Besides their enhanced chances of subjection to violence or of being embroiled in crime either as victims or perpetrators, teens sleeping today in our cities' parks, upon shop doorsteps or 'sofa surfing' between friends and acquaintances often live in real peril of various forms of abuse by adults or older minors who observe their movements over time only to then take advantage of their powerlessness.
Last Thursday evening the unbelievable happened. An awards ceremony took place in the House of Commons for body confidence. No need for a red carpet or pomp and circumstance. No male politicians driving agendas to win elections. Just a group of individuals of all shapes and sizes, fighting for the right for us all 'to be ourselves'...
In my last article, I identified a new young generation, the SAFFYs: Serious, Active, Forward-Facing Youth. They're very different to the "typical teen" parodied by Kevin the Teenager. Less frivolous, hedonistic, lazy and 'devil may care'. More anxious and responsible about the future, and more respectful of the past.
When I was 15 I was scouted by Storm model agency. I didn't quit understand. I was trying to force my friend into a 'shout' magazine modelling competition, a random guy with a belly and a clip board told me to enter. I couldn't even smile then as my mouth wasn't wide enough to embrace my braces, you could say; I would have difficulty however. I was absolutely terrified.
It is as a teenager that we face the greatest test of self-esteem. We become aware of how we look, how others see us and worst of all we become aware of a world that judges us. From every angle teens are told to be prettier, sexier, skinnier, to wax, to colour and to fake it. Very few talk about anything other than they we look.
It's a world away from the early 2000s when children had to spend hours bargaining with their parents over the time they spent on the family computer, immersed in virtual worlds on a big screen. Children still play in these worlds - look at the popularity of Moshi Monsters - but the rise of mobile gaming has, in many cases, changed the way they do it.
Can you imagine the pent up tsunami of disappointment that awaits the young when they grow up and discover that Simon Cowell will not be rescuing them from their drab and pedestrian existences and catapulting them to riches and stardom? Just think how upset they will be when they find out that Jay Z and Rihanna will never be returning their calls.
We've all got to start somewhere, and if Coding for Dummies is where Summly app creator Nick D'Aloisio learnt the basics, I'd suggest Michael Gove gets it on the curriculum quick-smart. Erase that, I'd get Nick himself on the curriculum. With a triple-dip recession on the horizon, Kim Kardashian the woman most little girls want to grow up to be and recent graduates still struggling to find full-time employment, shining the spotlight on the country's brightest start-ups and entrepreneurs seems such an obvious idea. Even the current government might chance upon it.