The Media and Young Girls

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Depression of Happiness
“Oh my God Becky look at her butt! It’s so big”. An excerpt from a very popular rap song describes a fast growing number of girls who believe they are fat no matter what anyone else or the scale tells them. Since they can remember scantly clad models and celebrities have been parading if front of them on a daily basis. This is causing a widespread epidemic of impressionable young girls who do whatever it takes to look like celebrities such as Calista Flockhart or Lara Flynn Boyle. The majority of girls growing up today learn a false lesson at a very early age that unless they look a certain way, society will deem them ugly and fat.
The media plays a major part in this challenge. Most girls can recall being force fed the ways they should look or act. The media attributed to this by weight loss commercials for magic diet pills, reality TV shows such as the Swan or Extreme Makeover, and seeing that the only people that get to be on TV are super thin. In the weight loss commercials, they would show a medium overweight person who then magically transforms in three weeks into a beautiful confident person who can now wear a string bikini. This can show young girls that if they take a magic diet pill or do the South Beach Diet they can look just like the beautiful confident person in the bikini. This can be detrimental because the young girls do not learn healthy eating habits, instead they learn that they have to look a certain way or they almost kill themselves trying. Reality TV shows such as the Swan or Extreme Makeover can show young girls that with the help of ten experts anyone can look pretty. These girls are living in a society where just a little plastic surgery and dental work can make anyone attractive. It is true, but they need to find the little person inside waiting to come out and show them that it is alright to look different as long as you are healthy. As Ellen Goodman proves how the media can change someone’s views of themselves, in her essay Going Thin, Goodman observes “In just thirty eight months, and with only one major channel a TV-free culture that impact defined a fat person as robust has become a TV culture that sees robust as, well, repulsive”(91).

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