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Role of Media

Celebrity Culture and its Impact on Girl’s Self-esteem:

Research conducted nationally, has identified that young people in today’s society are hugely challenged to create their own identity when surrounded by the media that portrays a distorted and unachievable view on beauty and what is considered “perfect”. The media and celebrity culture focuses solely on physical appearance as the definition of ‘beauty’. It is therefore important for you girls to widen that definition of beauty and expand on it to include attributes beyond just physical appearance, such as intelligence and your personality which can also make you beautiful. 
However, we recognise that this is challenging, especially in a society where celebrity influence is everywhere, from obsessions with celebrity style in magazines, to following celebrities on Twitter, to watching ‘reality TV’ and looking at airbrushed images and photo-sharing social media sites. 

The constant reinforcement of the so called ‘perfect’ woman in the media can directly impact your body confidence. Body image research found that looking at magazines for just 60 minutes lowers the self-esteem of more than 80% of girls. In addition, research published by Girlguiding (2012), evidenced that 66% of girls thought media portrayals of women are a reason why girls go on diets and seeing adverts using thin models makes women more conscious about the way they look and makes them want to lose weight and diet.

 Together in groups in self esteem educationTogether in groups in self esteem education


It is important that you recognise what’s real and what’s manipulated to attract your attention when looking at images of celebrities. Did you know that the majority of photographic images in the media are careful edited and manipulated by modern technology? This is known as ‘airbrushing’. So those endless images of women with flawless skin, no body fat and luscious locks are not even what those women look like in real life. Watch the two YouTube clips below which demonstrate how the women we see in the media are altered and manipulated.

Dove: Evolution – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U
Dove Evolution model before and after - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17j5QzF3kqE

Discuss with a friend or family member about how the appearance of a celebrity can be deceptive. Talk about what that celebrity may look like when they get up in the morning and how they make the transformation into the individuals we see online, in magazines or on TV.

It is therefore important that next time you or a friend go to compare your body image to your idol or other celebrities that you remember they have undergone lots of changes through using digital computer manipulation and it is therefore impossible to achieve their look. Provide reassurance to yourself and your friend that the images are fake and that your special not just because of your looks but because you’re a good friend and a unique person.

Equally, remember, if you feel pressured by the media to look “perfect”, talk to a friend or family member as it is likely you are not alone in this experience, as 54% of girls say that the pressure to look like a celebrity is a cause of stress. 

Are you experiencing low self-esteem or have an interest in the topic?
Come along to our self-esteem workshops delivered in the Ipswich community. Please click here to find out more information and to register or contact PHOEBE directly on 01473 231566

'A Helper of Many'

19, Tower Street

Citizen Advice Bureau Building

Ipswich, Suffolk



Telephone— 00 44 1473 231566