How are teenage girls portrayed in teen movies?

From Sixteen Candles to Lady Bird, how are teenage girls portrayed in teen movies? That’s the question Zoetrope answered in a great YouTube video.

A few days ago Zoe Richard, aka Zoetrope on YouTube, posted a most interesting video about the teen movies, more particularly on the “ teen chicks flicks » (literally, “teen movies for girls”).

She has studied this genre and its evolution, giving herself the objective of analyzing the images conveyed by these films over time.

Very enthusiastic about the quality of her video and the amount of information she taught me, I went to meet Zoé (I offered her a videocall, what…) so that she can teach me a little more about her and the content of her video!

Zoetrope, cinema and feminism

Zoé is a 24-year-old freelance editor who has always been interested in cinema.

After completing an audiovisual BTS in editing and post-production and a year at university, Zoé wanted to pass on the knowledge of cinema she had acquired during her university career by creating his own YouTube channel.

The idea of ​​his channel: to be interested in all cinema considered as feminine, that is to say addressing an audience that tends to be predominantly female:

“I started from the observation that the vast majority of well-known videographers and cinema youtubers were men.

And obviously, these videographers talk on their channel about the films they like so logically, there is very little content on films considered “feminine” because they are aimed at a female audience.

As I did not always find myself in the films relayed by these channels, I wanted to talk myself too about the films that affect me and therefore to create videos on this subject. »

A video dedicated to teen chick flicksthese films so little recognized

The idea of ​​putting together a video devoted to teen movies sprouted in Zoé’s head in 2018 when she discovered the clip Thank u, next from Ariana Grande:

“It was partly thanks to the Ariana Grande clip that I had this idea.

In it, the singer reclaimed different teen chicks flicksthat is to say the teen movies aimed at a female audience (…) and seeing them thus presented as a cultural heritage worthy of interest pushed me to reinterest myself in them. »

She explained to me that in order to produce a comprehensive video on the subject, she had done a lot of research.

She thus realized that one of the only published works analyzing films for teenagers and teenagers (Teen Movies) had been co-written by Célia Sauvage, one of the teachers who had trained her in college!

The latter therefore contributed to Zoé’s video by bringing, thanks to her expertise, “much more than what[elle] had initially entered. » :

“I wanted to highlight these famous teen chick flicks, which are really interesting to analyze.

I wanted to show gender interestgo back on his history in order to understand a little better where he came from and how the representations it conveyed were formed and could have been transformed over time.

I also and above all wanted to highlight the importance of leaving women in charge in this genre so that the look, the stories, the representations, etc. can evolve and get rid of the sexist stereotypes that stick to the skin of adolescent girls. »

In his video titled How teen movies film teenage girlsZoé then proposes a look back at more than fifty years of cinema history to talk about these popular teen movies!

The importance of teen chick flicks according to Zoetrope

For Zoé, if it is also important to take an interest in teen movies it is because it is a genre consumed by young audiences who will, in particular, allow him to construct his own representations of the world around him during adolescence:

“These films are often considered less interesting than classic films, and therefore often ‘neglected’ by critics.

Wrongly in fact, because these are films aimed at an age group where opinions are truly formed.

That’s why I think it’s important to show this audience, these teenagers, everything that’s behind these films. »

In my eyes, it is also a particularly interesting genre to analyze when you see the quantity of teen shows produced and distributed by the platforms (especially Netflix) which are also widely consumed by a teenage audience, but not only.

For Zoé, these new teen shows (films and series) bear witness toa gradual gender transformation:

“I have the impression that there are more efforts made to highlight female protagonists but also racialized, LGBT, etc., especially with Netflix series. And that’s already a step forward!

For this which is classic cinema, there are starting to be a few productions which are starting to change the genre, I am thinking in particular of lady bird by Greta Gerwig. But it’s still a bit slow… »

The teen moviesthis kind so interesting

It was with great pleasure (and not even guilty!) that I watched Zoé’s video, and I can only advise you to watch it too!

You will be able to find the cult films/series of your adolescence and discover teen movies which you had never heard of. But you could also and above all understand the mechanisms that this genre conceals and dive into this universe if it is not at all familiar to you.

Zoé manages to cover the subject in a concise way (the video lasts 30 minutes), educational and entertaining and it’s clearly the kind of documentary videos that are fun to watch!

Her next project will focus on the work of Agnès Varda and two other videos are already online on her channel (Witch and cinema and EXT. DAY – Paris and Audrey Hepburn).

So, what are you waiting for to discover them?

Read also : Seven teen movies that deserve to be better known

We would like to thank the author of this short article for this outstanding content

How are teenage girls portrayed in teen movies?