Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers


Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers

The media attributing a sexual aspect to a behavior or product that does not organically have a sexual component is known as hyper-sexualization or the sexualization of the public sphere. The media commonly features hyper-sexualization, especially in commercials, motion pictures, television, and music videos (Muir, 2021). The over-sexualization of young girls is a troubling and complex social issue that is currently garnering a lot of attention. Young girls are sexualized excessively or hypersexualized for a variety of reasons. These elements include the media portrayal of young girls and the pressure placed on them to meet unattainable beauty standards (Harlan, 2018). Girls are commonly the targets of overt sexualization and the violence that follows. The fact that girls are targeted so much more frequently than boys has a cyclical component. The current culture promotes the idea that women are merely elevated sex objects. This prompts companies of toys, clothing, video games, advertisements, and everything else to produce more goods based on this stereotype, which furthers the sexualization of children. This essay argues that the over-sexualization of young girls is a societal concern resulting from the objectification of women and the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes. This argument is supported by three claims. The first claim is that the media mostly portrays young girls in a sexualized way. This portrayal perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes and contributes to women’s objectification. The portrayal is usually seen in music videos, moves, TV shows, and advertisements. In these spaces, young girls are made to wear revealing clothes and are portrayed as objects o desire. The second claim is based on society. The current society imposes unrealistic beauty standards on girls and women. This results in an over-emphasis on sexual attractiveness and physical appearance. Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers The pressure to conform to certain beauty standards results in the over-sexualization of young girls because they are encouraged to dress in a manner that is deemed attractive. The last claim is that oversexualizing young girls result in negative consequences like elevated risks of sexual assault or harassment, mental health concerns, and body dissatisfaction. Oversexualization o young girls also perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes which limit opportunities and potential for girls and women. Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers

The media is one of the primary conduits or venues for the sexualization of young females. Through music videos, movies, TV series, or even advertisements, the media frequently sexualizes images of young females. On these platforms, most young girls are dressed in revealing clothes that portray them as objects of desire. For instance, some of the advertisements that target young girls use models who wear heavy makeup and airbrush themselves. The use of these models creates unrealistic beauty standards that damage the self-esteem of many young girls (Herndon, 2020). Also, most of the women characters in movies or TV shows are usually oversexualized through clothing choices and camera angles that emphasize their bodies. These actions show young girls that their bodies are objects to be judged or viewed instead of a part of themselves that they should feel comfortable in and proud of. Also, music videos portray young girls in sexualized ways with provocative clothing choices and dance moves (Papp, 2021). These videos make young girls feel that their bodies are objects that are desired by men rather than a part of themselves that they should adore and embrace. The over-sexualization of young girls creates harmful gender stereotypes that limit the potential of girls and women. Young girls who get to watch these adverts, movies, or TV shows understand that their worth is based on their sexual attractiveness and physical appearance. This may reduce their probability of pursuing interests and careers that are not traditionally associated with femininity. In turn, this results in a lack of diversity in different fields like STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which have an underrepresentation of women. According to (cite), media exposure to thin-ideal body images is significantly associated with body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors among adolescent girls. Individuals are dissatisfied with their bodies if they have persistent negative feelings and thoughts about their bodies. This dissatisfaction is usually an internal cognitive and emotional process that is influenced by external factors like the pressure to meet particular appearance ideals. This is due to the girls’ perceptions that they fall short or do not match the physical representations found in various media. It is common for people to experience moments when they are uneasy, sad, or unsatisfied with their bodies, according to a study. However, if these feelings intensify or increase, it means that one may be at risk of engaging in unhelpful and unhealthy behaviors around supplements, food, and exercises- all of which affect individuals’ physical and mental health. Media images of the thin ideal women have significant effects on girls’ body images. The majority of girls who struggle to meet these media-based idealized body standards express lower levels of self-esteem and greater body dissatisfaction. The American Psychological Association conducted a study in 2010 to investigate body dissatisfaction concerns among young girls. The results of this study showed that 80% of girls fear getting fat (Kelly, 2017).  Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers Negative body image or body dissatisfaction has several effects on young girls. Some of these effects include low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts about one’s appearance and body, over-emphasis on size, shape, or weight, withdrawing from social activities like sports, changing one’s eating and exercise routines, engaging in harmful and risky behaviors, and mental health issues like anxiety or depression (Brassard et al., 2018). All these details show that girls have been subjected to become objects of desire in order to become popular, successful, or even just to develop. Girls today must be attractive and sexy, as opposed to being lovely and nice in the past. They are made to believe that their value is solely based on how they appear. Children are constantly exposed to sexual imagery through music videos, advertisements, movies, and everyday media. They want to fit in and be accepted by the group and, eventually, society. To achieve these goals, they must resemble the dominant models that are offered to them, which is a phenomenon known as mimicry. For girls to be popular in this century, they have to give off something sexual, to seduce, to please by their physique, despite their age. Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers

Another reason why young girls are oversexualized is based on society’s beliefs. The current society mostly imposes unrealistic beauty standards on girls and women. This imposition results in over-emphasis on sexual attractiveness and physical appearance. Beauty standards tend to vary across different time stamps. These standards mostly prioritize characteristics like thinness, physical appearance, youthfulness, and narrow ranges of facial features and body types. Most girls or women cannot attain these ideals or characteristics, and this results in feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and inadequacy. According to Brassard et al. (2018), the societal standards of thin idealized women lead to negative self-image and dissatisfaction among girls even as young as six years. Due to their dissatisfaction, these girls have a high probability of engaging in unhealthy weight control traits like bingeing, fasting, or dieting. These traits result in low bone density, eating disorders, and other concerns. The over-sexualization of young girls results from the pressure to conform to societal standards. This is because the girls are encouraged to dress in a manner that is deemed attractive (Herndon, 2020). This includes wearing makeup, high heels, and revealing clothes. Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers   The societal beauty standards pass the message that girls’ worth is based on their sexual desirability and physical appearance instead of their accomplishments, personality, and intelligence. These unrealistic societal beauty standards imposed on girls and women have broader societal effects. For instance, these standards limit girls’ opportunities in certain professions and social situations based on their appearance. They also perpetuate gender inequality because girls who do not conform to these standards may encounter discrimination or be overlooked for opportunities. Institutions, communities, and individuals should consider recognizing and challenging these beauty standards to promote a broader definition of beauty that includes self-acceptance, authenticity, and diversity. By enrolling their young daughters in beauty pageants where the contestants dress provocatively, use extensive makeup to highlight full lips, long mascara lashes, and blushed cheeks, don high heels to imitate older women, and don exposing “evening gowns,” parents also directly and explicitly influence the sexualization of their daughters (Muir, 2021). Although only a small percentage of girls actually compete in these pageants, they have gained attention in the media due to questions over whether or not early sexualization of girls is harmful to them or other girls. In this way, the involvement of a select few may really aid in the sexualization of a large number of people. Some parents have also permitted their daughters to get plastic surgery in an effort to make them more sexy or attractive. Invasive surgical treatments on adolescents aged 18 and under exceeded 77,000 in 2005, a 15% rise since 2000 (Muir, 2021). Such surgery cannot be performed on minors without parental permission, and parents often cover the cost of the procedure as well. Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers The sexualization of girls may also be facilitated by teachers. Brassard et al. (2018) discovered that girls were encouraged to play dress-up more than boys were and that teachers pushed girls to play at being sexualized adult women in their dress-up activities. This frequently involves “vamping,” wearing high heels for “fancy” occasions and staring in mirrors. Teachers may also convey to females signals that support a thin-is-ideal body image. For instance, a study revealed that professors have unfavorable opinions of girls whose bodies do not fit the slender ideal.

Modern young women nevertheless experience pressure to adhere to ideals of beauty while being largely independent, educated, and career-driven. When they don’t live up to unattainable standards, the public criticizes them harshly about how they seem, which regrettably causes them to hate themselves or oversexualize their looks in an effort to live up to that image. Teenage girls overdo their makeup in an effort to appear gorgeous, and adults in an effort to live up to unrealistic standards of beauty. In order to draw attention to themselves, girls like short skirts and shorts and tight-fitting attire. The obsession with maintaining a “flawless” figure that will be admired by shallow boys and coveted by other girls is even more troubling among young women (Kelly, 2017). Sometimes, this exercise regimen turns into an obsession, which can cause fatal eating disorders and a stunning lack of confidence. Unrealistic body standards that have been accepted and encouraged by society and the media alike have led to the undeniable over-sexualization of young women and girls on a daily basis. This portrayal reduces girls to objects, there to be ogled, to service the demands of men, or to act as physical models for other women to aspire to. Because women give in to the urge to fit in and because men uphold that sexualized ideal, this objectivity is degrading, humiliating, and harmful in so many ways. Nevertheless, its destructive cycle never ends. Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers

Finally, oversexualizing young girls has both immediate and long-term consequences. The likelihood of sexual harassment and assault is one of the over- sexualization’s immediate effects. Young girls who are portrayed as sexual objects are not seen as distinct individuals with their own thoughts, feelings, and desires. They are rather seen as objects of want. This perception makes the girls vulnerable to sexual assault and harassment because they are perceived as being less deserving of autonomy and respect. According to Muir (2021), girls who are oversexualized have a high probability of experiencing sexual violence, making this a critical issue. The over-sexualization of girls results in body dissatisfaction and mental health concerns like depression and eating disorders. These are long-term consequences that may never or may take a lot of time to be mitigated. According to research, the exposure of unrealistic and objectifying images of media women to young girls makes them develop unhealthy relationships with their bodies. As a consequence, this body dissatisfaction results in self-harm, eating disorders, and different mental health concerns. According to Herndon (2020), girls who are oversexualized have a high chance of experiencing poor body image and low self-esteem. This makes this issue a significant concern. Oversexualized girls have a high chance of developing mental health concerns. When girls are oversexualized, they often experience anxiety, depression, and different mental health concerns. When these issues progress to adulthood, they result in different negative results like poor professional and academic performance, relationship hardships, and even substance abuse.  Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers Also, the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes limits the opportunities and chances for girls and women, resulting in a less equitable and just society. Girls who are taught that their worth is based on sexuality and appearance have less likelihood of pursuing interests and careers that are not traditionally associated with femininity. Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers

The over-sexualization of young girls is a societal concern resulting from the objectification of women and the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes. Society should recognize the adverse effects of oversexualizing girls and work towards establishing a more just and equitable world for all people. Individuals who have young girls in their lives can benefit from reading this essay because it will enable them to understand different ways in which the media and society contribute to the over-sexualization of young girls. The readers will also know the dangers associated with the over-sexualization of young girls and work towards mitigating them. The key implications of the arguments in this essay are: the media has the power to influence how young girls perceive themselves and their bodies; the sexualization of young girls negatively affects their well-being and mental health; the media plays a major role in perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes which limit the potential and opportunities for women and girls. Therefore, a better future is promised if individuals address the root causes of over-sexualization in girls and promote positive representations of girls and women. Oversexualization of Young Girls Essay Papers

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