The kind of impact media have on teens has produced much of a talk for many Americans the past two decades. Before, what’s seen on TV and heard over the radio were mostly political that teens seem not to pay that much attention. However, the constant development of technology has made media the main avenue for entertainment and advertising.
But the problem is young people are manipulated and deceived by what it portrays in its different channels such as television, print, and the internet. Many experts and researchers have come to conclude that the media is able to influence teenagers, especially girls, to focus and be pressured by the way they look.
Advertising and marketing companies strive hard to compete with each other in order to promote their respective products and services. In order to do so, they have to use the media in order to reach and grab the interest of potential consumers. And after years of research and observation, they have realized that teenage girls are the most appealing group when it comes to advertising. As such, they come to portray girls as young as 12 as models for various types of commodity from beauty products, health and medicine, clothing, cars, and food.
By trend, a teen modeling for a beauty product in a magazine or a TV ad must look good in order for people to believe the product works. But what is the basic standard of looking good? For the media, it means that one should be slim, fair, and fit. Though this seems normal, the kind of message it relays to other teens can be misconstrued. When they are constantly exposed to those kinds of advertisement showing a certain standard for physical looks and perfect figure, they begin to feel the pressure of looking the same way.
What happens next is that a perception of always looking good, that means being fit and slim, is placed upon the mind of a normal American teenage girl. If she’s fat, has dark complexion, or is simply not that attractive, she begins to feel bad about herself. This feeling is aggravated whenever she sees another media advertisement showing a pretty and slim girl at front. What’s more alarming is when she starts to do outrageous measures just to attain the kind of physical standard set by the media. She begins to engage in constant workouts and exercise without complementing it with a proper diet plan. In fact, she may not eat at all, thinking it would be faster for her to slim down. In the end, she may incur health consequences that may change her life for good.
Finally, there’s really no exact science that will validate the negative effect of media advertising towards teenage girls. Nonetheless, it is more than obvious to see that excessive exposure to them entails a type of stereotyping that can be harmful for anyone, especially young children and teens.