Have you ever heard of the Benzacs? If you have an Instagram account you will soon know all about them. The Benzacs are flawless, popular, acne-free teenagers who everyone wants to be like. Soon, they will appear in 22 fifteen-second videos on Instagram. Each episode will feature four high school friends, Ivy, Cam, Essy, and Oak who attend fictional East Sandalwood High School. These kids are described in the publicity around the series as “typical” teenagers. Is there any such thing as a “typical” teen? Aren’t all teens unique in their own ways? This cries out, “STEREOTYPES!!!”
Anyway, these four typical teens dream of being like the Benzacs and every episode will show another attempt to become just like them. Puh-lease.
Was this show created simply to entertain teenagers? Of course not! The show was created to sell Benzacacne medication for pimples! We get it. People need to sell their products. Advertisers need to make money, but is this the way?
Is it okay to make kids with acne ashamed of themselves?
Is it okay to create characters whose greatest dream is to be like someone other than themselves?
Is it okay to talk down to teens as if they aren’t smart enough to see right through these ads?
Is any of this okay?!