Fountain Of Youth
By Chloë Andrews
Adult actors masquerading as teenagers is as old as the art of acting itself. The high school dramas we loved growing up – The O.C., Smallville, Glee, and Friday Night Lights – lied to us.
Seeing gorgeous actors pretending to be years younger on and off screen is damaging to our self esteem. We get the impression that being in high school means having your shit together, looking perfect all the time, and having a perfect body (with a jaw dropping beard). Idolizing these adults as adolescent role models – while we’re suffering the throes of puberty and all its pitfalls and awkwardness – makes us feel inadequate. We believe the fallacy that we should be mini-adults, not realizing that these actors who play teen roles had a full ten years to perfectly develop into their flawless “teen” selves.
Hiring actual teenage actors poses a different set of problems. There are strict labor laws that vary by state limiting the amount of hours a day that children can work. There is also the problem of the time and money committed to covering up the flaws of teenagers, in an attempt to make them look like miniature adults. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, Photoshopping images to correct acne and undergoing cosmetic surgery to make actors appear more mature than any natural teenager. Even “real” teenager actors are an artificial image of unattainable beauty.
We shouldn’t cover up the flaws of teenagers because it only perpetuates our society's obsession with beauty and fame. When we have idols who are real people our age with similar bodies and flaws to our own, we see that it is completely normal to struggle with these things and that gives us confidence in our flawed selves.
Image Credit stocksnap.io