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 ~ February 2017
POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM
Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?
Conversations ~Youth (Female) #6:
Pop culture has been affecting my self-esteem, for as long as I can remember. These pictures and ads calling in young people, making them feel that they need to look, act, and become a different person are real. The messages are clear: you have to be thin, rich and pretty, to be in this group. Or you need this phone and this haircut, to be this person. And it’s not just the ads that you see and different messages being portrayed, but the people around you who get sucked into the whole scene.
When you surround yourself with people who are obsessed with their image, popularity, and the idea of some superhuman perfectionism it’s going to affect you: much sooner than later.
Comparing yourself in mirrors to celebrities and models (whose images are airbrushed and reshaped) does affect you. And when you don’t follow the standard of pop culture, or you don’t have the means to, that’s when the problems start. People make fun of you for trying to fit in.
As youth, we try to live up to these expectations that have been outlined for us. We beg our parents for whatever newest product that this celebrity is promoting, or that “something” that costs a crazy amount of money. All because we are being conditioned to think that we need whatever it is they’re selling. Because that “thing” we buy is somehow going to make our life better.
In actuality, I tried to be that person. I thought having the coolest “trend” and hanging out with people, I thought were cool, would make me cool.
I would be online looking up tips on how to get skinny quick, and tricks to be the most attractive. I was underage and I was drinking and smoking cigarettes. Somehow, we would always end up talking some older guy into buying the alcohol and cigarettes for us. It was becoming a way of life. I stopped focusing on school and things that really were important and started focusing on things that weren’t: clothes, pop stars, my popularity, and meaningless friendships. After hitting my version of rock bottom, I realized something: I was trying to be someone else and this was becoming very tiring. I was wearing a mask for the outside world.
So it made me think:
1) I didn’t have to fit in
2) I was worth so much more.
3) And it’s okay to be different.
Lastly I realized that it was better to learn to love myself for my flaws and blemishes than to try to fit into to the “mold” that society wants for me.
Self-Esteem is something I believe is extremely important, it goes with self-love. Learning to love who you really are is the first step.
Learning to embrace yourself, by voicing your opinions positively is also the right step. Building yourself up on good things can only help you strive to keep your life positive. And it helps a lot with confidence.
By loving and wearing that dress/shirt, even though it’s not what everyone else is wearing is a choice. By listening to a band because you actually like their music, even if they didn’t win any awards, is also another choice. All these choices help you to live true. You are allowed to have differences because everyone is different for a reason. And you are allowed to THINK for yourself.
Once you truly believe and love yourself, that’s when you know you have changed. You have created your path out of stars and dreams that you love, not out of things someone tells you to love.
All good things possible always…