The Media’s Influence on Adolescents’ Body Image
An analysis of the effects of media on the appearance of adolescents.
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This paper takes a look at how the media influences the way adolescents view the ideal body image. The author examines the type of stereotypes that the media encourages and the way that this effects society.
“Adolescence is a time for learning and growth. This time can be easier to handle by some than others. For some it can be a revelation of new experiences and ideas, while adolescence can also be a difficult, stressful time for those trying to discover themselves. This can affect themselves as well as those around them. During this time, adolescents are likely to identify with those around them, their peers. Identifying with peers can help adolescents along by giving them the opportunity to see how others deal with problems similar to their own and by offering their own advice to those who need it. Along with this, adolescents are liable to worry about their body image, and may want to conform to those who have achieved the “desired” image. This image may be thin, muscular, or just average. Nevertheless, some adolescents will go too far to achieve this image, usually this is done by adolescent females who wish to become thin. This can be attributed to media’s portrayal of women. The majority of women in ads, television and movies are thin and are seen as attractive because of this. Adolescent girls will see these women and may want their image as their own, and some will go to any lengths to acquire this. This in turn could lead to the idea that during this process of change and growing up, adolescents are often concerned about their physical image, which is influenced by the media.”