cause and effect

May 10, 2011
By JessieGran SILVER, Oak Lawn, Illinois
JessieGran SILVER, Oak Lawn, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“They have ads of how you should dress and what you should look like and this and that and then they say, ‘ but respect people for what they choose to be like.” Okay, so which do we do first?”(“Girl talk.”) In modern times, the media has morphed the minds of young girls. This cause and effect of these issues are leading to the rise of health issues in teenage girls. The media’s portrayal of women is causing outrageous behavior in teenage girls. The effects of these actions are becoming more common like; eating disorders, teen pregnancy and teen depression. The media’s reality shows are becoming the real lives of girls.

“According to the 1983 Nielsen Report on Television, the average North American girl will watch 5,000 hours of television, including 80,000 ads before she starts kindergarten.”(“Media Awareness.”) With all the technology coming out, girls are even more targeted for ads. The media coming out with reality shows and putting celebrity news before world. And with so many ads, whether on television or Facebook, the media has the girls surrounded. All the ads and reality shows have women acting and doing things without any consequences to them. A study done, “discovered that similar proportion of male and female character on TV and in movies rely on them to achieve their goals and solve their own problems was favored by girls.” (“Media Awareness.”) As teenage girls are falling into unhealthy eating patterns along with depression and teen pregnancy. The shows such as Teen Mom shows how happy girls are about having a baby and still going out and party. The ads for the Victoria Secrets and typical department shows girls super skinny, pretty and have the best lives. Girls who see these ads and shows believe that they need to be like this to be happy. More girls stop protecting themselves and stop taking care of themselves, fall in the reckless patterns and watch their worlds spin out of control

When teenage girls turn on the TV, they will see skinny models and actresses. The women of Hollywood are the influences of the generation of the girls today. “Although the message of ‘girl power’ is prevalent in today’s marking messages, so is the irrefutable idea that ‘sexy’ and ‘thin’ are in!” (“Nault.”) With these messages being sent out, girls are taking unhealthy measures to be thin. Eating disorders are becoming more common. Harvard University Press revealed that 86% of teenage girls are on a diet or believe they should be on one. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 51% of 9 and 10-year-old girls actually feel better with themselves when on a diet. Our society has become so obsessed with being thin that eating disorders will so become more common in teenage lifestyle. “The dieting industry alone generates 40 billion dollars per year in America.” (“Nault.”) The media is responsible for creating ideals about body images.

“Social media is like teen sex, everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, they’re is surprise it’s not better.” (“McCarthy”). There is a huge rise of sex in teenage girls’ lives with more reality shows of kids having sex and no consequences. The show Teen Mom, the girls who have kids on most episodes are out partying or have a nice dad sticking around. How often in reality does a teen mom actually have any of this? “The idea confirms that young girls are being bombarded with images of sexuality, often dominated by stereotypical portrayals of women and girls as powerless, and passive victims.”(“Media Awareness.”) Women are seen as sex objects through the media’s eyes. As young teen girls see these women they do what they do. “By stereotypical image of uniformly beautiful, obsessively thin, and scantily dressed objects of male desire.” (“Media and Awareness.”) Teens are slowly going into these sexual ways and experiencing consequences not seen on TV.

With the abnormal expectations the media places on girls, the pressure can get to them. Girls trying to grow up too fast and become extremely stressed out. Teens can fall behind in school trying to keep up with the party lifestyles, causing conflict with parents and teachers. Drama between who’s pretty, who’s dating whom, and what’s the latest trend and how they are supposed to get it can add up and cause a breakdown. “Teenagers who spend a lot of time in front of the TV or under the influence of other mass-media outlets are very likely to develop symptoms related to depression early in their adult life.”(“Softpedia.”) Teens see young Hollywood going out and having a good time rather than staying at home spending time with family or doing homework. Girls are becoming more in tune with styles too old for them and wearing clothes that revealed too much. The younger the generation, the more and more Hollywood begins to sink into their mind. “They’re brainwashed into believing that the only way to be valuable is to look and act like the images on screen. When they’re unable to do so, their self-esteem takes a hit, and teen depression kicks in.” (“Woodward.”) There are more and more teens becoming depressed. The Hollywood scene is not a place for teenagers and adding that plus the normal day life is causing teens to hit rock bottom.

Hollywood is the place where dreams are fulfilled, but it’s also a place where lives are ruined. Teen girls lives are spinning in a downward motion more frequently. The media needs to watch how their portrayal of girls is and who their audiences are. If the women are continued to be seen like this the girls today will lose their innocents and imagination sooner than ever before. Girls have plenty of time to grow up and experience the world. The media is cutting that time in half. Eating disorders, teen pregnancy and teen depression are issues that the media needs to address and show ways to stop instead of influence.

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