Here we see a video of a teenage girl who is lathering make-up on to her face, and is repeatedly asking the question “do you like me now?” This comes after the introduction of the video where she tells the viewers “I don’t have a boyfriend so I’ve kinda been wondering what’s wrong with me.” Although this may be seen as a funny video to some people, sadly this is a harsh reality faced by a majority of teenage girls, and boys (minus the make-up). Even some people who have passed their teenage years compare themselves to other people and want to look ‘better’. So who do we have to blame for this anxiety that teenagers face? Is it the media? Is it not the media? Let’s take a look.
Wow. These are two fine looking specimens. The girl on the left looks flawless, and it seems that Michelangelo has returned from the dead to sculpt the man on the right. The two pictures are very easy on the eyes. So you might be thinking, ‘Cameron, what is wrong with these pictures?’ Well I’ll tell you. The problem with these images is that they are not a true representation of each gender. Why is this a problem? The media portrays these images as desirable, and some people may even perceive them as normal. What people are forgetting is that these celebrities go through a long make-up session(s) before their photo shoot, and are most likely photoshopped to make them look better than they are. Still, boys and girls/men and women compare themselves to the modified people they see in the media. This causes people to become more self-conscious of their appearance and they try to change themselves to be what they think is normal or desirable. “Do you like me now?”
So is it safe to say that we can blame the media for the self-consciousness that people go through by comparing themselves to ‘desirable’ or ‘normal’ people? In my opinion, the media isn’t 100% to blame. ‘Cameron, how is this so?’ I’m glad you asked. Although it is the media who portrays these images, a lot of the problem boils down to how people feel about the images, or how they use their thoughts of what they have seen. If a boy walks up to a girl and says ‘girl, why can’t you look like Beyoncé from that shape magazine?’, besides the fact that he probably not going to get a girlfriend anytime soon, there is a fair chance that the girl will become self-conscious of her appearance. The same would go if a girl said ‘I wish all boys could be as ripped as the guy from the Men’s Health magazine.’
To end this blog post, I’d like to leave a quote that I think is something everyone should gain from reading this:
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss (Happy Birthday to You! 1959)
– Do you like me now?, 2011, Video, Viewed 22 March 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hla_hnB2y6Y>.
– Gibson, C 2013, Beyoncé Flaunts Her Bikini Body on the Cover of ‘Shape’ Magazine! Photograph, Viewed 22 March 2015, http://www.cambio.com/2013/03/19/beyonce-flaunts-her-bikini-body-on-the-cover-of-shape-magazine/
– Graeme Peacock on the January 2003 cover, 2014, Photograph, Viewed 22 March 2015, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men’s_Health_(British_magazine)
– N.D. Photograph, Viewed 22 March 2015, http://i.ytimg.com/vi/bxsLVsSwSKs/maxresdefault.jpg
– Negative Media Images of Girls and Teens, 2013, Photograph, Viewed 22 March 2015, http://dayofthegirl.org/girls-issues/negative-media-images-of-girls-and-teens/