Mary Smith is your average ten-year-old girl. She plays, reads, and watches TV like all of her friends. Lately, however, her mother has noticed her acting differently. She seems to talk much more about her self-image than what her mother believes to be normal. She calls herself fat which isn’t true at all. Her mother has become increasingly concerned about her daughter’s comments about herself and how it is affecting her self-esteem.
Fourteen-year-old Ben Jones enjoys hanging out with friends, but ever since high school started, his friends are becoming interested with experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Ben has never been interested in experimenting himself, but the more he sees and hears of celebrities using drugs and drinking, the less immoral the activity seems to him.
Anna Wilson is a sixteen-year-old girl who spends a good amount of her time on the internet. She is the average weight for a girl her age, however, Anna has a very distorted self-image and extremely low self-esteem. Anna believes you can never be too skinny; the skinner she is, the more beautiful she will become. She spends hours on websites like Tumblr looking at pictures of girls who are deadly thin and wishes she can look exactly like them. All of her thoughts have turned into actions lately as she’s been skipping meals. In just three weeks, she lost fifteen pounds. However, for Anna, it’s not and will never be “enough”.
Technology has advanced rapidly over the past couple of decades. Children are engulfed into the world of media and are subject to all of its dangers at an extremely young age. Through television and the internet, children younger than ever before can see all of the escapades of stars such as Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan. On the radio, children hear songs much too inappropriate that revolve around topics such as drugs. Children are becoming more and more exposed to the world of celebrity influence than ever before, and the results are becoming increasingly negative.
An increased amount of young children are now using profanities, and many believe the media is to blame. According to one poll, 77% of Americans think that celebrities have too much of an influence on adolescent girls. In addition to that, 40% of girls as young as nine and ten have tried to lose weight; diet obsession should not be a factor they need to worry about. Young girls at this age are still growing, and it’s normal for them to have “baby fat”. These girls don’t see it that way, however. Young girls compare themselves to the actresses who are unhealthily thin, making them feel “fat”.
Celebrities not only influence young children, but teenagers as well. Teenage years are a time in everyone’s life when they’re searching for who they are and where they belong. Teenagers can feel a sense of acceptance among their peers by mimicking the lives of people they and others idolize such as celebrities. Teenagers rapidly change who they are in an effort to fit in. Along the way, they can lose themselves. As a result, self-esteem is lost.
Through television shows like the Jersey Shore and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, teenagers are shown a bad examples. These people are paid millions of dollars to act ridiculous do absolutely nothing substantial with their life. Even though these shows are known as being “reality” television shows, they’re the farthest thing from being real. These shows teach teenagers that the obscene life can be extremely lucrative; this is rarely the case in society.
Not only do celebrities promote drugs and sex, but some also glamorize eating disorders. Those in the limelight are pressured to be a size 0, and some take it too far. Models, for example, starve themselves for their profession and are supposed to be the most beautiful women in the world. Some celebrities are photo-shopped, making them look impossibly perfect without a single flaw on their body. It is because of these unhealthy and unrealistic young celebrities that teenagers feel “ugly” or “fat”. This can cause adolescents to develop eating disorders in an attempt to feel better about their bodies. Approximately 8 million Americans have eating disorders—7 million women and one million men. Ninety-five percent of these individuals are between the ages of 12 and 25.
Celebrities’ area huge influence on adolescents. Teens spend much of their time indulging in the lives of their role models. Too much of this obsession can become unhealthy and have very bad consequences. Sometimes, this obsession consumes lives and cannot be recovered from. No one can stop people from doing as they desire; sadly, there will always be someone doing drugs or suffering from anorexia. It is how we attempt to teach others that the celebrity life is not always an honest and glamorous life that we can overcome these urges and save lives.