The youth of today is exposed to different media that illustrates a different standard of beauty by associating the term with underweight movie stars, models and musicians. It has come to a point that if the question were asked if media promotes anorexia, it won’t be surprising to get a resounding affirmation. The truth is children are exposed to images in television, magazines, newspapers, radio and other media forms, all of which give out the same message that the perfect beauty is skinny. It is no wonder that media influences society, in particular the youth, so that there is an increase of children suffering from eating disorders.
Although eating disorders for a child isn’t all because of the negative influence of the media. Some children are just more likely to develop anorexia and some might be at risk of developing other types of eating disorders without the negative effect of media.
Sending False Messages
Today’s media is obsessed with physical appearances or a person’s external beauty. The media landscape in the generation of Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth promoted a different type of beauty, one that isn’t skinny or scrawny. The standard of beauty has since evolved over the years in which beautiful means wearing a size zero and no more than that. Otherwise, you are labeled as fat.
An example of such phenomenon is when after bearing two children Britney Spears shows up in a skimpy outfit and was mocked by the media because of how much she’s gone fat. Despite giving birth to two children, she isn’t even close to ‘fat’ but the media was overly critical by being offended by how the pop star had the guts to wear such an outfit with a figure like that.
With such an example, it is no longer surprising that the youth of today has such a distorted view of what the ideal beauty is about.
Perfect isn’t Perfect
Today’s youth oriented television shows and magazines use personalities that are rarely overweight or even have normal weight which further sends out the wrong message that perfect beauty is thin. From the time a child gets into their pre-teen years until their middle-teen years they are constantly exposed to what so-called perfect beauty is and the need to look just absolutely perfect.
Imagine if Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth were alive today, they would be considered fat, which is quite a shock. This shows how much the standard of perfection and beauty has really evolved. Isn’t it surprising to realize that these iconic symbols of beauty, health and sex are now deemed flawed? The idea seems unreal.
Getting it Right
Media influences society, in particular children, with continuous messages of what today’s society consider as ideal and a very negative of idea of what is perfect. In order to limit a child or a teenager’s exposure to these negative influences is by limiting their exposure to shows that promote harmful ways of altering one’s body image and the same goes for magazines.
It’s important to teach children of what a healthy body image is by encouraging them to stay fit in body and mind instead of focusing on looks and beauty. Also, it’s important to keep track of your child’s self esteem issues and their body image.