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Conformity and Identity Loss in Teens Due to Media Influence
Transcript of Conformity and Identity Loss in Teens Due to Media Influence
By Nancy Morin
The early adolescent and teenage years are the most formative in a young person's life.
This means that they (the media) are the ones playing a huge role in the child's development, dictating how they should look, dress, and act in order to be well liked and successful.
According to a study conducted by Temple University, the average teenager gets 180 minutes of media a day compared to only 10 minutes of parental interaction.
At this time their identities are in a state of constant change.
The the poem"Barbie Doll", by Marge Piercy, Is an example of the detrimental effects conforming to unattainable standards can have on person.
She does an excellent job drawing the attention to peer pressure, which is one of the greatest influences in a child's life, prompting them to change attitudes, behaviors, and personal habits.
It is the media that teaches these kids the misconstrued idea of what beauty is.
In the article"Beauty is Media Deep", by Krista Glen, she talks about how how clothing companies target young children, who are susceptible to manipulation.
Go to any playground or school and you will find children who are scantily dressed in provocative clothing.
When youngsters are overexposed due to the way they are dressed it can lead to poor self image and all types of abuse; Including bullying, self harm, hyper-sexualization, and it can push them toward adult behaviors before they are ready.
In the writing by, Alexandra Topping, "Teenage Girls Report Pressure to Live up to Sexual Ideals", she discusses how the media's portral of women is leading to a rise in anxiety and mental health issues in young women.
Because they can't reach the unattainable standards that have been set, many resort to self-harm to escape these pressures. Many girls develop eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia nervousa due to their desperate need to fit in.
These disorders can plague them for the rest of their lives.
Changing the damaging effects media has on our youth begins at home.
In the article "Helping Girls with Body Image", by Elizabeth Heubeck, she discusses what parents can do to help their children have a strong sense of self and avoid pressures to conform.
"Girls take to heart what their parents say about bodies: Their own, their daughters, those of strangers, and celebrities" (Heubeck)
If a mother has a negative self-image and talks poorly of herself, the daughter will begin to realize bodies are imperfect and start to look for their own flaws.
It is best to direct your child away media imagery and educate them on its dangers to eliminate their worries of trying to emulate what they see.