Media crushes American’s self-esteem

By Rosie Drumgoole

“You’re not ‘star’ quality.” This is just one of the messages the media feeds to young women and men all the time. By playing images of perfects bodies bouncing on beaches or talentless rap stars telling beautiful women how ugly they are, the media becomes a pusher of low self-esteem. Well, me personally, I’m tired of it.

I was appalled when I sat down and watched the first episode of “Making the Band 3.” Puff Daddy, who is quite possibly one of the ugliest men to ever get stuck in front of a camera, had the nerve and audacity to pick apart eager and talented young women based solely upon their physical characteristics.

Some may argue those girls brought that kind of criticism to themselves by volunteering to go on such a show, but I would beg to differ.

No one in their right mind ever goes on to any show or audition or interview knowing and or hoping the person who is in charge will smack them upside the head verbally.

And the girls on these shows are not the only ones who are suffering from these overly shallow comments. Young ladies at home, who are hooked on MTV worse than some drug addicts in rehab, see this stuff on television and start critiquing themselves and wondering how they measure up. They see those girls who are absolutely beautiful on television getting picked apart by P-Diddy and they think to themselves, “I wonder what Puffy would say about me?” Either that or they will learn how to pick each other apart: “Puff said that girl’s hair was ugly and your hair looks like hers so your hair must be ugly too.”

But Puffy isn’t the only person on television undermining women’s self-esteem – he’s just one of the few who are doing it overtly. Most the time, television uses much sneakier techniques to destabilize women’s egos.

Music videos are another notorious technique. By watching these highly paid models shake what their momma gave them on television, and then seeing how the men react to them, young girls start to think if they want guys to notice them, then that’s how they must act. So they buy the “too tight” and “too short” clothes and walk around and think it’s OK.

“We are so caught up in these unrealistic images on TV that it warps our reality,” said Keynice Dixon, a junior political science major. “Girls become unsure of themselves and some even get to the point where they feel they need to hurt themselves.”

Low self-esteem brought on by the media is no longer a “personal problem” that needs to be kept quiet. Research has shown that low self-esteem can cause children to be come violent, drop out of school and have eating disorders. If you want to learn more about self-esteem research, go to the National Association of Self-Esteem’s Web site at

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.