Media is a very powerful source to spread information. It has facilities of both audio and video which not only enables a person to think as the media tells them but also dress and behave as the people or models shown in the media. The models become an ideal to the young generation, which is a good thing as young people must have role models. But what happens if the role models are not the ideal person they should look up to? What if the content of the media is not something that people must have followed?
This topic is not discussed as often as topic like gender discrimination, women violence, bullying, or other social problems. We are a social beings and our behavior is a learned one. We learn from our parents, relatives, friends and other people who surround us. When we intake information from media, we are unconsciously learning the behavior or activities that are shown in the media. I want to focus on the basic and fundamental things that we have been wrongly following in our day to day life.
Girls are expected to be “Girly”. They are expected to be fragile, soft and are expected to be beautiful. When a baby is born, the expectation changes since the very day of birth like pink for the baby girl while blue for the baby boy. When the child grows up a bit, similar activities like girls sent to dance classes and boys sent to martial arts classes can be seen. The point is that there are various made up expectation of people according to sex taught by the media which is causing identity loss in the young generation.They are judged through the lens of the society and wrong identities or expectations are passed out.
The second thing I want to highlight is that women are expected to be flawless with small waist, lovely long hair, usually fair complexion and not wrinkled. The media is trying to show the part of women that actually never exists. The gorgeous photos of women on magazines, advertisement banner, or any other media are really luring and beautiful right? But have you ever thought the amount of photo shop it needs to be perfect? Due to this, women, especially young women who worship media as their deity are trying to match up with the unattainable standard and boys too expect women to have inhumane beauty.
Girls who are fat starve themselves; girls who are not fair apply various beauty products, girls who are not so popular try to reduce the size of their skirts so that they would be noticed but the big question that lies here is “Why”? The media has created such habits on people to judge them and torment them if they do not match up to the media culture. Media has also somehow devalued the existence of women.
Girls wearing revealing cloths and trying to lure guys in movies have objectified women. Women have been just a factor to lure the male audiences and treated as sex object that sells. Due to this, girls have started to self-objectify themselves. This results to depression, eating disorder, less confidence, less GPA’s and no leadership. Media is sending a message that their value lies in their bodies. Not only this, if a girl is shown as a leader, she is shown as a lady who has left her family and any other people to be in the place she is in. It is seen that girls are harder on girls. The ones who don’t accept women leaders are usually found out as women, which is sad. Due to the influence of media, men think or are taught to think that they have power over women. They are taught to be emotionally illiterate. There is very bad position of men. They are expected to be really tough and are bullied if they have no interest in sports or they express their emotions especially crying. Men are humans too who feel hurt but they have been taught that “boys don’t cry” and their masculinity declines if they do so.
In the United States of America, an average teenager consumes 10 hours and 45 minutes of media every day. The number may be much less in a country like Nepal due to technological impairment in rural areas but the teenagers in urban areas are likely to get influenced by media more than rural areas. Media misrepresentation is a very sensitive topic but a crucial one. People must be aware about it and be conscious over it. This type of misrepresentation affects the youth as it is their time to seek identity. Media paints women as emotional being and men as the one who holds control over women. So, the entire society is run by the media’s impact though it may good or bad. It’s a high time that someone raises voice against it to abolish misrepresentation of media forever.