Media impacts self-esteem of teens.

By: Brooke Bernacki

How does the media portrayal of women affect the self-esteem of teenage girls?

Is the media causing Eating disorders?

69% of girls in 5th – 12th grades (10-18 years old) reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape. These young girls are being pressured into thinking that their body is not good enough and that they have to lose weight or look different to be considered beautiful. Not only that but 70% of 6-12-year-olds want to be thinner. The media is responsible for this amount of girls that want to be thinner and the media instills that they can only be pretty with a small number on the scale at 6 you should not be worrying about if you are bigger than other girls you should be having a childhood and the media is pressuring kids really young that they need to be skinny to be beautiful. In addition, anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents. The media is influencing the younger generation. In all honesty the younger generation is more obsessed with their appearance than ever and they will do anything to look perfect even if it is destroying their body.

Media is showing girls they need to be thin or look a certain to be beautiful

37% of the articles in teen magazines included a focus on appearance. The media is causing a lower self esteem by focusing on appearance when they know that their target audience is teens. Further, almost a third of girls (31%) say they changed something about their appearance to be more like a television character and 16% of girls say they have dieted or exercised to look like a television character. The media is trying to get teens and young girls to be thinner subconsciously even if they do not realize that they are creating this, they are. In addition, seven out of ten (69%) of girls say they have wanted to look like, dress, or fix their hair like a character on television. This makes media responsible for making girls feel this way because if they did not make characters so skinny or with perfect hair they would not have as much pressure as they do to look perfect.

Media is also causing bullying for girls that don't fit the ideal image of a pretty girl.

Girls between the ages of 15 and 22. They found 56 per cent were abused verbally, physically or online because of their weight, height or hair color. This shows that girls are taking the appearances they see in magazines and on TV and applying them to their lives bullying girls that to not look the same. In addition, about 40 per cent said they missed meals to get thinner, and 17 per cent said they had been on a diet since the age of 12 or younger. The media is affecting their brain making them think that they are unhealthy because they don't look like the people that they see and it is affecting very young girls. Furthermore,bullied girls refused to believe nice things said about them. Although 91 per cent said their families and friends called them beautiful. When you look back on your life you remember bad moments more then good moments its like the same concept they believe the bad ones and not the good ones.

Cited sources

"ANAD." National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.


"CI5472 Teaching Film, Television, and Media." CI5472 Teaching Film,Television, and Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.


Reporter, Daily Mail. "More than Half of Schoolgirls Are Bullied Because of Their Appearance." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.


"Negative Body Image|NoBullying|." NoBullyingBullying CyberBullying Resources. N.p., 20 Sept. 2012. Web. 11 June 2015.