Frances Johnson - Is it Worth the Struggle Television has...

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Is it Worth the Struggle? Television has been stereotyping all ages, races, and sexes for some time now. At this point in time, it has reached an all time high for young adolescent and teenage girls. To be more specific, shows such as America’s Next Top Model give off a very unpleasant sense of how the directors and producers feel that most women should look and how they should act. Young girls have taken this to heart and have began to think that it is okay to pay more attention to the way they look and the numbers on the scale and pay less attention to the more important details, such as school, studying, and time spent with their family. Girls do not know any better so they begin to grow accustomed to these stereotypes. Shows, such as America’s Next Top Model, reinforce traditional gender norms by teaching young girls that it’s okay to pay more attention to beauty and looks than intellectual things or academic achievement. The show also challenges racial stereotypes by having many women of different ethnicities on the show. In today’s society, the traditional gender norms mean a girl is supposed to be heterosexual, unintelligent, skinny, and white. A boy is supposed to be masculine, strong, and in control. If a girl is smart or cares about intellectual things then she is considered unattractive. Media has a big role in setting the guidelines to these “traditional” gender norms. Celebrities are people that young children and teenagers look up to as role models. They would do anything to be just like these so-called “perfect” people. Even though these stereotypes have changed considerably over the years, girls are still sent these messages that can limit who they can be. In the article “Boys-R-Us:
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Board Games and the Socialization of Young Adolescent Girls,” Jennifer Scanlon examines problems in four board games which “promote the idea that the central object in a girl’s life is to get a guy” (4). Unlike games made for young boys, these games do not challenge girls. In some of the games, it teaches the girls that its okay to ‘steal’ boyfriends, actually its encouraged in one game. If all females were like the characters in the board games Scanlon examined, we would all be “ white, long- haired, fair-haired, blemish-free, wealthy, heterosexual, and well dressed” (7). These
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Frances Johnson - Is it Worth the Struggle Television has...

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