Mass Media’s the New Negative Role Model For Teenage Girls
Many of us every morning watch TV, listen to music, are in school or work during the day. We share the latest news on fashion, world events; talking about a great new movie we saw with our friends or family. Then after school or work we plug into the world of mass media; TV, computers, and magazines. We do all of this without actually realizing the amount of media we are consuming on a daily basis. Can we imagine a time period in which we are not allowed to use any kind of media, including TV, computers, magazines or mobile phones? Many of us would agree that this isn’t possible due to our obsession with mass media. It is a fact that the media has an impact in our lives. However, how it does it is a mystery, and it revolves around our lives daily eventually influencing our values and preferences. If adults are extremely influenced by mass media, imagine the teeangers today. Adolescents are living in the age of technology where they view the media as another form of guidance especially teenage girls. Therefore, the mass media has a huge impact on growing teenage girl’s lives influencing them in negative ways.
The mass media impacts lives of many, but mostly those of teenage girls. As kids are growing to become teenagers they go through puberty, a delicate time where they start finding out who they truly are. Teenage girls find more interest in their appearance and are quickly influenced by everything shown in the Internet, TV and magazines. This is important because what may seem completely normal in the media to many is actually not. A large majority of research and cases demonstrate an increase of deaths and self harm being done by teenage girl’s due to their lack of self- esteem and depression because of mass media. A recent study shows that the average amount of time spent watching television content among all 8-18 year olds is 4.29 hours in a typical day, and an estimated 33 million 12-19 year olds spend upward of $175 billion annually on magazines (Jordi Fauquet).The demand to advertise most products using unrealistic size, ‘perfect’ face model is huge. Therefore, the more teenage girls view these different forms of media the more self dissatisfaction a girl will be about her body. Body dissatisfaction refers to a negative self evaluation of one’s own appearance and desire to be more physically attractive (Velasquez, 3). This is a rapidly increasing issue that is growing with the advance of technology and forms of media. The Internet is an example of media most used in the daily lives of girls causing for a larger amount of exposure. Studies were done by Beth Tersa Bell and Helga Dittmar, reported weekly hours of Internet use was higher than other media type. Since the Internet has been expanding excessively the availability to search almost anything up like entertainment( Youtube), social media (Twitter, Instagram) and ‘chat’( Facebook). These different websites lead teen girls to excessively using the Internet, also providing curious minds the ability to search for anything. As many may know the Internet can be a helpful tool as it provides users with a tons of information. The positive side of the Internet is it increases and widens a young adult’s knowledge and can quickly update people with needed information. However, like everything else, the Internet can be extremely harmful as well. For example not all of the information is filtered to be accurate or perceived as positive for teenage girls. As girls increase their media exposure, their eating disorder symptomatology may also increase( Vaughan & Fouts, 6). The Internet separates young girls from the real world, even though they get updated and informed of current events/ news they lose face-to-face, communication skills. Adolescents are influenced by celebrities and models which leads them into craving and eagerly wanting the perfect look . With the goal in achieving the ideal image, girl’s take...
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