Advanced technology has contributed increased desire of younger and younger girls who consider being beautiful more important than anything else in the world. Today’s society portrays the message that outside beauty is more important than the inner beauty through beauty pageant magazines, television programs, films, advertisement, internet and peer pressure among others. Children films and story books also depicts the importance of beauty for example Cinderella and Snow White among others, thus further idolizing the society (La et al. 2004). This has increased the desire and the pressure of the young girls to look alike with the prominent figures they see everyday and the messages portrayed such as being thin is beautiful and being overweight is ugly (La et al. , 2004). Several surveys that have been conducted reveal that advertisements geared to attract boys rarely reflect on appearance as those geared towards attracting girls for example the Barbie girl doll advertisement which regularly changes to meet the fashion standards set by the society (McLellan, 2002).
The blame is not entirely on the media, parents too have also contributed to this fanaticism, especially when mothers have low esteem of their images and spend most of their time on the mirror flipping their hairs and pouting their lips to get the most desirable looks (La et al. , 2004). This affects the development of the children because as toddlers they try to imitate the actions of their mothers and when they grow up they aim at having better looks than their parents to improve their tainted self esteem (La et al. 2004). Today most of the parents rarely spend enough time with their children because of working for long hours thus the children spend most of their playing time watching television. Furthermore, the children of today are embraced with a pop up culture that advocates for upgrade of everything including breast implants, liposuctions and sexual competition among others.
Parents of these children were teenagers in the 1980s where the beauty industry was strongly evolving resulting to the increased rate of bulling and teasing in elementary schools from those who considered themselves to be beautiful and match the standards portrayed by the over-sexed media. This explains their laxity in controlling and limiting the time and money their children spend on beauty treatments (Lowes & Tiggemann, 2003).
According to Bob Reitemeier the Chief Executive of Children’s society in UK reports that the two year study that they recently conducted on ten year old girls revealed that they were under pressure to grow up quickly from the society and their parents (La et al. , 2004). Other surveys that have been recently conducted reveal that more ten year old girls are focused on losing their weight because of the anxiety they have of impersonating beauty models who most of the time are their idols (Lowes & Tiggemann, 2003).
The young girls spent almost all their pocket money on exercises to lose weight while saving some for future plastic surgery on their breasts or noses. There has also being reports that young diabetic girls skip out on their regularly dose of insulin as it makes them add on weight further worsening their health condition. This is because they consider beauty to be the most important aspect in their lives than anything else, even health.
Thill is among one of the many girls that adores this impeccable behaviour. She has damaged her kidneys and has had to undergo surgery on her eyes twice in a period of six months because of blood vessel haemorrhage (McLellan, 2002). According to La et al. (2004), the anxiety and pressure build up in the young girls is attributed to the freedom they are accorded by their parents to access information that is linked with maturity as it perpetuates sexual and relationship behaviours.
Young girls own large collection of make-up, shoes, clothes, handbags, are addiction to sexually enticing programs, spend a lot of time on the mirror when preparing themselves and must check their appearance when walking past a mirror to maintain the mature look they have adopted which they believe is beautiful. Most beauty spas report that younger and younger girls are regularly visiting their parlous to get beauty treatments like manicure, pedicure and laser hair removal among other things.
Moreover the beauty spa attendants report their astonishment at the tender age of girls even five year old that are predominantly becoming their regular customers (McLellan, 2002). A survey that was recently conducted in London by Lewes & Tiggemann (2003), shows that more kids spas have been established as the youngsters are enticing the beauty industry because they earn over ?40 million per month therefore, they estimate that by the time the ten year old girls will be fifty years they would have spend a minimum of about ?400,000 on beauty treatment.
Although women have greatly strive to be beautiful over the years, the trend practiced by girls at their tender age is consuming time that they can utilize to nurture their talents for instance in sports and to further improve their performances in school by reading vastly. The children also have a higher possibility of suffering from health issues in their later lives because of the early exposure to chemicals which mostly are untested. From the above information it is likely that the young girls will end up with depression from the anxiety of looking like their dream models in their later life.
Most of them develop anorexia in the event of losing weight. Therefore, parents should set limitation to the kind of television programs, movies, magazines and the amount of time spent on beauty treatments parlours to avert this obsession that is slowing seeping of the pride and confidence of young girls. Parents should encourage their children to watch educational programs that have limited advertisement interruptions and allow them to participate in childhood games and activities.
Moreover, they should monitor sleeping behaviour of their children as those who have a habit of sleeping late are more exposed to programs that portray sexuality and fashion as the norm of today. Furthermore, the parents should create time to spend with their children and thus monitor their growth effectively to teach their kids their purpose in life to avoid them developing future insecurities on their beauty. By so doing they will have helped their children to learn that inner beauty is more important than outside body.
In conclusion I totally agree with the statement that ‘younger and younger girls today are obsessed with looking good (being beautiful). Its more important to them than anything else in their lives’. This fanaticism is wholly sad because these young children will be the future leaders of tomorrow and if not well nurtured will not effectively perform their roles thus greatly affecting their children and the old generation that will be under their care. Therefore, it is a high time for the society to start respecting children and stop regarding them in accordance to their gender.
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