Girls and the Media

January 9, 2011
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There she lies on the couch. Her raven black hair is perfectly layered, tapered, and straightened with the top layer immaculately curled. With a gentle hand she pushes her dark side sweeps off of her forehead and behind her ear. Her forest green eyes are highlighted with light copper tones and tactfully applied gray eyeliner, with a final touch of lightly painted eyelashes. Her skin is smooth as cream with a light spread of blush adding just a touch of color to her cheeks. As she gently smiles her lip-gloss coated lips unmask a set of gorgeous pearly white teeth. She gently clicks a manicured fingernail on the black remote that lies next to her designer jeans and snug white tee-shirt. Suddenly her smile vanishes and her doe-eyes sink as she sees the model appear on the screen. Flouncing a strapless and slightly revealing dress, completed with unrealistically attractive hair, a tiny waist and a gorgeous frame. Quickly she gets up and runs to the bathroom. She looks in the mirror. Not pretty enough, she sighs. She turns and twists her 20 in. waist, just isn’t small enough. Her shoulders slump and she goes back to her couch.

The effects of the media on girls are becoming a serious issue. They are seemingly trying to prove to females that unless they’re thin, tall, have gorgeous legs and wear heavy makeup and other forms of cosmetic supplies, that they’re worthless. Not only are they targeting the physical side of females, but the mental side also. Making girls feel that they cannot be intelligent, but instead must be known as fun-loving and let others solve their problems for them.

In 1992 a poll was taken at Stanford University among the female students there. 70 percent said after looking at magazines they felt worse about their bodies. Recent surveys say 90 percent of women do not like their bodies. Probably the biggest effect on women through the media is that they need to be minuscule. The media tries to flaunt the fact that unless you have an eighteen inch waist your social life will be non-existent. Magazines barrage girls with underweight models. Toy industries sell toys such as the Barbie Doll, that when tested to be a live girl, would actual die due to the inaccurate proportions of its body. This makes girls who are the appropriate body size believe they are truly overweight. A teen magazine actually reported that 35 percent of 6-12 year old girls had actually already been on a diet. That, however, is not the only scary percentage.

Forty-three percent of girls who are from six to nine years old are already using lip gloss or lip stick. Another thing sold to girls through the media, is the need to wear layers of makeup. Cover-up, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, lip stick, lip gloss, you name it they try to sell it. How do they sell it so well? They try to undermine girls to make them feel they aren’t pretty and that certain product is the only chance they’ll ever have, leading up to the point where girls almost look like they have plastic faces. They also make girls believe that if they want boys to notice them, especially teens, that they need to wear makeup, and yet online polls have proven that men are okay with moderate make-up, but truly prefer little or none.

Books, movies, and other forms of media make girls feel that they need to sit in the back and act pretty and faint and such while a male protagonist solves their problems for them. Add to that commercials and movies showing girls having good time and partying, other girls acting stupid and obsessed with vanity who are without a care in the world. Social networking cites make girls try to glam themselves up and smart themselves down to try to impress males. They do not value education and make girls feel they need to hide their intelligence from others because it seems “unattractive” and that it will scare others away from them.

I think that this is ridiculous. Every girl is amazing in some way or another. Each one is beautiful in their own way. We don’t need makeup or tiny waists, so why does the media continually try to make girls feel they must be like this? Couldn’t we have a media that projects their products in a way that makes them seem like a little perk, or just for fun, not so serious and life threatening? I also want to encourage girls to take a look at their selves and realize they don’t need to hide behind makeup and flimsy clothing to be attractive. Be yourselves, that’s the most attractive version of yourself you can ever project.





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