As the world has advanced forward, the media has risen to play a prominent role in our society. Collectively, we look up trends, celebrities and events that are broadcasted in the news and media. With trends such as full lips, people like the Kardashians and an increase in plastic surgery cases as influences, I believe we have fallen prey to the “glory” that the media is portraying instead of facing the truthful reality. The media advertises and focuses on how to be “attractive” and “in” with the crowd. As youth grow up in this society that is heavily focused on social media and networking, it is important that cautions are taken in order to not induce misconceptions earlier on in the minds of the youth.
During my childhood, the Internet was a fairly new invention and social media platforms such as Facebook and Myspace were barely being introduced. Instead of media, we looked more towards movies as our source of inspiration. Nowadays, in addition to Facebook, there is YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and countless other media outlets anyone can get their hands on. The content posted on these platforms is not always suitable for young children to look up to and base their opinions solely on what they see is trending or what is popular.
A major topic the media produces a misconception of includes women are more and attractive and appealing if they have curves, full lips and are “thick” in the right areas (as the infamous Kardashian family). This idea not only comes from celebrities, but also from magazines, advertisements and models. What is perceived through the media is in no way real. Photoshop, picture editing software and plastic surgery is advanced to the point that even the women portrayed do not look like that in reality. Also, more revealing clothing has been the trend in recent years and even girls as young as 12 or 13 years old are following the fad of revealing more skin than they need to. The social norm that women are to be feminine and “sexy” does not assist in producing a positive and loving image for young women to grow up having.
Young women should be taught that loving yourself the way you are is what is most important. Whether your lips are as big as Kylie Jenner’s, your body is as curvy as Beyoncé's, how flat your stomach is or how much skin needs to be shown in the shorts you are wearing, are not qualities that should be considered “attractive." They see women who show off their bodies as appealing and those who are less revealing in a lesser view. This also does not give off a good idea to men who see celebrity women being portrayed a specific way and expect to only be attracted to women who look similar to those in the media. They set impractical expectations that are higher than what can be actually be met in reality. These types of thoughts lead men to take advantage of women for their bodies and lose the focus on bigger and better qualities such as character, personality, dreams and goals. Some women will go through life trying to please the expectations of men, not knowing that what they are asking for is not real and not easily found.
Self-love and self-worth are two important topics that should be better promoted by the media. We do not want our youth to grow up thinking they need to alter their bodies and the way they look in order to be accepted by others. Rather, they should grow up to know that no matter how you look, you should love yourself because you are genuine and you are you. Changing the way you are to fit in will only make you a puppet, not an individual. Knowing your worth will allow you to not let anyone else tell you that you are not good enough for societal expectations, which are unrealistic and unattainable without changing your skin and who you are. There is only one you available, and you are beautiful just the way you are.