Straight Talk Advice

Jan 05, 2005

Teen girls feel the need to look perfect

Dear Straight Talk: I’m 17 and I agree with a lot of what Farren had to say in last week’s column about the problems with my generation. Everyone’s trying to look so perfect resulting in eating disorders and large amounts of stress mentally and physically. The question is: Why do we feel we need to look perfect? I think it’s because the media puts pressure not just on girls but also on guys to look and act a certain way. What really bothers me is that it is our parents’ generation that runs this media machine that is so lousy for us. My generation is crying out for help. We want to be healthy and yet with all the stress that are parents are under, world stress in general, and the media giving us a constant stream of the wrong impressions, we aren’t able, under the circumstances, to de-stress and be healthy.—Ashley

Dear Ashley: The media has become the new patriarch and matriarch of the family and youth are especially vulnerable to its “messages” regarding what to eat, how look, how to act, how to love, what to consider important. Given the same influences, I’d say your generation is doing as well as any other would. I find your point about the “media machine” being run predominantly by parents unsettling to say the least.


  1. By Michael Lawrience, age, from Sedona Arizona U.S. on 11/02/2013

    I teach self-esteem to teen girls. A majority of them feel ugly because of media influence. Ugly can be turned around to mean Unique Gifted Loveable You. One method I teach is to become aware of inner strengths and beauty.

    Reply to this comment

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