The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Shows bring conflict when older actors are cast as teens

There is a good chance that our mainstream media is convinced that you should not look the way you look.

Over winter break, I was flipping through the channels and a few different shows came on. Out of boredom, I decided it would be a good idea for me to look up the actors on the Internet Movie Database and see how old they are in real life.

Keep in mind, most of these shows I was watching depicted people when they were in high school. When I was looking up information on the actors, a lot of them were in their twenties.

Now this isn’t the first time this has happened. Back when “Mean Girls” was released, I remember out of four of the main actresses playing high-school kids – Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Lindsay Lohan – the only person who was a teenager was Lindsay Lohan.

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That’s not too horrible as an afterthought, because all of the cast members did really well with the movie, however a bit of a problem can arise in certain situations.

As an avid “Glee” watcher, I know that a lot of the people who were cast originally were not actually in high school, but when a new cast arrived four seasons later, I figured that by now, some of the people who are playing 15-year-olds would be around my age, 19, in real life.

Upon further inspection, I found that one of the actresses playing a 15-year-old girl is 24. That’s a bit scary to me. There is a similar case with shows such as “Pretty Little Liars,” which have a huge teenage audience.

One may say, okay you can’t always find people at the exact age that can fit the part. I can understand that. But think about the younger audience demographic that probably watches these shows.

Girls in high school who watch this show and see someone playing a girl who is 9 years younger than she is may not look up information about the actress and find out her real age.

Even if they do, some people are susceptible enough to think that that’s what people in high school are supposed to look like, and a lot of people don’t look like that.

Even though nine years is not that big of an age gap in the grand scheme of things, I don’t know any 24-year-old who will say that his or her appearance did not change at all from the time they were 15 until they were 24.

When you’re 15, you’re still going through a lot of emotional and physical maturation. Whether it’s because you decide on a new hair style or to eat a different way, you change.

While a lot of shows try to make older actresses and actors seem younger, it isn’t 100 percent effective. So when people in high school see people in these shows, if they think they’re supposed to look like the people in these shows and they don’t, a lot of really bad self-esteem issues can stem from this.

Adults are always wondering why kids want to grow up. Just look at popular culture.

As just a side argument to anti-aging ads and photo alteration in magazines and advertising, I think that the media should consider some of these aspects in casting shows that are going to have a big audience of people under the age of 18.

Maybe if this happens, shows could be more believable, and at least some people would have a better idea of what they’re supposed to look like at their age.



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