There is an interesting article over at the Huffington Post. When I was teaching at Winthrop University, my students analyzed the impact of the media on young adolescents. The results were usually an eye-opener for the teachers as they realized the messages regarding sexuality, violence, language, and bullying that their students were exposed to. This article specifically focuses on young girls:
"Study after study shows that girls believe how they look is the key to their popularity -- their self-esteem. They think how they look is who they are."
Are there really dangers in this message? After all, my niece loves to be a princess! But I also have several friends who are anorexic, and many of their emotional issues stem from deeply held beliefs that they must be "skinny to be beautiful."
My takeaway from the article is that I need to be aware of the mixed messages young girls receive and that I need to make sure I'm using words that affirm looks, but focus on the talents, abilities, and uniqueness of the girls in my life.