Media and What it Does to Our Self Esteem

80% of women do not like their bodies.  92% of young girls want to change something on their body.  98% of young girls feel pressured to look a certain way based on other people or media.

So what do these statistics say?  These statistics show how low the self esteem of young girls in the United States has become.  And it isn’t even just high schoolers and college aged girls, this is the young girls in elementary school that have already started dieting.  Yes elementary aged girls, statistics show that 80% of ten-year-old girls have already dieted.  The little girls that should be spending their summers chasing down ice cream trucks are already dieting.

This isn’t just a new way of thinking that has come about from parents, this has come from the media.  Girls have admitted to judging themselves next to supermodels in magazines and trying to make their bodies like the girls they read about in magazines.  But the girls seen on magazine covers aren’t even real.  They’re photoshopped so much that what they look like doesn’t even show in the magazine.

Magazines have been photoshopping so much that it has gotten to the point where even the young girls being photoshopped have spoken up about it and called out the fashion magazines.  The most recent of these incidents was nineteen year old Zendaya.  She called out Modeliste, a fashion magazine, on her Instagram for slimming her waist and thighs and said how these are the things destroying the self esteem of young girls today.

This leaves the question, that if celebrities are calling out magazines for photoshopping them, what do young girls think of seeing these photoshopped images everywhere they turn.  These young girls see this photoshopped images while at the grocery store, this could be why so many have dieted so young.  They see the image and put back the Lucky Charms and get Special K instead.

An end has got to come to the unnecessary photoshopping of women that already look beautiful the way they are.  Yes some companies have started a body peace campaign where they have larger models, but what about the models between?  It is good that plus girls now have representation but it leaves the average girls at size four and six wondering where there representation is.  Why is there such a jump between the models, one being a size zero and one a size sixteen leaves girls confused on what an average size really is.

It is up to the media and parents to let young girls know that their body size is good where it is.  The girls on magazine covers are photoshopped to unrealistic sizes.  Parents need to start boosting their daughters self esteem at a young age letting them know they’re beautiful how they are.  People, especially parents, need to stop bashing how other’s look because it’ll make their kids scared of being thought of that way and compare themselves to that.

A new era needs to begin.  We have started a change but our generation needs to push it even further to where body shaming will no longer be a thing in the media.  Photoshop will only be for girls cropping themselves into pictures with their favorite celebrity.  And where self esteem and being proud of your body will be a common thing.

Photoshop behind the scenes

How beauty differs around the world

Women’s bodies through history 

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