Mass media is designed to reach large audiences through the use of technology. Its purpose is
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, smart, and have no physical flaws. The generally use actors
in their 20?s to portray teens.
The popular kids also have money, dress in name-brand clothes, drive fancy cars, and only date the best
looking students; therefore, forcing unnecessary pressure on teens to be perfect. Teen want to be like the
made up characters they see on teen dramas. In reality the media is not showing the real picture of the
diverse world we live in. According to the online recourse Common Sense Media, 74 percent of
characters on TV are Caucasian, and 64 percent of video games characters are males. In reality the images
teens see in the media are edited, airbrushed, and photo shopped. Even though a teen may be aware of this
fact, seeing the stereotyped image still has an effect on their body image.
The majorities of teens are not being educated about sex at home; therefore, are learning about
sex from porn, or other forms of media. The encouragement of sexual behavior is widely displayed in the
media Sex is being portrayed as more casual, without commitment, contraception, or consequences. Cell
phone use is very widespread and almost every teen has their own. The casual attitude...