Media and Teen Insecurity

Essay by kaisersongHigh School, 11th gradeA+, July 2006

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When today's teens look in the mirror, they see lots of flaws in need of fixing. They wonder how they can look like the stars they've seen in magazines and on TV. Everyone has things about themselves they would like to change. Even the "beautiful people" spend a lot of time in front of the mirror wishing something of their appearance was different. It is not abnormal or wrong to look at yourself with some degree of criticism. But when this "obsession" gets out of control, problems start to arise.

Of course, it isn't easy to ignore the perfect-looking people shown in the media. But the truth is that the kind of physical beauty shown on magazine covers isn't as rare as you would think. On any given day, at any given school, at any given mall, you can find hundreds of examples of physical beauty. Beauty isn't at all the same.

What you need to realize is TRUE beauty comes from unique individuality. Instead of following hundreds of examples of physical beauty, we can find true beauty in a voice, in the words being spoken, or in other characteristics. It is a shame that so much value is placed on images of physical perfection. In reality, beauty has flaws. Even the faces on the magazine covers don't really measure up to the standards of perfection. They are retouched and re-imaged.

It is time to look beyond the air brushed photos and personally trained bodies of celebrities. See the true picture. Physical beauty is not the most important thing in the world and it should never be the most important thing in your life. While it is healthy to want to be the most attractive "you," it is not healthy to do whatever it takes to see that...