Media and Image Report

Media's harmful effect on teen's confidence

By: Bonnie Zimlich

Confidence in teen girls nowadays is hard to find since the modern beauty standards are so hard to replicate. Most magazines have images of flawless appearing models on them in order to promote a weight loss program or a new clothes line. Pictures like those can have a damaging effect on teenagers and young adults. They provide false expectations for girls and can lower their confidence. We wouldn’t have problems like those if media put a more realistic view on women’s appearance, but since that most likely won’t happen, we have to change the expectations we have for ourselves.

Without realizing it the media is telling girls how we should look, dress, and act if we want to fit in. Trends such as the thigh gap told girls that they should lose weight, while others like eyebrow craze taught girls that they can only be attractive if they have a certain facial feature. Problems like those can lead to dangerous eating disorders and unnecessary plastic surgery. To make matters worse, the media has tricked us to believe that anything can be wrong with our bodies and that there is only one way you should look- thin and blonde. Even though we think we should look a certain way, it's very unrealistic since most modeling pictures are created by makeup artists and photo retouchers. So, in reality, we are comparing ourselves to the media’s illusion of perfection, when we simply block it out.

My solution to this appearance dilemma is to stop following the trends. 80% of teen girls have low confidence in their bodies, so I suggest that we become more like the minority. Not following the crowd can seem difficult, but with some effort it won't be troubling. Remembering that nobody is picture perfect is a great place to start. Once you realize that everyone has flaws, it isn’t as hard to be happy with your own body. Besides, as long as you are healthy, it shouldn't matter what the media says you should look like. We need to learn to be appreciative of our bodies we were born with instead of dreaming of having a new one.

The media world is harsher than ever, especially in the topic of appearance. The ideal look changes from day to day, and being yourself seems impossible. Most teen girls feel the need to keep up with the trend and that can be extremely effective on adolescent's confidence. Not everyone knows that the simplest way out of this awful world of fashion crazes is to leave it be. Not being in that scene can set you up for a much easier life.


"Advertising and Represtations." Springboard. Vol. 3. New York, NY: College Board, 2005. 126-28. Print.