Self Esteem and the Media

Topics: Advertising, Nutrition, Childhood Pages: 6 (2027 words) Published: April 2, 2007
There are two types of media. There can be good media, and there can be bad media. One might also refer to the media as positive or negative. This paper will introduce some negative affects found as a result of children imitating and idolizing the media and the celebrities that go along with it. There are also positive results that come from the media; the media is not all bad. This paper will just focus on the bad affects I have found. The media spends billions of dollars to create advertisements that appeal to our youth. While those companies are just looking to make money and promote their products; they are doing so much more. Today's world is becoming more aware of the problems arising from negative media. The Media and Self-Esteem

Today's advertising portrays this envision of the perfect man or woman as either super skinny or overly muscular, so these advertisements are causing low self-esteem in children and teens. The media's advertising affects children and teens in many ways. Today's children are easily influenced by their peers including figures in the media. Advertising portrays people and objects in a way that is almost impossible for children and teens to separate from a selling tactic and real life. Children and teens suffer in today's world from obesity, low self-esteem, and anorexia, to name a few. Most wonder if television or celebrities add to these disorders. On an average year children watch 10,000 fast food ads on television (Teen Health and the Media). This type of advertising effects children more than adults. Adults can distinguish the difference in truly wanting something or wanting the item due to seeing the ad. Studies presented that 14% of children are severely overweight (Teen Health and the Media). The media affects children and teens in other ways besides weight. Television presents violence in a manner children are not used to and are not subjected to on a daily basis. The media sends mixed messages to children and teens. One minute the television is advertising fast food then the next minute advertising skinny celebrities (Teen Health and the Media). Shows such as "The Swan" do not promote any positives to children or adults. The show takes a person, whom is not attractive, or the person does not think he or she is attractive. The person then gets a makeover that consists of plastic surgery. At the end of the show that person is unveiled and everyone tells how gorgeous he or she looks now. To children or even adults watching this, it shows a quick fix to their self-esteem. Jennifer Berger has a non-profit organization that promotes positive self-esteem in woman through media education (Ganahl, J., May 2, 2004). The media is not all negative. Some advertising promotes good health. There are many anti-smoking campaigns. Teens who know how to detect subliminal pro-smoking messages are less likely to smoke; research from the University of Pittsburgh found (Media-savvy teens smoke less). Youth need to see these types of ads, and they also need to see ads that do not make them second guess themselves or if they are attractive. Television can be educating, but also can be hurtful. Television is educational in some cases. Programs can teach preschoolers the alphabet or teach children about wildlife (How TV Affects Your Child). Disadvantages in Television

•Research shows that children who watch 4 hours or more of television a day are more likely to be overweight (How TV Affects Your Child). •Watching television consistently reinforces gender-roles and racial stereotypes (How TV Affects Your Child). •Children, who view violent shows with kidnapping or murder, are also more likely to believe that someone is going to do something bad to them or their family (How TV Affects Your Child). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children in the United States watch about 4 hours of TV a day-even though the AAP guidelines say children older than 2...

References: Allingham, W. (n.d.) Discovery Channel; Episode 12-Girl Power. Retrieved January 29, 2007,
Ganahl, J. (May 2, 2004). Clipping the wings of ‘The Swan '. San Francisco Chronicle.
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Nault, K. (Nov. 14, 2006). Teenage Girls + Media = Low Self-Esteem. Ezine Articles. Retrieved
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Seattle Times. Retrieved December 16, 2006, from
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