Children female beauty pageants such as the televised show “Toddlers and Tiaras,” have a bad influence on young girls. The show more or over is a reality show of young girls in between the ages of as young as 3 months and older. Truly, this is poisoning their brains. Not only are they poisoning the young childs brains, but teaching them that face and body image is everything. It does not help the young girls self-esteem; it is damaging them morally in the real sense that they are real people that are being taught looks are important.
The pageants objectify woman creating a homogenous unachievable model of attractiveness that promotes poor self-image among girls (Beauty Pageants”). Often thin models are suffering from eating disorders of their own and girls are looking up to them as “body goals” which just is not right and can lead to the girls themselves having eating disorders. Models should be a healthy weight, they would still look great and it would have a positive effect of the girls who are looking up to the models. Plastic and cosmetic surgery is another effect media has had, more females are taking the “easier” root and getting surgeries to like the way they look. Girls under eighteen should not get surgery, the risks are too high.
Who determines whether a size two is too small or just the right size, whether you are too short or too tall, or maybe if you have the perfect breast cup size? The media portrays our female celebrities as perfect. They transform these women into a picture perfect image that meets a certain set of standards they have for them. The media teaches our girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller (Beyoncé, 2013). For example, actor Laura Prepon well known for playing a major role in that “70’s Show” admitted in one of her interviews that she ruined her metabolism by trying tons of crazy diets just so she could look the right size.
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.
Anorexia and bulimia are one of the main causes along with the media as to why adolescent girls are always slightly underweight and devastating skinny. If the media didn’t interfere with adolescent perceptions, maybe one half of fourth grade girls wouldn’t be on a diet. Intense fear of becoming fat and distorted body images aren’t the kinds of thing we want our adolescents girls to become. To think about their appearance and weight 24/7 isn’t right. The media should stop publicizing young female bodies and telling them what beauty is perceived to them.
Artificially changing your look with makeup is one thing, but it is concerning when young women (who are not fully developed mentally or physically) begin making uninformed decisions that could change their look forever. Without surgery or body modification devices, it is impossible to attain the desired look, but celebrities refuse to admit that they are unnatural, causing young girls to see themselves as unfit for society and not meeting the standards of “normal” females. Some schools are trying to alleviate the stress in young girls to live up to ... ... middle of paper ... ...’t heard about, yet companies continue to sexualize and idealize women, and matters are getting worse. The fact that younger girls are willing to do go through extremes to achieve an unattainable look is an increasing problem. The United States is putting mounting pressure on young girls and women to look perfect and attain unrealistic physical beauty.
This nearly impossible beauty standard is reflected and enforced by advertisements showing emaciated models selling products to smooth out bumps, reduce wrinkles, or tone the body. The media’s depiction of female bodies has a detrimental influence on women’s perception of themselves and has come under fire in recent years. Girls growing up in our media soaked culture internalize society’s ever-thinning standard of beauty, believing that they can never be slender enough. The negative effect of the media has been linked to the spread of eating disorders (“Never Just Pictures”, Thompson). This has led to a public outcry against impossibly thin, airbrushed models and a demand for more honest advertising.
Beauty pageants are harmful not only to ordinary women but also to the entire society because they give women the feeling that they are inadequate and ugly, leading to dieting and eating disorders, cosmetic surgery, and has a larger effect on men's attitude towards women. A major effect of beauty pageants on women is that they encourage feelings of inadequacy and present an unrealistic ideal that is often unattainable. The skinny models on such platforms, that are their main focus, come across to millions of female viewers as a set standard that should be maintained in order to look beautiful and achieve success in life. Having idealistic features such as a body size 0, flawless skin, a certain height, and shiny long brown hair becomes the most important objective in the lives of women. If unable to fulfill these desires, it leads to lower self-esteem and self-perception.
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. Advertising has caused more harm than good in this particular situation by compelling girls to feel like they cannot be themselves. Even fashion trends have added to this downfall of women’s individualism. Teenage girls feel the need to match the current fashion trend, no matter how expensive, just so they can feel the same as everybody else. As Andrew Delbanco explains in his work, The Real American Dream, consumer culture has the power to “evacuate the self” (105).
A major problem in today’s society affecting many people is low self-esteem and confidence issues. Beauty pageants don’t help. Girls with “perfect bodies”, whitened teeth and their hair stiff from all the hair spray, prancing around in swimsuits sets an unnatural role model for young girls and this is what they aspire to become. Before it was just grown women, but today we face a brand new category of beauty displays. Now, instead of 20 year old women, there are toddlers and teens.