Daily, people around the world are inundated with images and messages from POPULAR CULTURE (marketing) mainstream media: ads, movies, television, music, Internet, social media: depicting unrealistic beauty, sex, violence, hatred, as acceptable and normal. These disturbing images and messages dictate impossible and unhealthy standards of: How we should behave; What we should look like; What we should wear; What we should eat/drink; What music we should listen to; What cars we should drive; Where/how we should live; How much money we should have; How much we should spend; Why we should hate… This creates a toxic environment led by comparison: If I don’t look like the model in the magazine… If I don’t have the shoes/clothes/phone… If I don’t hate… I won’t measure up. Popular Culture (Pop Culture) mainstream media images and messages influence and affect everyone – with Self-Esteem absorbing a compromising hit. Most especially at risk, is the world’s YOUTH: their young minds are still developing. At this critical stage of development, a positive or negative relationship with: identity, body image and beliefs will be formed. Pop Culture marketing is expert at popularizing: What Should Be – even at the cost of psychological damage. Why? The bottom line: Profit.
12 Conversations: 12 Youth: 6 Male – 6 Female
New Moon ~ June 2016
POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM
Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?
Youth (Male) #2:
Yes, the mainstream media and popular culture do affect my self-esteem.
Mainstream Media has become an increasingly influential entity in our daily lives. More than ever, we are subject to the harassment of the Internet and other technological mediums’ overflow of information. As an individual, I must stay true to myself, without warping my image to suit popular culture’s ideals. This itself is a challenge. Choosing not to abide by the stranglehold of the media can make you become an outcast. This makes balancing the use of media resources essential to good self- esteem.
I have come to terms with the fact that the Internet can be an output of helpful information. But, the moment you change your ideals just to suit society’s norms because of someone else’s opinions online, without serious consideration, you have not been true to yourself. This is where I have witnessed a negative impact on individuals, time and time, again. People, who are so subjected to needless information on a daily basis, can lose themselves. Their image of themselves is not only damaged by the media’s unrealistic ideals, but it can also become obscured. People lose touch with who they really are. It is unfortunate that people do this, because eventually their image comes crashing down altogether. They have catered to the needs of society to maintain an image with excessive effort, and left themselves neglected and destitute.
How is someone supposed to know their self-worth, if they don’t know who they are?
Media outlets, such as magazines, set lofty expectations of appearance. And Social Media creates an egocentric mentality, obsessed with increasing popularity through likes, followers and “friends“.
How are you supposed to measure up? Life is not a pissing contest. Do yourself a favor and, to put it blatantly, stop giving a f*** about such petty things. At the end of the day, social media is not a place to live your life. Scrolling through mindless newsfeeds of who likes what, or what others find amusing, lacks substance. Let’s focus on the things that matter: friends, family and our passions. Why not be present in the lives of those that matter. Technology is a distracting and addicting thing, and it does not fulfill our lives the way the important things of life do.
I think we should set down the phone, put away the laptop, turn off the TV, and use that magazine with the photo shopped model as a coaster because these are distractions. The simple things that made you happy as a kid are still important. I want to be happy and reach for my goals. Social Media can wait because it looks like it will be here forever. The people I love, however, will not be here forever – neither will I. Cherish life and your place in it, instead. Anyone can try to fit society’s ideals, but only you can be yourself.
All good things possible always…