Everyone must deal with other people on a daily basis. As a teen, you have to deal with family members, friends, classmates, school administrators, teachers and coaches. You may learn how to treat others by watching television and using other forms of media. Your classmates and peers may also treat you in certain ways based on what they see on television and in movies. Popular culture is very influential for teens, but it is important to remember that television shows and movies do not always portray real life accurately. There are several things to consider when viewing different types of media, such as:
- Celebrity pressure on teens
- Effects of cultural pressure on teens
- Emphasis on beauty and appearance
- Mental effects of media consumption
Nielsen reports that teens spend an average of three hours and 20 minutes each day watching television, so it is important to understand the effects of celebrity culture.
Some teens enjoy dressing up like their favorite celebrities or following the lives of popular stars. However, celebrity influence is not always beneficial for teens. The emphasis on beauty and appearance is especially difficult, as many teens struggle to meet impossible standards. Some teens are even turning to plastic surgery. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that teens under the age of 18 made up 1.5 percent of all breast reductions in the United States in 2011. The ASAPS also reports that 11,268 teens had cosmetic ear surgery in the same year.
The influence of famous people does not stop at appearance. Some teens also model their behavior after music moguls, movie stars and reality television cast members. Teens under this amount of influence may change the way they talk to and treat other people.
Mental Effects of Celebrity Culture
Celebrity culture can also influence teens mentally. When teens see beautiful celebrities on television or the big screen, it may make them feel inadequate. Some teens suffer from low self-esteem because they do not feel like they can live up to everyone’s expectations. Low self-esteem can lead to depression and other psychological disorders. What many teens do not realize is that not every celebrity’s life is perfect. Some celebrities have problems with addiction and low self-esteem. Other celebrities have money problems or problems with their family members, and still others struggle with alcoholism or drug addiction.
Cultural pressure is another significant issue for teens. This is when you feel pressured to look or act a certain way. If you do not look and act the same way everyone else does, you may find it hard to fit in with your friends and classmates. If your family members pressure you to dress a certain way because of your culture, you may experience teasing at school.
Whether you are feeling the effects of cultural pressure or celebrity influence, it is important to let someone know about your problems. Pressure can lead to isolation, which can make feelings of depression even worse. Talk to a parent, sibling, counselor, teacher or friend about your feelings. Talking about your feelings can help you cope with them so they do not bubble up and cause bigger problems. Everyone has to deal with the celebrity influence and the media, but it is okay not to give in to pressure to look and act like celebrities. Instead, be yourself in all your uniqueness. You’ll find good people are drawn to people who are honest and real, and you’ll find better friends as a result.