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 ~ October 2016
POP CULTURE vs. SELF-ESTEEM
Does POP CULTURE mainstream media images and messages affect your SELF-ESTEEM?
Youth (Female) #4:
I do believe that pop culture influences my life. As a young person, I am subjected to a multitude of ever changing expectations of how I should live. With regard to media: it can be entertaining and serve as a good source of information, but it also has a dark side. It lays every one of us out on the table and if you’re not “pretty”, “thin”, or “rich” enough, you aren’t as important or “liked”. But who is to decide? We make ourselves believe these ratings truly define us as a person, they don’t. We fight this battle of just trying to be ourselves when media is showing us that we should want more, more, and more. This leads to a personal push and pull inside your head slowly shaping you, making you more cynical, critical, and sometimes depressed, while you try and try to depict this image of yourself that other people will enjoy. But do YOU enjoy it?
Are we losing ourselves in this unobtainable imagery?
Sometimes when I get caught up with these people who are famous and publicly loved, I have to stop and tell myself, “There are thirty other people we don’t see who designed that photo with touch-ups, air brushing etc… to make MONEY”. These photos are only of their ‘good side’ and models are posed and dressed to appear taller, thinner, and sexier than an average person. Companies only choose these beautiful men and women because that is where their profit comes from.
Gender: As women we are told we should always be dressed well, hair and makeup done, hold the house, and have dinner ready. Realistically, most families require the men and women to work equal amounts, yet women still feel they’re not doing enough to please and keep someone.
Judgment: It makes me sad that when we look at another person we jump to judge them, and compare ourselves to try and feel better about what we have. Most people don’t even realize they’re doing it, myself included.
Social Media: It pains me to see the negative comments rolling down posts on social media, the negative people seem to band together. Those things don’t stay with the ones who say them, but I know they stay with the person they’re being said to.
In a society where there are no more closed doors, it is hard to keep your head above water. I want others to see the silver lining in the images that taint our views subconsciously. Instead of buying into it, just feel good about yourself and feel good about others, because it’s a big world and there’s so much we don’t see. Keep telling yourself you are smart and beautiful. And we will be strong. One can’t change society, but many can.
All good things possible always…