When young American women are sexualized by the media, music industry, and advertising industry it results in a lack of self esteem and the reduced ability to compete with boys their age. According to the American psychological association, the increase in sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising and the media is dangerous because it interferes with healthy development and also a healthy sense of self esteem. the American psychological association also goes into detail about how such images and poor self esteem can also interfere with the girls developing a healthy sexual self image. Women who are sexualized at a young age can also experience other developmental and emotional issues.
In a video made by the ASA, six middle school girls talk about the way young girls are depicted in the media. The young girls are showed images and give their impression on them. The video is important because most of these girls realize that sexy does not equal pretty, and that clothing companies over sexualizing young girls is not okay. One girl says, “Designers that design clothes for little girls, you have to be more aware that the world today is different. There are men out there who are attracted to the clothes y’all make today and y’all should change that.” I think it was important that this young girl addressed the issue of sexy clothing not only bringing down a girl’s self esteem, but saying that these clothes bring more of a risk to them being preyed on.
There are also many articles being written today that the early sexualization of women by media, advertising, and other money making organizations are on the rise. A task force was formed by the APA because of all the public concern regarding this issue. After looking into it, the task force found that girls can make positive changes to bring back their self esteem and help them to fix any emotional damage of how they are being treated in the media. But, young girls cannot do this alone. They need the support of their parents to question the messages young girls are exposed to in movies, clothing stores, and in the media and these messages say that a girl’s value is mostly based on how sexually attractive they are.
This message is strengthened when young girls see their older role models constantly being judged on looks rather than accomplishments. In the 2015 presidential debates, there were quite a few comments being made about the attractiveness of the female politicians. Women athletes are sexualized as much as they are respected for their athletic accomplishments. Breaking the cycle of young girls being sexualized could also lead to women being respected for who they are and not always how they look.
Parents and other adults need to help these girls realize that being successful in school, in sports or other activities, helping others, finding a hobby, and hanging out with friends are all good ways to develop self esteem. Spending less time worrying about clothes, make up, and how people will respond to the way you look is a good first step for a young girl. But the real solution is learning to see these sexual messages for what they are which is nothing more than a trap to run out and buy the clothes or the CD. Learning to see the message for what it is and then ignore it is important because young girls will start to realize that if they start engulfing themselves with an obsession of how they look on the outside, they will never be happy with themselves.
i know this is super late, but if you have a moment . . . 🙂
Feedback was requested.
Hello, brxttyb. How was your Thanksgiving? I have now completely caught up on feedback, so your request is at the top of my priority list. Lucky you. 🙂 I hope you won’t feel assaulted by the criticism.
P1. There is a lot of repetition in your claims here, brxty. Here’s what your sentences say:
1. Sexualization of young American women by the media reduces their self-esteem.
2. Sexualized images of girls interfere with their self esteem.
3. The APA says the images and poor self esteem reduces girls’ healthy sexual self image.
4. Sexualization of girls reduces their emotional development.
It may have sounded like more when you read it to yourself, but it boils down to a single claim:
You could expand that statement a bit to add that girls bombarded with all those images get the message that their only value is as sexual beings; they feel pressured to either be sexual or have no identity at all. Does that sound right? I’m extrapolating from what I can gather from your own claims.
P2. What’s the ASA?
We have to take your word for it that “these girls realize that sexy does not equal pretty, and that clothing companies oversexualizing young girls is not okay.” You haven’t shown us that this is true.
I guess the girl did suggest that men might prey on girls because of the clothes designers make for them . . . but it’s not as clear an indictment as you would want in a perfect quote. As for “bringing down a girl’s self esteem,” the quote you shared didn’t say any such thing. She may have said so elsewhere.
I wonder how you feel about blaming designers. Surely there are more options for girls than one or two designers. And surely they will follow the marketplace, continuing to produce whatever sells best. If girls buy the sexiest clothes they can find, designers will push the envelope even harder the following season. How is that the designers’ fault?
P3. OK. It’s also true that articles about the sexualization of girls are a further exploitation of their sexuality. Publishers can pretend to be concerned about the emotional damage to girls while making sure their covers say, “Inside: Today’s Girls are Sexier Than Ever!”
P4. That’s an excellent point. Women politicians are judged for the clothes they wear, their hairstyles, their age, and their general attractiveness. Women runners, gymnasts, track stars, even tennis players wear “athletic attire” that does much more to enhance and display their sexy bodies than improve their performance. No male pole vaulter, long jumper, volleyball player, or sprinter ever has to yank his unitard out of his ass at the end of an event. Why do the women?
P5. I think you’re ignoring peer pressure in this essay, brxty. Don’t the experts of the APA recognize that girls are supremely fashion conscious and will buy and wear almost anything their peers consider essential? Any casual observer can clearly see the trends sweep through schools as the seasons change. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, isn’t it? If they don’t already feel self esteem, girls will seek it by trying to fit in, even if it means making choices that sexualize them and further lower their self esteem.
What do you think?
Is any of this helpful?
My Thanksgiving was great, I am happy to be home with my family even if that means spending my break glued to my laptop doing work for the end of the semester. How was your Holiday? I did not feel assaulted by the criticism, because it was what needed to be said. To be completely honest I had to read this comment approximately 5 times over to get the overall grasp of what I did wrong, but I finally get it and will incorporate what you said into my paper. I cannot express my gratitude for you getting to my feedback so quickly, and so thoroughly. Thank you. I hope you are enjoying your break.
I’m having a very relaxing break, and Thanksgiving dinner with a small portion of my large family was very nice, but honestly, the best thing about the break is the chance to catch up on interactions with my students that I had been forced to neglect until time permitted.
Your response to my massive critique is very mature, brxty. I didn’t know what to expect of you early in the semester because I didn’t have enough of a writing sample to judge by, but you’ve impressed me more with each passing post. Keep up the good work.
I’m glad to hear that! And thank you Professor Hodges, it really means a lot coming from you. For a while there I was very behind and not putting in full effort, but I feel as though now I have more motivation and more of a drive to succeed. I will continue to take your feedback and apply it to my writing and hope it’s good enough for my portfolio in 6 days. Again, thank you so much for the thorough constructive criticism. I feel as though it has really helped me grow as a writer in the last few months.
Again, my sample is small, but I’ve seen tremendous growth. I’m proud of you, brxty.