The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Growing up too fast: Influence of teen icons

The age of morally correct teenage characters in the media seems to have disappeared. Even the Disney Channel has changed.

As one watches the array of shows on TV, one can’t help but see that the girls have taken on more sexy images. Teenage female characters are wearing more and more makeup and less and less clothing and the average age of girls watching these shows are between the ages 12 and 16.

The young girls taking in these images are learning from them as well. In a time where media has a major affect on its consumers, young girls seem to become more and more over sexualized.

As society progresses, young girls seem to be moving forward as well, but unfortunately the progression these girls are making are not positive. They are looking up to teens, such as Jaime Lynn Spears or Miley Cyrus, and are embracing their flaws as public figures. These girls are getting pregnant very early on, dressing sexy and are even acting in a seductive manner, and the backlash is only getting worse.’

One can’t help to wonder what’s going on at home to prevent the impact’ of the media on young girls. Are parents loosing their touch on screening what their children are watching on TV and seeing on the Internet?

There are so many parents in society that are very enthusiastic about the problems with teen sexiness and teen pregnancy and yet they have no clue what is going on with their own children.’ The road to redefine the image of the teenage girl must start at home.

arents need to teach their children what’s right and wrong. and simultaneously showing them different images they can look up to, aside from controlling what their children are taking in.

The images these girls are assimilating influences their outlook. If a young girl takes on a sexy appearance and imitates what she sees in the media, she is more than likely to get into a sexual relationship earlier than she should. With teen girls physically maturing earlier than the past, they are more than likely to think of themselves as adults mainly based upon their physical appearance, despite the fact they have not yet matured mentally.

Young girls are like sponges; they imitate what they see. If the media that is directed to them consists mainly of seductive oversexed teen girls, it is almost expected that they are going to imitate these images.

Young girls are trying to become women before their age actually catches up to them, and that is partially due to the lack of exemplary young characters in the media for them to imitate. One would have thought that Miley Cyrus would have been the ideal role model for teen girls because of her character Hannah Montana, but her life outside of the show is far from the life of one of a morally correct girl.

Shows such as the new 90210 and Gossip Girl display characters that are supposed to be of the same age as the girls that are watching the shows. A lot of times these same shows state that they are not directed to a teen audience, despite the fact that their main characters are suppose to be the same age as these girls. Then what is expected?

If a teenage girl sees a show in which the characters are supposedly the same age as them, or somewhat even look like them, they are more likely to watch the show. These girls see their favorite characters in these shows, or favorite teen stars in magazines, and feel as though it would be cool to look like them. They don’t necessarily understand what it means to be sexy. They are just imitating what these characters are portraying whether it’s through their image or their actions.’

These shows, magazines and other forms of media only go as far as viewers let them go. If an episode comes up where there is a sex scene between two underage individuals and the ratings dropped, then maybe the show would take a different route to keep viewers, but if the ratings sky rocket after that episode, then it’s almost guaranteed to be more episodes of that sort.

Parents need to teach their young girls what is right and wrong and how to respect themselves so others will respect them. Only when that is done will teenage girls become immune to the negative images in the media.

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