Late night on the estate, London. Two hooded and capped teen boys hang out, waiting for a couple of teen girls. Nervously the girls approach. Tiana used to go out with Stigz, but she’s not sure about this new guy he insisted on bringing along. She thought they were going out to a party, but the boys lead them to this new guy’s place. His parents are out. Tiana fights her instincts to run. The door shuts. The boys start to grab them. The girls resist but they won’t stop. Everything happens so fast…
See the film
Thankfully these events are just part of a warning film for youth-led project ‘oii my size’. However sadly it’s based on a true story and reflects the reality of life for many teen girls. From serious assault like this, to sharing naked pictures of them (sexting) and being spoken to disrespectfully, life can be a minefield for girls when it comes to teen boys.
No one knows this better than the group of teen girls behind the Oii My Size project (for those not down with the kids, ‘my size’ means ‘my kind of girl’). The result is a colourful website full of videos and pictures to help teens understand what makes appropriate and respectful relations between teen boys and girls.
As part of the Peabody Staying Safe campaign, Dream Arts supported the girls to work together, whilst Mediorite provided expert media training to help the girls make the website become a reality. The girls not only gained new skills from the project but also won Silver Arts awards and an OCN project management for their work, as well as a Nominet internet safety award.
The website’s aimed at teens and tackles issues such as sexting (it’s illegal for u-18s), disrespectful chat-up lines (or ‘churpz’) and when to say no in teen relationships.
The all-girl team behind the project explain that they “have chosen this topic as we have realized that we feel intimidated and disrespected due to our gender.”
The magazine-style website has light-hearted videos of teen boys trying out their best (read:worst) churpz on the unimpressed girls, and invites users to ‘rate my churpz’. This cleverly avoids preaching by demonstrating that the disrespectful ‘churpz’ just make girls feel embarrassed, intimidated and degraded. In other words –boys- they do not work.
There is also a video of an expert explaining the dangers of sexting, picture stories promoting the key message of ‘trust your instincts’ to teen girls in relationships, and the warning film, which showed the story of an assault on two teen girls.
Lucy Ferguson, from Mediorite who helped support the project shares her experience:
“The project was a success because the girls really challenged themselves to think about the audience. Most youth groups don’t really explore what someone who doesn’t know them is going to think of their project, they don’t think about how to sell and engage the audience, but these girls really got that. So ‘rate my churpz’ – as a traffic-driver is a really sophisticated idea. It shows they understood the need to engage boys too, and draw people in with a sense of humour, and then engage them with the harder content. Most youth groups are completely unforgiving to the audience. This was a much more sophisticated approach.”