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Negative Effects Of The Media - With A Free Essay Review



All around the world, technology is growing. Cell phones are never complex enough, TV’s aren’t clear enough and social networking sites just aren’t addicting enough; they must be improved. It seems as though every minute new ideas are being put on the market and with that, the media explodes. Never before were we able to have the internet in the palm of our hands let alone been able to directly keep up with celebrities’ day-to-day lives (in 160 characters or less.) The new mediums of social media are making it easier to advertise and publicize anything. But in a world where everything is smaller, better working and completely flawless, the media has convinced us that humans must be that way too.

This generation knows nothing short of the word “perfect.” As Courtney E. Martin, author of the book “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters” explains it, “We are the daughters of feminists who said ‘You can be anything’ and we heard ‘You have to be everything.” Teenagers are burning out by trying to have the best grades, the best bodies, and the best reputations they can achieve. We strive for a goal that does not exist in real life, but is solely portrayed in magazines, television and movies.

Anorexia, bulimia, anxiety disorders, depression, and suicide are only the tip of the problems teenagers today are facing. These disorders are rising because of the stress and pressure the media places on society. Teenage girls across the nation sat down in front of their televisions on November 29th to watch the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and after five minutes of staring in awe, turned the channel and vowed not to eat for a month. When the show “Hannah Montana” had its main character be a famous pop star as well as a normal teenager with a ton of friends and an early acceptance to Stanford University, girls wonder why maintaining an A average while filling their resumes with extracurricular activities leave them sleep deprived and depressed.

When teenagers don’t turn out like society says, they believe they will be punished. If they’re not valedictorian, they won’t get into college. If they’re not stick thin, nobody will think they are beautiful. These ideas have instilled low self-esteem and horrible confidence in this generation and the media is to blame. Even though there are people in the world saying that everybody is beautiful and there is no perfect life, teenagers are too stubborn to listen. Something has to change the way society views the world. The only way to alter their views is to attack the core of their insecurities.

Advertisement agencies portray products whichever way they can be sold. Corporations want the public to buy their product, so if they put the “perfect” family in a commercial, viewers will believe their family will act, feel and look like that if they eat or use said product. To change societies view of perfect you have to change the way society is being portrayed. That is exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life. Going to school to be an advertising major means that I will be able to change the ideas, perceptions and views of the nation. Magazine ads have the power to tell someone that it’s okay to be overweight and television commercials could let same-sex couples know that they are accepted just as much as anyone else. When people are constantly being hit over the head with images of the perfect life, that becomes their reality. The media needs to be seriously revamped with a reality check and a realization that they hold the responsibilities of reshaping this generation and future generations for the better.

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ESSAY REVIEW

The introduction seems a bit artificial. You don’t really have much to say there about technological progress, so you don’t gain anything from the discussion for the development of your argument. The purpose of it is to explain why it’s easier to advertise everything today. It seems that what you accomplish in the first several sentences could be accomplished with greater clarity with a three-word sentence: Advertising is ubiquitous. You might even consider focusing just on advertising throughout the essay, given the surprising conclusion you come to. (But do you really intend to join the advertising industry, which you ostensibly despise, with a view to changing it from within? That seems to me rather like joining the meat industry in order to promote vegetarianism.)

However, if this essay really is intended to be a general analysis of the forces that help determine the unrealistic aspirations of girls in today’s society, then it would make sense to refer to a variety of such forces (you mention feminism, fashion shows, television shows, and advertising). You deal with those forces very cursorily, however, so you end up saying very little about each. There’s no room in your essay for an analysis of whatever feminists you find objectionable (you don’t even mention any by name) or for an analysis of the fashion industry, which you deal with in one sentence (it’s a witty sentence, but that’s all). There’s not even room for any critical distinction between different kinds of aspirations. Surely there’s an important difference between striving to be the best student and striving to be the thinnest student, especially given the the long history of indifference to serious female education.

The only solution to this problem that I can see would be to write a longer essay that really does analyse all of those nefarious forces, or write instead an essay that focuses on one topic. And since the conclusion that you come to concerns your aspirations in the field of advertising, that topic should be advertising. You could solve the problem of the introduction, then, by referring briefly there to the various forces that impact girls’ self-perception and desires, but then subordinate all of the that to the truly evil empire of advertising. Then actually analyse the advertising industry.

The conclusion will still seem a little odd, I think, unless you clarify that you appreciate the difficulties of changing an industry that serves the needs of money-grubbing corporate clients, and then explain why you still think advertising can be changed for the better.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Melissaann121
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