Love Island-obsessed teenage girls are undermining MeToo cause, claims headmistress

Posted on: 2018-10-02 23:15:00

It is hard for women to be “taken seriously” when they spend their time “glorifying” pursuits which are “insignificant at best”, according to Jane Lunnon, headmistress of the £18,800-a-year Wimbledon High School.

“I am really interested in the whole drive to empower women, to make sure that they have a voice, they have agency,” she said.

“If we want to be taken seriously, the 'Me Too' debate - can we also be saying [that] this trivial nonsense matters? I think there is a real question around that.”

Ms Lunnon said that many young women are overly concerned with aesthetic and superficial matters such as how they appear.

They spend “an awful lot of time” worrying about “what brand of false eyelashes” they should buy or “what kind of mascara” to wear, she added.

Ms Lunnon said: “The concern is around what a lot of young women are doing to their bodies. There is so much around ‘how do I look? How am I presenting myself?’ rather than ‘What am I saying, what are my views, what are my values, what matters to me, how am I helping to shape the world I live in?’”

Jane Lunnon, head of Wimbledon High School
Jane Lunnon, head of Wimbledon High School

The popular reality television show Love Island is a prime example of the kind of “trivial nonsense” that many teenage girls are obsessed with, she said. 

Love Island, which won a Bafta television award last month, is a dating reality show centred around a group of young men and women who stay on a luxury villa in Majorca.

Such is the popularity of Love Island that it has become ITV2's most-watched show ever, attracting almost three million viewers for the opening night of its fourth series earlier this month. 

Such is the popularity of Love Island that it has become ITV2's most-watched show ever
Such is the popularity of Love Island that it has become ITV2's most-watched show ever

This year, more people applied the the show than for Oxford and Cambridge combined. The contestants’ objective is to make sure that they have secured a partner of the opposite sex – known as “coupling  up” – by the end of each week.

"Love Island is a really good microcosm,” Ms Lunnon said. “It is saying you deserve to be in a relationship if you look this way - you are basically ignoring the things that really make relationships work and make human being rich, interesting, powerful people.”

She said there is still a “battle to be fought” for feminism and women may have to “decide which camp we are in”, between Love Island or ‘Me Too’.

“I really worry that we ask to be taken seriously - but we patently are not taking ourselves seriously by  glorifying things that are trivial and insignificant at best. I think we have a problem,” she said.  

By Camilla Turner, Education Editor

Source: The Telegraph

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