I live on the Isle of Man. I turned 16 five months ago and since then have been partaking in many of the privileges that brings in my nation, for example; I have a learners’ permit for a car; live largely independent from my parents; hold my own bank account; have (until lockdown) been enjoying aeroplane travel alone without assistance; will be able to vote (when the next election is held); have completed work as a model, where I have been able to sign my own model release; if I require treatment, I am registered under my own name at my local doctors practice; have worked with a number of brands as an influencer; consented to the publishing of my first novel and begun the process of registering my own political party, with myself as the leader.
For the above reasons, I was rather taken aback earlier today when at my dance school, I was asked to get a parent signature on a document detailing whether or not my image could be used on the dance school social media. At first, I pointed out to the purveyor of these forms that previously when working with social media and other intellectual property matters, I have been able to give my own authorisation for my image, content or writing to be used. However, I was simply informed that she required the form to be signed by next week.
Personally, I feel this is ludicrous.
In a country in which I can leave school completely, have my own bank account and consent to sex (notice, that doesn’t seem to require any parental forms), I feel I should have the right to choose who can and can’t use my image. Indeed, if someone were to steal an image from my Instagram page, I could legally sue them for damages (hiring a lawyer, appearing in court, possibly being interviewed by newspapers) without any parental consent – or even parental knowledge.
However, it has come to my attention that many similar organisations including drama schools and youth groups enforce such strange policies, which, to me, simply do not make sense. If I can consent to my image appearing on my own social media (and that of the brands I work with), why can’t I consent to my image being added to a local Facebook page?
It is for this reason that I have decided to take a stand against such unreasonable, ageist and downright unfair practices. I will not be getting parental consent for my image to be on Facebook. I invite others to do the same. Crackdown on this subtle obstructive practice by refusing to cooperate.
DISCLAIMER: FOR ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME PERSONALLY AND KNOWS THE DETAILS OF WHAT I AM REFERING TO, PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ANY ACTION TO EITHER CONTACT THE DANCE SCHOOL OR THE PERSON IN QUESTION. MY WRITING OF THIS ARTICLE IS BY NO MEANS IS MEANT TOP CAUSE ANY ISSUE FOR THE DANCE SCHOOL ITSELF, BUT RATHER ON THE SITUATION. IF YOU WISH TO REPOST THIS ARTICLE FEEL FREE (notice how I can give consent for that too – no mummy letter required) BUT PLEASE CREDIT MYSELF (MITZI DANIELSON-KASLIK) AND THIS WEBSITE ALONGSIDE.