The Dark Side Of The Media

822 words - 4 pages

Gossip Girl, 90210, Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant; these TV shows depict the lifestyles of particular young adults. This TV entertainment is designated for adults, but now a day with such skyrocketing technology almost everyone is vulnerable to these shows. As well as the shows previously mentioned, there is a myriad more that contain similar content, romance, sexual behavior, violence and at times even drug consumption. With this in mind, it can be inferred that media as a whole can negatively affect and influence teenagers and to greater means even affect children.

It is almost inevitable to not be exposed to any kind of media in a daily basis. Everywhere people go, whether it is through television, magazines, or the radio, they are victims of the possible influences of the media. For instance, a vast majority of American society is concerned about their body image and is constantly monitoring what they are eating. This constant monitoring is eventually becoming into a battle with one’s self in an attempt to always look as good as possible or to emulate models that come out in the covers of magazines or in reality shows. It is known to society that many people are not satisfied with their body image, thus leading them to opt for risky alternatives (bulimia or anorexia) that promise to help them lose the unwanted weight. Magazines and TV shows have a tendency to portray the “ideal” body for women as that of an hourglass image. Therefore, women feel the pressure to maintain this ideal body image and look the way society expects them to be. This influence that media has on people is escalating at a tremendous rate and is even reaching to younger generations. Steven J. Kirsh, Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York and author of Media and Youth: A Developmental Perspective included in his writing a study made by Collins, which concluded that “42% of 6 to 7-year old girls and 30% of same-aged boys preferred silhouettes of bodies thinner than their own”(136). It is completely ridiculous how at such a young age, children are already being influenced by the images that the media exposes.

It is incredible what the media can show their audience. TV reality shows usually show teenagers involved in sexual behavior, making them stand out from the crowd. Because of this, some adolescents perceive this behavior as common and to be something “everyone is doing” (Kirsh 187). Children...

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