"Girls today can be anything they want. They can pursue a career that has a positive impact on the world in which they live, such as a climate scientist or space mission engineer," says Alex McKie, an environmental engineer and ambassador for an organization called New Outlooks in Science & Engineering (Noise) in the Guardian. Except guess what? Many girls today don't seem to care about making a positive impact in the world. With backing by a science research council, Noise conducted a survey of 506 girls, ages 13-18 and asked the young ladies for their top career choice. (The girls were allowed to pick more than one career.) Thirty-two percent chose "model."(Girls dreaming of the runway probably have no idea of the psychic toll or bleak economics for many models, just check out some posts written by our anonymous model, Tatiana.) But back to the survey: 29% of the girls picked actress. Only 14% picked scientist; 4% chose engineer. (Only 20% chose doctor.) Why is it that teens today would rather be someone who is gazed upon through a lens than someone who looks more closely at the world through a microscope? Dr. Alice Roberts, an archaeologist, has this theory: "I think that science is still sometimes seen as a dull subject which only a small number of people fully understand. The reality is that scientists are brilliant, creative people, and what could be more interesting than finding out about how the world works?" Ms. McKie agrees: "I love being a scientist. It is as challenging as it is rewarding and we should be showing girls what opportunities are out there for them." Noise wants to see the media get involved, and prove there's more to life than aspiring to celebrity status. One in four of the teens say that science and engineering fields are not represented in the magazines and websites they read. Sure, sure. Blame the media. Or! Find a way to use the media. So here's an idea: What if MTV created a reality show about young female scientists? What if these women were smart, interesting people who ended up in the tabloids, on the red carpets, on the pages of glossy magazines? Even though life shouldn't always be lived seeking the spotlight, wouldn't you feel better about those women making money than, say, Audrina Patridge? How else can we reverse this trend of teens aspiring to be objects upon which to gaze? Girls Choosing Camera Lenses Over Microscopes [Guardian] Earlier: Today's Teens Believe It's Better To Be Sexy Than Clever
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This is the problem of telling kids they can be anything they want to be if they just want it enough. What's their back-up plan when they find out that unless they're taller than 5'9" and weigh less than 110, it ain't gonna happen?