What little girls are made of:
Secret Life Of Girls is a two-part documentary which follows a group of five and six year olds and reveals their interactions with each other. Sarah Nealon reports.
New documentary looks at the secret lives of girls.
If you have ever wondered how girls interact with one another away from the prying eyes of parents, now is your chance to find out.
Secret Life Of Girls is a local two-part series which shows how a group of five- and six-year-old females behave.
Modelled on British programmes which follow the popular Secret Life Of format, the New Zealand documentary was filmed at an Auckland kindergarten.
“You put a bunch of girls together, who don’t know each other, for a week and you basically see what happens,” says Dr Annette Henderson, a child development expert from the University of Auckland’s School of Psychology.
Along with Nathan Wallis, also an expert in child development, Dr Henderson will comment on some of the behaviour exhibited by the children.
“You’re going to have some of
the girls who are quite active with one another, interacting with one another, (with) kind of no inhibitions and feeling quite extroverted,” she says.
“You’ll have one or two alpha girls where they kind of take charge and leadership and then you’ll have other girls who kind of sit back and do their own thing.”
If overseas versions are anything to go by, the show will be entertaining and insightful.
“There is a healthy balance of free play, lots of recording them just playing on the playground in their own time and seeing just naturally what they do,” says Dr Henderson.
“Then (there are) some situations where we’ve scripted some scenarios to see what the girls do.”
While the show is largely observational, the girls are aware that they are being filmed.
“The camera crew did their best to kind of stay back but they do see the cameras because they’re not totally, completely hidden,” says Dr Henderson.
“So they do know and they are wearing microphones so it’s interesting.
“So I think at the beginning maybe they are quite concerned with it.
“But that’s one of the benefits of filming for a whole week. By the middle of the day – that first day – they are just being themselves.”
It is worth noting there was an audition process for anyone appearing on camera.
“You needed children who would talk – at least a little bit,” says Dr Henderson.
“I think while we have a good range, we probably don’t have the really true silent ones who would actually have a hard time and not have fun.”
“You put a bunch of girls together, who don’t know each other, for a week and you basically see what happens.”
– Dr Annette Henderson