The "Perfect" Teen Girl Vs. the Real Teen Girl

By: Sarah King
Opinion Co-Editor
Amalgamated Academy
Bay Roberts, NF

How many 17 year olds among us are millionaires? How many 17 year-old's have sold upwards of 5 million records? Probably not very many. But for pop "diva" Britney Spears, millions of dollars from her 5-time platinum album ...Baby one More Time this is a way of life. Thousands of adoring fans worship the ground she walks on. Don't you think that this kind of status would make her want to be the best role model possible for these young girls? Instead, she shows up at the Grammy Awards scantily clad, wearing too much makeup and definitely not, in my opinion, setting a good example for young children. It is celebrities like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez who set the examples for us, the teenage girl. Is this really the kind of generation of young people that our society needs?

Every time a girl opens the cover of a teen-focused magazine, turns on the TV or walks in to a cinema, she is bombarded with images of models and celebrities with their perfect bodies, perfect teeth and so-called "perfect" lives. These images push young girls towards anorexia or other eating disorders to help them achieve these perfect body images. But instead, all that they are setting themselves up for is disappointment when they do not automatically start becoming popular. I feel that young celebrities need to live up to the admiration of their admirers and start acting like normal teenagers. In my opinion, the best thing that a young teen celebrity could do is to appear in public in jeans and a t-shirt, just like many of us wear to school everyday.

To achieve Britney Spears' so called; "perfect" image; girls would have to fork out thousands of dollars.

Dental work for a "brilliant" smile ... approx.. $ 500 per tooth

Personal Trainer for an athletic body ... approx.. $100 per session

Brand new Designer Wardrobe ... approx.. $10 000

Facials, cosmetics, dermatology, a dewy complexion ... approx.. $500 a month

Dancing, music, singing lessons ... approx.. $400 a month

Not many average teens can shell out over $26 000.

Plus the things that money can't buy, singing ability, drive and ambition, stamina ...etc.

An image like this hurts more than just your wallet. It takes time to get dental work done, work with a personal trainer, take lessons, and get your makeup done and to go to rehearsals. Often, teenage girls find themselves "robbing Peter to pay Paul". In this case, Peter would be their friends, teachers and school, their family and the people of the community.

Even if they achieve their goal, they are still under constant scrutiny. There are many people who are making money off these teen stars' youthful image such as managers, agents, publicists, etc. These people are often quite cynical, they do not understand that these people are "too tired" or "too over-worked" to do this concert or that photo shoot. All they know is that if they don't perform they won't get paid. These people take advantage - when they say, "I'm too tired" they hear " I need a pill". They offer them drugs in order to make sure that all the day's plans go off without a hitch. After a while, they become dependant on these drugs and are unable to be of any use to anybody without their daily "pill fix".

Why would anyone want to put herself under this kind of pressure? To achieve a perfect image.

A perfect image. Hmm, what's that? By today's standards, anyone who is shorter than 5'8" weighs less than 120 pounds, has either blond or brunette hair and has 20/20 vision is considered perfect. Personally, I fit none of these criteria.

"Don't judge a book by its cover". Many teens have heard this saying from an older person in their community. But in this case, it is more relevant than ever. Looks can be deceiving. Many times, young actors and actresses rely on drugs and alcohol in order to impress their "public" with their perfect lives.

What is a perfect life? To most, a perfect life is being beautiful, living in a big house, lots of money, servants, the latest in designer clothes, a good-looking boyfriend and some kind of talent that will provide them with enough money to retire in ecstasy and then have some left over to burn.

To me being perfect and having a perfect life means that you are "real". You feel good about yourself, you have a sense of humour, and you get along well with others. If you have all these things then you are perfect. No matter what anyone else thinks.

I am writing this article as a teen girl who is sick and tired of opening magazines and reading articles entitled "Find the perfect swimsuit for you"or "Bathing suits to fit ANY body" and finding that the same model is modelling all the swimsuits. I wish that the media would just "get a clue" and realize that all girls are not carbon copies of the other and that we need to be treated like the individuals we are, not like Barbie dolls!