Media's Influence on Young Girls

Essay by tanyagHigh School, 12th grade March 2004

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Introduction: Media's Influence on Young girls

Media is a huge influence today. Our culture is media-saturated: ads, TV, radio, internet, movies, magazines, newspapers, billboards, video games, logos. Media sends messages on several levels: written words which people think are most important but they really aren't; images which are much more powerful than people tend to think; and sounds (music) which create feelings that people are not often conscious of. Media images are coded to reinforce ideology, or the dominant beliefs of a society. What needs to be conquered is the "common sense" ideals our society holds, like being beautiful means being thin, tan, buff, tall, but not too tall, with shiny hair, flawless skin, undimpled thighs and abs of steel. This isn't common sense because it's true; its common sense because that's the message society has been bombarded with for years. The most frightening part is that this destructive message is reaching children especially girls.

Specifically this paper will address the following: Does the media have the ability to influence young girls to be thin, as well as, engage in sexual activity, and does the media exploit women? Through the tremendous amount of research collected by books, encyclopedias, the internet, and a survey conducted amongst thirty girls, it will be demonstrated that the media has influenced girls to be more worried about their appearance, further open to sexual doings, and has exploited women to the point where depression is a common outcome for these girls.

Media and Body Image

Advertisers often emphasize sexuality and the importance of physical attractiveness in an attempt to sell products, but researchers are concerned that this places too much pressure on young girls to focus on their appearance. In a recent survey by Teen People magazine, 27% of the girls felt that the media...