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  • Writer's pictureS G

The Sexualization of Teen Girls.

https://apnews.com/article/teens-girls-mental-health-social-media-928d45094e94fccb81e1fa9aca30fcdf?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=TopNews&utm_campaign=position_10

Since the pandemic, I have noticed an increase in the amount my peers (me included) are glued to our phones. Not only because it’s always it in front of us, but we are addicted to the endless scrolling through Tik Tok and Instagram. I understand that it’s entertaining but the messages that we are consciously and subconsciously feeling after hours of scrolling are taking a toll on us from the inside. While it’s clear that social media impacts our self-esteem and our desire for perfection, it also sends very explicit messages about how we need to look, dress, and act to attract others and be liked. The article that I reviewed was an interview with a few girls who expressed what teens are dealing with growing up today. One idea that jumped out at me was the sexualization of teen girls.
The sexualization of teenage girls has become an increasingly concerning issue in our society. From advertising campaigns to social media influencers, the pressure on young girls to be sexually attractive is harmful. I have observed first-hand how the pressure can lead to feelings of insecurity, a distorted sense of self-worth, and a dangerous sense of vulnerability.
The consequences of sexualization are not just limited to the immediate impacts on girls' mental health and self-esteem. It can also lead to dangerous situations and a heightened sense of pressure to engage in sexual activities before they are ready. Young girls are often objectified and sexualized in popular culture, leading them to believe that their value lies solely in their appearance and sexual appeal. This can lead to a distorted sense of self-worth, in which girls feel that they need to be sexual to be valued.
This pressure can also lead to serious mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Girls are constantly bombarded with images of idealized beauty and sexual attractiveness and feel that they are not good enough if they do not fit this mold. The result is a culture that is obsessed with physical appearance and sexual desirability, and where girls are judged solely on these criteria.
The pressure to be sexually attractive can also lead to dangerous situations, where girls feel that they need to engage in sexual activities to fit in or to please their partners. This can lead to situations where girls feel pressured or coerced into sexual activities that they are not ready for, leading to long-term emotional and psychological damage.
It is crucial that we recognize the harm that sexualization can cause to young girls and take steps to address this issue. Recently, I created a created a school club for women’s rights and as a part of that we partnered with National Organization for Women NOW to run a campaign that they initiated called “Love your Body”. I really love the message and think all teens would benefit from more positive body image conversations and thinking instead of the negative thoughts that are persistent in our heads.
We must work together to promote positive and healthy images of femininity and sexuality, provide girls with education and resources on healthy relationships, consent, and sexual health, and create a culture that values and respects girls for who they are, rather than just for their physical appearance.
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