The media has a profound effect on people, particularly women, and the way that they perceive themselves and their bodies. Thanks to television, the Internet, and movies, media has a strong hold on women’s personal perceptions of what beauty is supposed to be. Because of this, it has been known to contribute to some women experiencing eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Shockingly, problems with eating disorders have increase over 400% since the year 1970. This is further backed up by other shocking yet not surprising statistics:
- 9 out of 10 girls feel pressurized by the media to become the ideal ‘skinny’ There has been at least a sixty percent increase over the last twenty five years in the way women are portrayed; now, over half of women in media are perceived as sexual objects.
- Teen People Magazine conducted a recent survey. In it, they discovered that over 25% of the girls surveyed felt that the media makes them feel pressure to have a perfectly shaped body.
- In another study, 69% of girls concurred that models found in magazines had a major influence on their concept of what a perfect body shape should look like.
Its not just the media that is the problem, however, it is also ourselves. Lets face it.. if we didn’t want to believe all that rubbish then we wouldn’t and yet we do and this is because of several reasons; 1. That peer pressure will always get the better of us, because we were raised for survival of the fittest, to be the best that we can 2. The media will never go out now that it has gained the exposure it has 3. None of us can resist looking at someone and secretly wishing were just as beautiful as they are. But what is beautiful? Why is it that beautiful has to mean that you look like you’ve never eaten? I’m referring to the west of course because in places like Africa and the middle east.. beauty is redefined, there is no set precedent on what makes a girl beautiful it purely follows the saying ‘that beauty is in the eye of the beholder…’ somehow we lost that concept and most of us will admit we’re scared we won’t get that philosophy back.
Another problem are the parents themselves. Kid beauty pageants are just a small example of the oversexualisation of our kids. That a kid can only be beautiful if they are weighed down by jewellery and enough makeup to paint the whole of china. Right now in the media, Miley Cyrus is becoming the role model of our children and whilst our parents fight to protect and shield their eyes, her father and godmother defend her saying ‘she’s just being miley, finding herself in her own way…shes the happiest shes ever been.’
The other day I saw something truly startling… what was someone’s piece of fun was a shocking glimpse into reality for me, check this pic below for yourselves:
Just now, I sit and watch Neighbours, the current storyline? A young girl who has ended up in hospital after passing out flat trying hopelessly to lose weight so a guy will like her, what else is happening in the soap you ask? Another girl has bulimia and so an eating disorder. People will argue this is just a soap opera…but they have to base their storylines on something don’t they?
Now focusing towards the music industry… have people seen the words in songs? Lets take miley Cyrus’s We Can’t Stop… ‘to my home girls with the big butts shaking it like they’re at a strip club’ I’ve seen young kids as young as 4 singing these lyrics… if people don’t understand words they look it up and if it’s featured in a song people are likely to like it/do it/ or ignore it. Then let’s move to her other song ‘do my thang’ imagine for a moment your 4 year old going around your friends house singing ‘Bang bitch
You think I’m strange b****, It’s bananas like a f******* ‘rangatang b****
Don’t worry ’bout me, I got it all arranged b****. Don’t believe me? Play the song and watch your angelic lil kid turn bad. For songs about sex or sex-related topics you’ll find those in the likes of Enrique Iglesias’s ‘Bailamos’. Let’s not forget the timeless classic ‘I like big butts and I cannot lie’. Countless of songs giving these kind of lessons to your children… awwh bless.
Not all singers are bad though… remember when Sir Cliff said that he hopes that Miley is only going through a phase and how he talks about how this kind of market is bad for this kind of thing and let’s turn to Hilary Duff, the only Disney star I could look up to. Avril Lavigne has always been ready to go against the status quo when it comes to her image, so don’t be surprised that the Complicated singer has declared she will NOT be pressurised into sexing up her image to boost record sales. She’s said of the music industry ‘“I think it’s always kind of been like that. Like when I came out everyone was bearing their midriff.” She said that whilst “other people may dress the way they want to dress; I dress how I want to dress.” “I’ve always dressed differently and done my own thing and not followed the trend.” Also not every celebrity supports the way our moralistic world is heading… for example; Jennifer Lawrence recently said “It is a part of the entertainment industry that sells. Sex sells, and for some disgusting reason young sex sells even more,”
Generally though it seems our moral or moralistic expectations have dropped. Whilst we all judge celebs like miley for wearing or rather not wearing clothes, society think it’s perfectly okay to only wear leggings and a crop top… whilst we judge miley’s lyrics we still blast out her songs… see what I’m getting at? We say we don’t like what she does but we don’t fully discourage it do we? If we all blanked her and didn’t give her any exposure at all, didn’t talk about her at all….would she still do what she does… I doubt it. The fact of the matter is her career relies on our attention span so we can’t complain about her actions without doing something about it.
So, does what I say impact your thoughts? Does it make you wanna take action or will you listen, agree and then be a hypocrite and listen to one of the women degrading, over sexualising songs we’ve grown to tolerate. Let’s bring it back to the days where a music video consisted of a girl skateboarding with a t-shirt, combats, pair of converse and little or no makeup and she was considered to be the coolest singer around!