Nowadays, most of female are losing weight, some of them did plastic surgery. All they try to do is to have a perfect appearance. Especially, these phenomena have been trending younger, “The report found two thirds of 15-year-old girls said they were too fat; and 41 percent said they’d had nothing to eat or drink for breakfast; and 53 percent of girls aged 12 and 13, and a third of girls aged 10 and 11 said they wanted to lose weight” (E.W). What shapes young girl’s self-esteem, or what makes them pay attention to their appearance? I think “Miss Representation” gives us a great answer: Media. This documentary emphasizes on media expresses females in a narrow and scornful way, they are represented as young, slim, and beauty figures, it makes many females under pressure. Then, it causes them to get eating disorder, self-mutilation, melancholia, they even choose to end their lives. Media negatively affect young girl’s self-esteem, these effects mainly reflect in them pursuing perfect body image and value orientation, which are unrealistic.
On the one hand, media makes young girls to pursue the perfect body image, even though they understand that these images might be fake. The photo I choose reveals that cover photo has been photoshopped, girls shouldn’t blindly pursue unrealistic objects. “Magazines and advertising have long been criticized for upholding dangerously unrealistic standards of success and beauty, but at least it’s acknowledged that they are idealized. The models wearing Size 0 clothing are just that: models. And even they are made-up, retouched, and photoshopped” (Rae). Models already have better body shapes than normal girls, and media also use Photoshop on the pictures. Then, we can see that the girl’s image on advertising is unrealistic. The perfect model images on media stimulate young girls to achieve “perfect image,” they would pay lots attention on their appearance, lose weight, and be sexuality. “[O]ne of my biggest problems was comparing myself to those around me, whether I knew them or not. I knew that my negative body image and body dissatisfaction was heightened when I relied on comparisons in my own self-appraisal” (KK 9). Since social media is the way that young girls communicate, they can’t help to compare themselves with the people around them. When they see their friends become more pretty or slimmer, they would be unsatisfied with their current appearance. Next, they would lose weight and dress up. Then, some pretty girls show again, they would do that again. This is a vicious circle, and this circle would destroy girls’ physical and mental health.
On the other hand, media seriously affect young girls’ value orientation. The left side of this photo shows the “girls’ life” magazine in our real life, and the right one is edited by a girl and her value orientation. I think this picture explains a lot. As young girls, they need to focus on their future career plan, how can they be successful, and they should be looks active, confident and sunshine. This is how young girls need to be. The girl one the left side don’t even look like a girl; she looks more like a 20 something fashion model. She pays attention on how to be lazy, enjoy love relationship, and fashion appearance, maybe these are the symbols to be cool for her. Nowadays, girls try to look pretty, and post their leisure life on their social media page. All they want is “likes,” “favorites,” followers and retweets, they need to prove they are great and acquire self-esteem by this way. Actually, girls need to get self-esteem by have great school achievement, have high-level social networks, and great career in the future. Media wrongly guide young girls, it makes them get self-esteem by social identification, perfect image, and attract males. Conversely, girls need to correctly face themselves, and focus on advancing their capacity.
“Photoshop Fakes vs Real Women.” Zestnow. Dianne Morris, n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2017.
“2 Magazine Covers Sparked an Important Discussion about Gender Targeting in the Media.” Viral Buzz Daily. Buzz, 17 Jan. 2017. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.
“Education World: Report: Social Media to Blame for Low Self-Esteem in Young Women.” Education World: Report: Social Media to Blame for Low Self-Esteem in Young Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.
Rae Jacobson Is a Writer and Content Engagement Specialist at the Child Mind Institute. “Social Media and Self-Esteem | Impact of Social Media on Youth.” Child Mind Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2017.
Klein, Kendyl M., “Why Don’t I Look Like Her? The Impact of Social Media on Female Body Image” (2013). CMC Senior Theses. 2 Dec. Web. 04 Mar. 2017. P9.