Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Effects of Media on Teenagers

As a teen, I myself think it’s pretty safe to say that TV, as well as movies and other media, are some of our primary sources of information about sex and sexuality. Statistics estimate that the average teen will be exposed to around 15000 references to sex each year on TV. TV shows and movies make it seem normal for teenagers to have sex. And let’s be honest, it probably is. But the fact of the matter is the media has a whole lot of influence over the way we perceive sexuality, and actually a great deal of it comes from the music industry, especially through music videos. You try to think of one song that’s been on MTV music channel, that hasn’t mentioned anything remotely to do with sex or a broken relationship. Now think of one music video you’ve watched on 4music channel that didn’t include one scrap of sexual imagery or expose and focus on a scantily clad female. Yeah, didn’t think you could. What’s worse is that a recent study of video games teenage boys regularly play found that the few female characters in those games are often highly sexualized—wearing tight revealing clothing and having unrealistically large breasts, and unnaturally disfiguring small waists. Is this distorting the way guys view real women? Well, sorry for the wakeup call boys, but you’re in for a shocking discovery. Another study of network television commercials found that nearly one in 4 commercials includes some type of sexual attractiveness as a base for the message. What is going on with the world? Are we so unimaginative we’ve resorted to sexual attraction as a method to persuade people to buy shampoo? Is this nation as gullible to believe that ‘when you buy this insanely expensive bottle of shampoo, you’ll automatically transform from your naught-over-average self into this booby-blonde bimbo who probably eats an average of 200 calories a day’ really? Why don’t we just change it from ‘Advertising Executives’ to freaking ‘Pornography Wholesale’ and be done with it?! Which brings me to another point. Young girls were quoted as saying that they would prefer to have cancer, lose both their parents, or live through a nuclear holocaust than be fat. You might be thinking, ‘Is this a joke? ’ I really wish it was. Because take it from someone who has grown up with only one parent, being fat is the least of your worries. And this problem isn’t limited to just girls, oh no. Because the amount of males with eating disorders has in fact doubled over the past decade. Sorry lads, but you’re not faultless. On the other hand, nobody is. Even the media can’t hide from you that basic fact – the new Rimmel girl, quite frankly, looks almost the double of a frogmouth catfish. Not that they don’t put up a good fight. Take one look at any middle-shelf magazine and you’ll see exactly what every single other woman in the country no doubt sees, – today’s airbrushed perception of the perfect beauty. The elementary trend in the media industry at present is to promote slim, almost unnaturally skinny women’s bodies, and sell it out as the only way to be accepted as beautiful. Women, especially young women, take one look at magazines, TV programmes, movies and other media products and accept this falsified version of a human being, and distressingly of all, believe in it. These images are distinguished in the mind of young women as being a role model to follow, and aspire to be like. Unfortunately girls, attaining this emaciated look doesn’t come naturally (unless you’ve been blessed with an insanely high metabolism – for which, I am extremely resentful), and inevitably leads to exercising some form of diet, excessive amounts of exercise or aberrant eating behaviours. In actual fact, the number of people with some form of eating disorder is triple the amount of people with AIDS. Two in five women have admitted that they were unhappy with their bodies, which means 40% of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. The media does affect us, and there isn’t much we can do about that. What you can do, is stop comparing yourself to the cover models – because they’re not real women. Beauty is natural, not airbrushed, and natural is how you are in yourself – not how you adapt yourself around an image’s expectations.

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