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How The Media Affects The Self Esteem And Body Image Of Young Girls

1076 words - 5 pages

The misconception of what is beautiful can be detrimental to young girls. In a television industry attempt to sell goods, they are depicted as sexy. Creating a need for parents to intervene and present a more realistic and normal view of physical beauty. Today, TV presents sexually based images crafted to appeal to young girls. Unfortunately, they are led to believe that their value is only skin deep, causing flawed expectations, illusions, and wrong information about the truth of the physical body in the real world. In an attempt to look the part some have fallen victim to eating disorders, while others have exchanged childhood innocence for an Adult view of what is sexy.

When girls ...view middle of the document...

It says school cloths need to impress, to say something about you” (Packaging Girlhood 10-12). There exists an implication that teenagers and 8 year olds share some sort of sexy commonality. While in reality it is merely introducing a younger group of consumers to the fashion and beauty trap. Lamb also states that the products aimed at girls promise perfect faces and bodies, friends, and boyfriends (Packaging Girlhood 15). It then becomes the parents’ problem to either deliver on the promise or deal with a disappointed and sexually confused child. If any weight issues arise, they will be left to parents to deal with.

With so much TV imagery reaching children, the following statistics from Skipping Stone magazine were not surprising, “Sexual content appears in 64% of all TV programs, averaging 4.4 scenes an hour. Over 50% of American kids have a TV in their bedroom. 44% of kids say they watch something different when they're watching it alone (rather than with their parents) 60% of teens say they get their information about sex and sexual health from TV, rather than healthcare providers or parents” (Did You Know 29). When confronted with TVs obsession for sexualizing girls, raising them to appreciate their physical appearance and personality has become an overwhelming task.

The desire to look like the model depicted on a magazine or commercial is leaving them with unrealistic goals. Girls need to be informed that some of the look being presented is achieved by people with eating disorders. Scott J. Crow shared the results of a mortality study done in 2009 ranging from 8 to 25 year olds. In 1,885 individuals with eating disorders, the percentages amounted to “4.0% for anorexia nervosa, 3.9% for bulimia nervosa, and 5.2% non-specified eating disorders” (1342-1346). Some of these deaths may have been young girls that just wanted to change the way they looked. Feeling inadequate over their appearance, they sought out that perfect model-like physic that was presented as sexy.

Because girls are being exposed to sexual imagery at younger ages, they may say or do things that if viewed from an adult perspective appear...

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