Media is Sending the Wrong Message to Our Children Essay

Media is Sending the Wrong Message to Our Children Essay

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Another strong influence on these young children would be the media. Magazines, TV, and movies can all potentially send the wrong message. Although there is a push against it, many magazines still feature adds with very thin, sometimes underweight, models. The girls reading those magazines or even just looking at the pictures, may now want to base their looks and body appearance off of that model. Recent surveys have shown that half of girls, ages eight to twelve, want to look like the people in the media and about thirty-two percent are worried about their bodies (Day). However, this could be very dangerous. According to Martina M Cartwright, when you emphasize physical perfection, adult body dissatisfaction and the possibility of an eating disorder become a greater risk for young girls (Child Beauty Pageants 'About Parents Feeling Good, Not Kids'). Same thing goes for TV images and movies. They also have a huge impact on children and the kinds of things they internalize as far as what might be normal for looks and behavior (Day).
With all the expectations placed on these children, they not only start to look more like an adult, but they act like one too. Some people forget just how young these girls actually are and treat them as if they are full grown women who are capable of making life changing decisions. This puts a lot of pressure on the girls to mature more quickly and does not allow them to just enjoy their childhood. When a child is not given the proper time to grow and develop, many problems may arise.
The whole “beauty is everything” mindset most often associated with beauty pageants comes with a lot of problems. When children are focused on body image and appearance they can also start to feel bad about themselves i...

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...dies and may develop eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and low self esteem.
Psychologist Mary Pipher says, “We live in a ‘girl poisoning’ culture that demeans the intelligence and spirit of the teenage girls as it rewards them for their looks, popularity, sex appeal, and submissiveness.” (Peradotto) The United States, along with the rest of the world, would greatly benefit from a law prohibiting young children from partaking in beauty pageants. These girls don’t realize the amount of sexualization or the kinds of demeaning values they are being exposed to through pageants, but the adults involved do. Adults, not the girls themselves, are the ones with the power to change the way these children are viewed. Banning child beauty pageants, of course, will not remove all sexualization or unreal expectations placed on females, but it might be a good place to start.

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