Tara's Take: Teen Fashion Role Models

By: Tara Wheeler
By: Tara Wheeler

A look at the fashions from this year's Teen Choice Awards... and how young people across the country are demanding less airbrushing and more realistic role models for teens in fashion.

It was a star-studded red carpet at the 14th annual Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles this past weekend. The fashions were hot; in large part because of the California sun beating down on the celebs. With the heat and humidity to contend with, high hems and flowy fabrics were trending.

Host Demi Lovato embraced her curves with this gladiator style yellow and silver ensemble complete with sequins, feathers, and mile-high stilettos. I thought the look was fun and youthful. (However, at some angles, it looked like she was one sharp turn away from a wardrobe malfunction up top).


I liked Taylor Swift's dress, but  thought it was a little mature for the teen awards show. The short airy skirt is wonderful, but the top is a bit too revealing on the sides. Though Swift is not a teen herself, I would have chosen a different outfit to represent young girls for this occasion. It's a great dress for another event, just not for the Teen Choice Awards.


Though the high hems and sheer fabric won't work well for teens in the classroom, and a bit more material should be added for every day wear, for the most part, the wardrobe choices at the Teen Choice Awards were fun and appropriate. 


It's a refreshing sight for a movement of teens who have been campaigning for better role models for young girls as well as more transparency and less air brushing from magazines like Teen Vogue and Seventeen.


While I'm OK with a little airbrushing here and there, I don't think it's right to airbrush a model into being so thin and perfect that her body is completely unattainable. In fact, it would be dangerous and unhealthy to attempt to attain. Teens reading magazines often look at the pictures and try to emulate them. They don't always realize that even the supermodel herself isn't capable of looking that good. Nobody is.


Airbrushing a zit is one thing, airbrushing a model's thighs to be as big as her calves and encouraging models to aspire to be that thin on their own, is another. Recently, Victoria's Secret, fell under criticism after this heavily altered photo surfaced in an ad.


Beauty comes in all different sizes, shapes, body types, and colors. Magazines, especially those geared towards teens, should embrace that. I don't think unhealthy models should be glamorized on either end of the spectrum, whether they're too thin or overweight to the point of obesity. However, healthy models of a variety of shapes, that represent the wide range of people looking at the magazine, should be showcased with pride. And it comes full circle back to the Teen Choice Awards, who's host this year, Demi Lovato, has publicly battled an eating disorder and has decided to focus on being a healthy body weight and a positive role model for young women. Bravo!


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