A Speech on “Impact of Beauty Standards Portrayed in Media on Adolescents.”

All of you must have seen how people are portrayed in media and how beauty standards are set for both men and women. We have seen how the people who are shown in advertisements, films, TV shows, magazines, and even news channels share certain features in common. They have decided that these features are the standard features to be labeled as eligible for attention and fame.

Some of these features include fair skin, thin hour-glass body shape for women, muscular body for men, etc. The fact that only people with these features are beautiful and that the rest of them are not eligible to be shown in public is etched in the minds of the people because of media. Who is to decide the beauty standard of men and women? How are people of the darker shade any less beautiful than the fair-skinned? When did being zero-sized decide the worth of a woman and being muscular that of a man? 

There still are advertisements where a female gets promoted or gets an increase in salary and recognition after she uses a fairness product. What message is the media giving to society? Through such portrayals, media is creating and promoting judgmental people who even have the potential to destroy people’s lives by putting them down mentally.

According to statistics, a majority of adolescents are dissatisfied with their bodies. Who do you think is giving them the idea of “the perfect body”? Many of these youngsters end up have eating disorders and other serious mental and physical illnesses. They are being bullied by their classmates and peers for not having the ideal physique. How often do we get to see models who are not thin and slender? Why are beauty salons filled with people who pay large sums of money to beautify themselves? Why is plastic surgery a thriving business now? The media is responsible for all of this.

People tend to compare themselves with others. Adolescents idealize celebrities and try to be like them. You need to understand that everything you see on screen is not true. Such idealizations lead to negative self-perceptions. You need to develop a high body appreciation. Value yourself and think beyond the stereotypes. Your body doesn’t deserve to be tortured through harsh diets and intense workouts. Relax, acknowledge, and accept your body. This is the first step towards self-love.

Media should realize that their portrayal does have a tremendous effect on mass perception and how people are affected both mentally and physically because of their ignorant non-sensical beauty standard setting. All men and women are created beautifully and no one has the right to decide which is good and which is bad. Dear adolescents, never go astray by seeing what the media portrays. Your body or face doesn’t define your worth. You have many more beneficial things in life that you can focus on. Prove your worth through those and break the stereotypes. Be proud of yourself. 

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