeted at teenagers and set in a teen setting, and guaranteed you’re going to see someone like this:

25 year-old Paul Wesley plays a 17 year-old on The Vampire Diaries.


Not only is it obviously unrealistic to an older audience, but it puts immense pressure on the younger audience–typically the target audience–to look a certain way. It’s not enough that we already pressure men and women into a certain look when they’re older. No, it has to start when they’re in their most developmental and impressionable years of their lives.

In the end, if you’re casting a movie, work to use a cast that looks like realistic characters. 15 year olds with acne that are “too” short, “too” tall, or “too” big or “too” skinny by these ridiculous societal standards.

It might be extra work, but in the long run, it will positively influence the audience. After all, if you don’t care about your target audience, then you shouldn’t be making movies in the first place.


Sophomore Year Madelyn


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