The Effects Of Media On Adolescent Girls

1420 words - 6 pages

Media has become a significant component within society. While media provides many pros, it supplies various cons as well. One very prominent fault that the significance of media has is its visual depiction of women. There is an abundance of media portraying women to have ideal bodies, and this undoubtedly has a negative effect on adolescent girls. Two of the many effects of media on females are depression and self esteem issues, as well as eating disorders. Unfortunately, body dissatisfaction caused by media is becoming more and more common.
In today’s society, media is a part of everyone’s lives, whether people want it to be or not. One of the most openly disliked components of the media is the thin, ideal, hour-glass figure that is virtually unattainable. This ideal body is becoming “increasingly unrealistic for most women to achieve by healthy means” (Tiggemann). Throughout history, it has always been a challenge to obtain the ideal beauty of the time (Derenne and Beresin). The current "ideal body" has an ample bust, a toned butt, and an incredibly thin profile with minimal curves. There is a multitude of media aimed towards women. Magazine advertisements of the shape or size of a woman’s body, photographs of famous actresses, and television characters are the leading forms of media that influence how women view ideal beauty (Myer and Biocca). All these types of media persuade girls to think they need to have the perfect body. It is one thing to want to be beautiful, but it is another thing entirely to have the media make the standard of beauty unrealistic.
Unfortunately, low self-esteem and depression are frequently found in adolescent girls. Self-esteem is the confidence which someone has in their own abilities. Low self-esteem is when someone has little or no confidence with their skills and has little self-respect. Most people have the general definition of depression, but not all people fully understand its severity. Depression is when an individual has feelings of hopelessness and has very little energy to accomplish tasks; many people have tremendous trouble sustaining an interest in life. In today’s culture, girls have become more depressed in adolescence compared to boys (Stice and Bearman). One of the major influences on why girls are frequently more depressed than boys, is that girls struggle to obtain the perfect body in their own eyes. Findings show that, compared to teen boys, teen girls have higher body shame. Fifty-three percent of adolescent girls reported being dissatisfied with their body after the study (Knauss). Low-self esteem, combined with depression, can potentially be very dangerous for young women.
Furthermore, media surrounds teenage girls in today’s culture. It is impossible to escape the sight of media. The media’s constant idealistic beauty is ever present to a vast amount of self-conscious girls. This image of beauty causes girls to have low self-esteem (Clay, Vignoles, and Dittmar). Media defining this...

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