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Negative Effects Pop Culture Has On Adolescent Women

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“The Negative Effects Pop Culture has on Adolescent Women”

By: Jennifer Hawk

COM 150

If a person went to the mall a person might notice the changes from even 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. They may see different types of electronics and different types of clothing than what it used to be. The change that I am talking about is the appearance of adolescent girls and how different things have gotten from years back to now. Pop culture has a negative effect on American adolescent women relating to their physical appearance, educational goals and view on relationships with men.

It seems that most of the negative effects of pop culture are on young girls. When they watch celebrities on TV and see them in magazines, it makes most of them feel like they have to be just like them. Most of the celebrities are usually a size 0. Girls feel that they have to imitate the size of celebrities. When a magazine article comes out with a headline that “So and so has an Eating Disorder,” it makes some girls feel that it is not unhealthy to do the same thing. They think that if they just do it just the one time that it will not hurt them, and throwing up their food will make skinny and beautiful. Such results are disturbing, say observers, since eating disorders seem to strike younger today. “A decade ago, new eating disorder patients at Children's National Medical Center tended to be around age 15,” says Adelaide Robb, director of inpatient psychiatry. “Today kids come in as young as 5 or 6.” Washington Post’s February 20, 2007 (para 26)

School is a very difficult time for anyone, and no one wants to be the person that is made to feel second best to everyone else. Most of the time it is a heavier person or someone that people think is not very pretty. That’s why girls think that if they do the same thing that celebrities do then they will not be made fun of and not fit in. Popularity is a big role too; girls want to be popular so that everyone likes them. There’s less to worry about when you are popular, or so they think.

Girls believe that they have to be sexy to get guys. They see stars on TV wearing skimpy tops and booty shorts and think that is what it is to be sexy. It doesn’t help that most parents don’t monitor what they wear to school and out and about. In the Washington Post’s February 20, 2007 issue, Stacy Wiener wrote that little girls used to want to look good for others starting around age six or seven and that now they start around age four. (para. 8) When guys see that a girl is wearing sexy clothes they automatically assume that the girl is promiscuous and they can get her to do whatever they want her to do sexually. Girls think that the most important thing they must do is get a boyfriend, and they think that if they are not pretty enough they will be dumped. Gaining weight is something that girls think is the worst thing that can happen to them. Guys think that they can do anything because most girls have such low self esteem. The guy uses and abuses someone that has no self esteem. They think that most girls that pamper themselves will have sex much easier.

Girls are choosing to be sexy over being intelligent, they see people on TV that act stupid and make a ton of money, and think well if that works for them then I should try that too. Girls start thinking about makeup and pretty things much earlier. They also start thinking about sex and more grown up things. They have no idea that when they do those things earlier then it takes away some of their childhood. Most intelligent girls get made fun of for being smart. They are normally the dorky people and don’t get as popular as some of the other girls and they also don’t get the recognition that the cheerleaders get. The scariest part of this is that parents, at least some parents, seem to accept this.

“In 2003, preteens ranging from 7 to 12 -- spent $1.6 million on thong underwear”, Time magazine reported. Most adult women do not wear thong underwear and I cannot see how parents feel wearing them is appropriate. In a 2002 study, for example, seventh-grade girls who viewed idealized magazine images of women reported a drop in body satisfaction and a rise in depression. Parents and experts wonder why girls are depressed, but when you go to a store and see clothes and jewelry that should be for adults made for young girls you begin to understand. When parents do not get clothes for the girls they throw tantrums and the parents just give in. No wonder you see 10-12 year old girls pregnant.

Girls think that they have to dress like the celebrities as well. They do not care how much something costs or how many hours it will take to buy those hundred dollar jeans. They just know that if the celebrities shop there then they need to too! Girls believe that they have to have all the latest fashions. If they don’t they think that they will be made fun of at school. I just feel that most of the time girls think that it doesn’t matter how they get something as long as they do. This goes on throughout the girl’s entire life and affects everything that they do. If the guy that they meet cannot live



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