meant to give information we need to function as a society. Mass media is everywhere; there is no
escaping from it. From the moment you wake until you fall asleep you are confronted with media. Almost
every home in America has at least one TV, the internet, and cell phones. You cannot drive down the
highway without seeing billboard signs. Checking out at the grocery store can be tricky if trying to avoid
magazines. The media is supposed to portray what is considered to be normal; therefore, affects what
society considers normal. The media's portrayal of body image affects teens negatively through using
stereotypes, encouraging sexual behavior, and promoting unnecessary products. Teens are very
impressionable^ during the difficult and already confusing part of their development. Thus what the media
tells them is "normal" affects them more so than adults.
The media uses stereotypes to portray what a "normal" body should look like. Women are often
shown unrealistically thin and men with muscles larger than life. The idea that these unrealistic bodies are
normal and healthy can be quite damaging to a teens self image. In 2003, Teen Magazine reported that 35
percent of girls 6 to 12 years old have been on at least one diet, and that 50 to 70 percent of normal weight
girls believe they are overweight. Boys also feel pressured into weight training and using steroids to
achieve that perfect body. Weight is not the only subject the media uses. If your weight is fine, they tell
you that you are ageing, and are in need of beauty products to achieve the ideal look. Teen dramas use the
stereotype that the popular kids are beautiful, s...
... middle of paper ...
...ow that parents care about them and what they do. Second, parents need
to establish a good line of communication between themselves and their teens. Teens need to know that
they can talk to their parents about anything. We also need to talk to our teens about the realistic body
inuge and sex. If we don't the media certainly will. Lastly, parents need to monitor their teen ; media use
and exposure. If parents are aware of what their teens are exposed to, they can better communicate what is
appropriate; therefore, directly counteracting the media's negative portrayal of body image.
Bourland, Korrie. "Female Body Images in the Media."
http://www6.svsu.edu/~glt/Magazine/Bourland.html 08 Dec. 2004. Web. 23 Feb. 2010
Ransohoff, Julia. "Preteens and the Media."
http://www.pamf.sutterhealth.org/preteen/growingup/choices/media.html 2009. Web. 23 Feb. 2010
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