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Made By Girls: “Why adults need to stop stifling girls’ creativity”

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Made By Girls
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On International Day of the Girl, stylist.co.uk relocated to Blenheim High School, where a team of brilliant and opinionated girls aged 11 to 16 took over the website to have their say on the issues that matters most to them.

Here, Joely, 12, asks why adults feel the need to control children’s creativity as they get older – and calls for teenagers to be given the same artistic freedom as young kids.

When I was six years old, in a Year Two art lesson, I drew an eagle. I didn’t think it was one of my favourite drawings or even very good. However my teacher saw it and thought it was wonderful. He showed it to the other teacher and they decided to put it up.

I am now in Year Eight. Last year, I decided to draw a similar piece in art class and was quite content with it. But unlike my primary school teacher, my Year Seven art tutor was not as impressed. She told me that the wings were too small and that the features needed to be more precise.

This made me realise that art shouldn’t be trapped in straight lines and rules and it should not have a right or wrong answer. It should be left to be interpreted in many different ways. People of all ages should be able to do what they like with art, without feeling pressured to conform with everyone else.

Joely’s illustration calling for artistic freedom

When we are young we are all artists. But sadly, as we grow up, we are pushed away from art by rules and teachers who have no room or time to take creativity into account. Art teachers need to embrace and welcome unique creativity. They should also encourage their students to delve deep into their innovative minds and discover their originality.

What happened to me happens to pupils all around the world, who find themselves losing interest in art as they get older. To keep creativity alive, we need to accommodate all styles and approaches to art.

This doesn’t necessarily mean drawing but any creative activity such as drama, dance, singing and more. All people should be allowed to be who they are. 

For more from Stylist’s Made By Girls special issue and digital takeover, click here

Images: Getty Images