The Media's Negative Effects on Young Women

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The Media's Negative Effects on Young Women
Aching to be as thin and desirable as high-fashion models, young women have a tendency to feel inadequate when they can't live up to this standard. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

The media -- whether television, film, magazines, or the Internet -- has had a pervasively negative effect on women since the mid-twentieth century. With the constant pressure to become as beautiful and sought-after as the women in the pages of airbrushed magazines and on the silver screen, young females will stop at nothing to transform into their idols -- even if it means causing physical and emotional damage to themselves.

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Frivolous Spending

The most obvious negative effect of the media on a young woman is its ability to influence her to spend money on items she thinks will alter her appearance, or on items that have been peddled to her by the actresses and models she admires. Statistics consistently reveal that a woman is more likely to buy a celebrity-endorsed product or cosmetics that she has seen in advertisements of a magazine.

Low Self-Esteem

No matter how naturally attractive a girl is, it can grow emotionally draining to feel like you always have to strive to somehow look better. Apart from the extra physical effort this requires, constantly trying to achieve a certain "look" is bound to cause psychological damage in the form of low self-esteem when the girl in question cannot exactly replicate the appearance of a particular celebrity.

Eating Disorders

In the same vein as low self-esteem, depression over one's looks can also result from long-term exposure to the waifish, breast-implanted women championed by the media. This dissatisfaction can lead to extreme behaviour, chiefly eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. The desire to be as gaunt and cellulite-free as the girls that young women see parading around in skimpy clothing propels them to such high-risk behaviour.

Plastic Surgery

The final -- and most drastic -- effect of the media on young women is the belief that plastic surgery is essential. Feeling there is no alternative to getting the same characteristics as the famous women they see as physically flawless, young women will go as far as getting liposuction, breast implants, and even facelifts -- all well before the geriatric age.

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