October 2002
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Teens Spill Their Guts
By Nira Diamant, Tec-Voc School, Winnipeg, MB

Teen image is a big deal facing teenagers. "It's a big deal because the media spends so much time focussing on the image of teens," explained one student.

The Website TeenConnection.org , talks about statistics relating to self-image, and the media. A survey was conducted to find out whether or not girls are satisfied with their appearance. A lot of times the answer is no, which leads to adults blaming the media.

Who is at fault? Are teenage girls really influenced by the media? "The media is thinking for a lot of girls. It controls who you are, what you do And how you think" said a teenager wanting to voice her concern.

However, some girls who were surveyed said "We should not blame the media for self-image problems". They also said "the media does more good than bad".

This Website allows people to voice their opinion about self-image and the media. It indicates that 15 out of 25 teenage girls wanted to change their appearance to look like movie stars and models.

"Being a teenager I know that a lot of teenagers want to look like a model and think that they are fat because they see girls in magazines that are nothing than stick and bones" explained a teenager who felt that the media is at fault for the way we think and the way we act.

Some say No, others say yes.

Is the media really to blame for influencing teenage girls or does the media do more good than bad. "The media does its job. Its job is getting to the target audience and that's what they do. It's part of life. You can follow what the media tells you to do or you can think for yourself" explains an adult who has teenage girls of her own.

This Website has some tips on what to do if you are unhappy with the media's portrayal of girls. The site says that you should write letters to companies or magazines explaining what is it that makes you unhappy with the media's portrayal of girls. It also says you should base your self-image on what is healthy and styles your personality. "Teenage girls have a mind of their own; if they decide to let the media think for them and make them want to look like supermodels in magazines then it is their own fault, not the media's" voiced a teenager concerned. It is up to you to decide whether or not the media overpowers who you are and how you think.

There are suggestions to help anyone who feels that they are unhappy with the media's portrayal of girls. It is now up to you to decide whether you want to use those tips.

A student voicing her concerns said "I almost became anorexic because I was jealous of the supermodels in magazines looking skinny and having a perfect shape. I realized that it is unhealthy and that I like my self-image and would not change who I am for anything".

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