The kids are alright


After reading how the cute Chinese girl at the opening ceremony of the Beijing games was actually a fraud, miming for the talented unseen crooked toothed singer; I found myself thinking why do we think that ‘sweetness’ is a substitute for talent? Such is the mockery of the show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ that large numbers of useless children were primarily chosen because they had gappy smiles or a good sob story. As evidenced by the winner, 14 year old George Sampson, who displaced many more talented acts simply because he was ‘good for his age’, as opposed to just good.

This discrimination based on age or looks has to stop. Teenagers have many talents and differing levels of maturity and they need to be treated on this basis. Not only is ageism ruining TV talent shows it’s costing us £31bn per year. A year after a mass of legislation apparently dealing with the problem of ageism it is still endemic, so new solutions need to be found. A start would be to rethink the legal age limits.

Citizens in their late teens experience more age discrimination than those in their fifties, due mainly to the multitude of minimum age laws in place regulating such things as working, voting, drinking, marriage and even networking sites. This is done primarily as the government knows what is best, absolving the role of parents and indeed the burgeoning intelligence of teenagers. You may mature when the government says so and not before.

The regulations currently in place can be seen to be having an adverse affect on the young. The rise in binge drinking and their complete disrespect towards authority stem from the nanny state we live in. It’s time that teenagers were accepted on an individual basis, rather than tarnished with the same age brush and forgotten about. These policies are bad for the teenagers and bad for the economy

Teenagers are responsible, they just don’t have the opportunity to prove it.