Youth and the Media: The

According to Paddock, “The American Psychological Association (APA suggests that the proliferation of sexual images of girls and young women in the media is harming their self-image and development.” The APA found that these images often arrest healthy development in a variety of areas, including self-esteem, which can cause a woman to display anxiety and shame. The article specifically mentions Christinas advertisements as examples of a negative portrayal of women (Paddock). Thus, the images portray women incorrectly in two ways. First of all, they portray women in a style of beauty that is not common, encouraging these women to believe that the advertised type of beauty is the only type of beauty. In response, some young girls are liable to have low self-esteem, in addition to spending a great amount of money on beauty products that they dont need. In short, the advertisements suggest that only one type of beauty is acceptable when this is far from the truth. Second of all, they portray women as valuable only for their sexuality, a portrayal that encourages girls to feel anxiety and shame, suffering from low self-esteem at what they believe is their only value of self-worth. These two portrayals are extraordinary harmful for girls and young women, as previously suggested.

In addition to portraying women in a way that is detrimental to their self-images in a variety of ways, advertisements like Christinas encourage youth to make poor decisions. The advertisements in which Christina Aguilera poses are an attempt to sell Sketchers, a sneaker brand that is targeted toward youth. Because the young woman pictured in the advertisement is beautiful and posed in a provocative way, the advertisement consultants are most likely encouraging young men to buy the shoes in order to impress women like Christina and young women to buy them in order to look like her. This causes poor spending habits in both young men and men women, convincing them that they should buy products just because a particular celebrity endorses them, or because they are stylish and popular, instead of the best deal. This too can be rather harmful to todays youth.

According to the University of New Hampshires extension web site, young men and women gain their impressions of money when they are young. Furthermore, the university suggests that money is linked with a persons self-esteem and “sense of intelligence” (“Youth and Money”). Thus, poor impressions of money, including frivolous spending of the type described earlier are rather harmful for youth, as it may cause them to develop improper images of themselves. For this reason, advertisements like those in which Christina models can be determined as harmful to youth.

Whether they promote youths poor self-esteem in the area of looks, sexuality, or financial awareness, advertisements such as those in which Christina poses are rather harmful to todays youth. Because many advertisements targeted at todays s youth are designed in this vein, it is easy to understand the harmful relationship between advertising and youth.

Works Cited

Beauty and Body Image in the Media.” 2008. Media Awareness Network. 20 October 2008. Media Awareness Network. http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_beauty.cfm

Kid, Shibuya. “More Sizzling Christina Aguilera Ads on the Way! Sketchers Campaign

Shows Off Sexed-Up Xtina.” 30 July 2004. AIR Massive. 20 October 2008. Air

Massive. http://www.airmassive.com/amblog_073004_1.html

Paddock, Catherine. “Sexualizaton of Girls in the Media is Harmful.” 21 February 2007.

Medical News Today. 2o October 2008. MediaLexicon International. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/63514.php

Youth and Money.” 2008. Cooperative Extension. 20 October 2008. University of New

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