There are alternative, non-trashy celebrity icons out there for today's teenagers
Miley Cyrus, Taylor Momsen, Ke$ha, Katy Perry: these are not the young girls (and women) that other young women should be looking up to.
Call me a prude, but dressing like a stripper is not a respectable way to treat yourself - nor is it even remotely stylish. Who would you rather draw style inspiration from: 18-year-old singer Miley Cyrus writhing around a pole in hot pants and fake hair, or precocious 13-year-old blogger Tavi Gevinson in mismatched socks and a top knitted with the word "Feminist"?
I know who I would want any young women I know to aspire to dress like: the one having fun while discovering her personal style rather than the one adhering to stereotypical ideas of what is considered sexy.
Admittedly, true role models in both life and style should be those who surround girls in real life, every day - mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunties, teachers, friends - but the power of celebrity is persuasive. And a teenage girl drawing style inspiration from Mummy (even if she's the best-dressed mum in the world) is about as likely as Miley wearing Tavi's feminist sweater.
So who are young girls to look up to if they don't like their celebrities sexualised like Disney stars or prissy like Taylor Swift?
There's the aforementioned Tavi of course, who has proven to be influential even on adults; or 14-year-old actress Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), who recently created "self-confidence journals" with a group of young girls for Dove's Self-Esteem Weekend.
Then there's 18-year-old actress Kaya Scodelario (Effy in Skins) who encourages girls to be strong and independent, and 13-year-old actress Chloe Moretz (Kick Ass) who always looks preternaturally poised and confident. And though she may longer be a teen herself, actress Emma Watson's Hermione Granger character will forever be an icon for young girls; showing that smart girls are cool.
Watson has been dressing very, very well recently too, without embracing the overly sexual look that most early twentysomethings tend to when wanting to rebel.
But, scarily, it's two pre-teens who are proving to be more stylish than all these girls put together: 10-year-old singer Willow Smith, whipping her hair back and forth in crazy get-ups that embrace her youth, and 12-year-old Elle Fanning (sister of Dakota) who has proven to be stylishly interesting and age-appropriate while doing press for her role in Sofia Coppola's film Somewhere.
Not all 12-year-olds will ever get the chance to wear Valentino and Marc Jacobs as Fanning has on the red carpet, but it's her casual outfits - printed skirts, flat lace-up shoes, pulled-up socks, quirky spectacles, big smile - that prove she's having fun while figuring out her personal style.By Zoe Walker Email Zoe