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How does the portrayal of high schoolers by adults impact how teenagers see themselves?

  • Saved by the Bell, Skins and Mischa Barton on The O.C. were among the rare occasions where teenagers actually portrayed teenagers. “The impossible beauty of teen characters in film and TV is partially attributable to Hollywood’s aspirational human palette, which represents a limited range of acceptable physical characteristics,” says Christina Cauterucci. “But it’s also an inevitable upshot of an industry that routinely casts actors in their mid-20s or even their 30s as bumbling pubescents. In a culture as shaped by media imagery as ours, the systemic misrepresentation of an entire age group has real consequences for how adults conceive of typical adolescence, and how teens measure themselves against it.”

    TOPICS: The O.C., Saved by the Bell, Skins, Mischa Barton