During today’s generation, teenage girls are put on a certain pedestal of how they should act, look, and dress. Stress and pressure is put upon us girls to follow certain specificities given to us by today’s generation. Television, advertisements, and the internet are the culprits behind what is disrupting teen girls’ self-esteem. Television shows who cast skinny, tan, and beautiful models are giving teens a feeling of how they should look. The “skinny” girls who are portrayed on magazine covers and other advertisements lower a teenage girls’ self-esteem if she does not live up to these high expectations.
The Effects of Media on the Body-Image of Preadolescent Girls Media is infamous for having a tremendous effect on teenage girls. The mass media have long been criticized for presenting unrealistic appearance ideals that contribute to the development of negative body image for many women and girls (Harrison & Hefner, 2006). Whether it’s the influence on their choice of friends, school, or their self image, media has played an important role in affecting those decisions. A growing number of experimental studies have demonstrated a causal link between acute exposure to "thin-ideal" images (i.e., images of impossibly thin and attractive female beauty) and increased body dissatisfaction (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2003). It has recently been brought up that media influences girls in preadolescence, which is highly likely since most young girls idolize Barbie (Rintala & Mustajoki, 1992).
Media's Effect On Teens and Their Body Images Through out society many teens and young women have been scrutinized for their bodies and appearance. Media is one of the leading contributor. Media has led to the sexualization and body image issues in teens and women. As the media idealizes women as a miniature size 0 with long blonde hair and blue eyes, it leads to the loss in self esteem. Every girl wants to look like Megan Fox, with her great body and good facial structure.
They see different haircuts, outfits, and different body types that influence them, and the people in charge of media know this. The media portrays dangerous and unrealistic ideals of women's bodies that can be life threatening for them. This could ultimately lead to eating disorders, depression, and or unnecessary cosmetic surgery. The look of women has changed overtime. Marilyn Monroe used to be praised for her curvy figure in the early 1950's.
The way media represents women are for them to be thin-like models and other women on television to be the high standard of “attractiveness” to others. The advertising involved targets young teenage women and feature these models that are portraying desirable items, and the “norm” is for these women to be slender and beautiful (Vonderen & Kinnally, 2012). Research has been done to prove that media’s pressure on being thin causes women to be depressive and negative feelings about themselves . Women’s view are skewed and perceived incorrectly of what the typical female body should be (Haas, Pawlow, Pettibone & Segrist, 2012). Body image for women has always been stressed for them to look a certain way and to try obtain “physical perfec... ... middle of paper ... ...deva, 2012).
Throughout the years, the connotative definition of beauty has gone through constant change. In today’s world, young women are constantly under the impression that they have to fit the current definition in order to fit in with society and be recognized by men. Many girls feel they need to fit the mold instead of being their true unique selves. Every single individual is different in their own way, however the media has drilled it into every young girl’s mind, that they have just like a Barbie doll in order to be happy. Furthermore, these same girls are resorting to extreme methods in order to feel like they fit in such as taking unhealthy weight loss pills and developing eating disorders.
In puberty, during these most tumultuous years, the girl child is dealt a cruel blow by a peer who tells her she has a "big nose and fat legs" (5-6). Here we see the beginning of the conflict that will plague the young girl. The second of stanza of "Barbie Doll" demonstrates the inner conflict these young girls are experiencing as they become acutely aware of how different they may be from what society perceives as the ideal female. Although a girl can be healthy and intelligent, it is not expected for her to possess the physical qualities of "strong arms and back, abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity" (8-9). These typify male traits, and young girls begin to perceive these as negative and unnatural for themselves.
The idea of “self improvement” gets so exaggerated, it causes women to believe that they always have to do more, or go a step further to be beautiful. Thus, women are ruin their own self esteem and body image. The unattainable image of women that society allows to be true is causing women to go to these unhealthy degrees. For example the famous Barbie doll, with her “tiny waist and big bosom” (Cloud 79). Girls are basically told from the beginning that in order to be “successful like Barbie” you need to have a small waist, a big chest, skinny legs, and little, perfect “heel-fitted feet.” Images like this allow for women to participate in harmful acts, such as plastic surgery, anorexia, and bulimia, in order to become what they “should be.” Women are so concerned with having that perfect figure, they are no longer able to see themselves for who they truly are, which in some cases isn 't as bad as they make it to be.
Young girls begin to believe that their self-worth is measured by external attributes. In addition, the vicious cycle of wearing a façade begins to damage the self-worth and the emotional state in the young girls. Children’s pageantry attire consists of glamorous dresses and puffed-up hair and make-up, which builds the assumption in girls that being beautiful, is based on appearance alone. Beauty pageants inherently represent shallow and superficial ideals that persist in society. Once... ... middle of paper ... ... Sherry.
With so much time spent on media influenced activities, and the constant exposure to unhealthy models, it is no surprise that women are being influenced. Most female fashions models wear a size two or four, while the average American wears a size twelve or fourteen (Mirror-Mirror).When advertisements manipulate the photos of their models, it alters the way that women view themselves. Advertisers should not be allowed to promote unhealthy body images because it leads to an increase in self-consciousness, eating disorders, and suicide. The media's emphasis on having a flawless body, or face is starting to influence girls at a very young age. When given a unrealistically thin doll, such as Barbie to play with, girls ages five to seven said that they wished to be thinner (Swinson).