Udisha - How The Portrayal Of Women In Media Impact/Affects Young Teen Girls

The mass media, particularly Children’s television, deliver more favorable role models for girls than ever before. Children’s shows such as Dora the Explorer, Canadian Geographic for Kids, and The Magic School Bus feature dominant female characters who interact with their male counterparts in an equal role.

Many would acknowledge that some steps have been made in how the media portrays women in films, television, and magazines. They could also advocate that the last few decades have also seen an advancement in the dignity and significance of women in the media behind the scenes. However, looking closely, female stereotypes resume to develop in the media we spend time in every day.

Representation In Terms Of Numbers And Quality

Despite the growth that has been made there is a long way to go, both in the volume of media articulations of women and in their quality. In extents of quantity, the media is though a long way from expressing reality: women depict 49 percent of society while female characters make up only 32 percent of the main characters on TV, as illustrated by a wide study done in 2008 by Doctor Maya Götz of the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television.

So far as the integrity of the content is concerned, the media still conform to a stereotyped portrayal of women. Götz’s survey recognizes several sexual stereotypes found around the world: In common, girls and women are inspired by love and romance, seem less dominant than boys, and are stereotyped according to their hair color – blonds fall into two categories, the “girl next door” or the “blonde bitch,” while redheads are always tomboys – they are almost always conventionally impressive, tinier than average women in real life, and heavily sexualized.

Magazines are the only forum where girls are over-represented. Nonetheless, their subject is overwhelmingly concentrated on topics such as impression, dating, and fashion.

Media, Self-Esteem and Girls’ Identities

Surveys indicated that these mixed statements from the media make it complicated for girls to reconcile the growth to adulthood. Girls’ enthusiasm often declines in the pre-teen years as they start to find their emotions of self-worth better and further heavily on impression and weight. They believe that girls who watched TV Ads starring thin models lost self-confidence and came to be more disappointed with their appearance. Girls who invest the maximum time and effort in their image underwent a considerable loss of confidence.  

Eroticization of Teen Girls

In addition to being under-represented, women are equally misrepresented: the hypersexualization of very young girls, most notably in fashion and advertising, is an alarming sensation given that these stereotypes make up most of the articulations of themselves which girls and women see in the media. The anxieties of girls are worsened by the media’s heightened inclination to depict very young girls in sexual aspects. 

The vogue industry is a prominent cause for this tendency. The most cursory analysis of media substantiates that young girls are being fired on with portraits of sexuality, often affected by stereotypical descriptions of women and girls as powerless, passive victims. As these girls become youngsters, many choose to tune out, but others pursue an intense craving for these messages. 

Offsetting The Impact Of Media

When we proportion media use with other recreations like physical and creative workouts and socializing face to face, we come into connection with a broad spectrum of strengths. These include friends, community mentors, and family, as well as the media. Thus, what we need are real-life and optimistic women role models. A few ways to do this could be engaging in local community groups, sporting clubs, or mentoring projects.

Image courtesy: Teen Rehab

Udisha Srivastav is a Freelance Content Writer with Femsay.com