Media’s influence negatively affects teens to strive for unrealistic standards

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By: Maddy Bellew, Jessie Madden & Shayla Jones

1. Girls have to be skinny

With Victoria’s Secret models and magazines full of stick thin tanned beautiful women, it’s hard for teens today to get away from thinking that they have to look exactly like that. Girls these days will do anything and everything to reach the status quo of being stick thin. This leads to eating disorders and other major health problems. “Society sets this standard for girls,” senior Chandni Bhimani said. “Shows like ‘America’s Next Top Model’ promote this stereotype of having to be skinny to be beautiful.” said Bhimani. 

In reality, it is impossible for everyone to be perfect. It is crucial for teenage girls to learn to accept themselves for who they are and to not change it just because of what they see in magazines.

2. All guys are insensitive jerks

Men in the media are always portrayed as jerks. Men easily take the wrap even when it isn’t always their fault, by giving boys the label “jerk.” T.V. shows and movies are often to blame for our poor perception of the whole race of men. In today’s society, men are often referred to as “barbaric,” meaning that every boy is just like the next one.

Sure there are a lot of jerks out there, but there are also some sweet guys, too. They might just be harder to find.

3. Where you live determines your social status

In a world full of shallow high school students, the way to the top of the totem pole starts with your social class. For example, living in an upper class home means you will associate with upper class people.

“I think that you shouldn’t be judged by materialistic things,” junior Jacob Davis said. “It’s about what you make of yourself.”

This of course does not apply to every single person, but it is widely portrayed in a majority of movies.

4. You are judged based on your personal tastes

People usually assume before they know. And you know what they say about the word “assume”. People think they know the kind of music you listen to just because of the way you dress. “Everything you’re around and a part of influences you in one way or the other,” junior Foster Lucas said. “I do think the way you dress is influenced by your musical taste to an extent,” said Lucas.

5. New Albany vs. Floyd Central

For years New Albany students have been placed under Floyd Central’s shadow. To FC students, NA is considered trashy and ghetto. In reality, New Albany is a great school.

“I really feel like NA and FC are on the same level,” senior Stephanie Cotner said. “There tends to be more money in the Knobs, so they have more resources, but there isn’t much diversity.”

There are so many opportunities to take advantage of at NA. We have an amazing teaching staff and have experienced new improvements since Mrs. Page has taken over the principal position.

6. You need the latest technology

Having the latest and greatest technology is a big deal to some teenagers. With new phones coming out so often, it is tempting to want a new one to replace that ‘old’ phone. If you already have a cell phone that works, then what is the point of buying a new one? Inventions such as the iPad and iPod often make one want to rush to the store and buy it the day it comes out. If you already have your necessities and a pretty good phone or iPod, you should be grateful for what you already have. “Having the latest and greatest technnology is not always necessary because new and better phones will come out soon,” sophomore Tess Hill said. If you have extra money to splurge on a new tech item then perhaps you might help someone who does not have his or her needs met already.

7. You have to be up on the latest trends

Trends can pop out of nowhere. Feather hair extensions, Toms, and Sperry’s have been seen all around the halls of NAHS. Trends usually come from seeing a celebrity or someone with a good-looking accessory. Someone at school will start wearing it, and then before you know it, everyone has it. Some people can rock these trends, but only if it accompanies their style.  If you can wear your own style and feel comfortable in your own skin that is what matters.

“Just be yourself,” junior Ashley Waldron said, “it’s okay to wear trends if you express yourself.”

Just remember, if you look back on what you are wearing now, in twenty years, you will probably say, “Why did I wear that?” if you follow every single trend.

8. Guys have to be into sports

Picture the sound of thousands of teens screaming your name from the stands in the football stadium. For many guys this is something they live for. Having the crowd cheering them to victory. But that doesn’t mean all guys have to be into sports. Some get the same amount of joy out of hearing the audience applaud them after a star preformance in the school play. Yet according to society’s standards and assumptions, if boys aren’t into sports they are seen as little less macho and a little more feminine.

“Most people think that boys are supposed to play sports because it’s manly, but it’s not true,” junior Jennifer Sloan said. “Boys should have the freedom of not being judged just because they don’t like or aren’t necessarily into sports.”

“I don’t think guys necessarily have to play sports.  They can do other things to express themselves,” junior Josh Gilley said.

Everyone should be able to do whatever they like whether it is sports, or theatre, or helping out in the community. Whatever the occasion is, boys shouldn’t have to worry about the negative comments about not liking sports. Not everyone likes the same things or does the same things, so therefore society and the media shouldn’t suggest boys are feminine if they don’t like sports.

9. You have to be a social butterfly

There are certain games, parties, and even places some may say you need to be seen at because they are ‘the place to be.’ Every weekend football games occur at NAHS. They are a fun way to hang out with friends and watch the team compete, but some people might have a different idea of fun then everyone else. You might just like to chill on the weekend, while others are out partying, but is that so bad?

“It’s fine not to go out every night, but it’s not okay to be a hermit and stay inside,” sophomore Tristan Santos said. Parties can put you in bad situations and could possibly get you into trouble in the end.

10. Girls have to be tan and wear makeup all the time

In the world today make-up and mirrors have become a girl’s best friend, simply because the media continues to poke and pry at girls looks. Society and the media is the number one cause of so many girls’ insecurities. In today’s society girls are portrayed as very tan and wear a bunch of make-up. According to, if Barbie were a real woman she wouldn’t be able to walk upright she would have to walk on all fours due to her preposterous proportions. Girls are told that if they don’t look exactly perfect or flawless like all the magazines and movies, then girls are considered ugly. The media not only influences teenage girls, but also women and young girls.

“I don’t think girls need all of that stuff,” junior Megan Mackley said. “They are prettier without it. It makes them look gross and unnatural.” According to, ten minutes in a sun bed matches the cancer-causing effects of ten minutes in the Mediterranean summer sun. 71% of tanning salon patrons are girls and women age 16-29. Due to the society’s bad portrayal of beauty, young women alter their looks to be “perfect.” Some girls get spray tans or go to the tanning bed almost everyday while others spend tons of money on make-up to make themselves “beautiful.” But none of this is needed because every girl is beautiful in her own way.

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Media’s influence negatively affects teens to strive for unrealistic standards