September 18, 2013

Joely Mitchell


I saw the film, We’re the Millers  today for the second time (if you haven’t already seen it, make sure you do, it’s hilarious). Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t Jennifer Aniston stripping or Emma Roberts’ swearing that I found most controversial, it was the film’s promotional posters.

The poster pictured the four main characters, Rose (Jennifer Aniston), David (Jason Sudeikis), Casey (Emma Roberts) and Kenny (Will Poulter) pretending to be a perfect family despite each having their own individual problems. Each character’s problem was labelled on the poster, ‘stripper’, ‘drug dealer’, ‘runaway’ and ‘virgin’.

Will Poulter’s 18 year old character, Kenny, was the virgin. Maybe I’m just naïve, but when did being an 18 year old virgin become a negative attribute?

Don’t be deceived, this isn’t a self-help guide about saving your virginity for that special someone, that’s what Sex Ed and church are for. I just want to encourage you to be more critical about what you’re consuming; just because Jennifer Aniston says so, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

I don’t believe that being an 18 year old virgin is something to be ashamed of. I also don’t think that having sex before the age of 18 is a bad thing. It comes down to personal preference, which is where this poster has it all wrong.

It was only eight years ago that Steve Carell starred in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, where it was laughable that his character was 40 years old and still a virgin. Well a lot’s changed since then, including how long you can hold onto your virginity before it becomes unfashionable.

There shouldn’t be set standards about personal matters such as your virginity and advertising executives at Warner Bros. should definitely not have the right to tell its audience that being an 18 year old virgin is “lame” or “uncool”. But they’ll do it anyway, so it’s up to you to reject the standards that they are trying to portray.

It’s pretty universally understood that being a drug dealer is not cool, but what I think is really cool is someone who sets their own standards; someone who is happy in their own skin, whether they’re a virgin or not.


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