The Influence of Media Marketing on Adolescent Girls

Erica Laurén Sanders
The Master's College

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Abstract Current research suggests that “mass media (TV, movies, magazines, internet) pervade the everyday lives of people living in Western societies, and undoubtedly one of the effects of such media saturation is the pervasive transmission of societal beauty ideals” (Tiggemann, 2006, para. 2). The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of media marketing on adolescent girls from the ages of 16-19. The survey instrument was distributed to students who were enrolled at the Academy of the Canyons located in Santa Clarita, California, during the spring of 2007. STATPAK was employed to examine the data, and the One-Dimensional Chi-square test was used for data analysis. The findings of the study yielded some significant results. The conclusions of this research suggest that media marketing does influence adolescent girls more than adolescent girls may be aware.

Introduction The ability of media marketing to affect adolescents today has evolved through many different means. Digital editing has created a false world that is impossible to achieve. Celebrities, good or bad, have been made “role-models” and are presented as people that should be emulated. Media marketing has taken a negative toll on many aspects of adolescent lives. It is entwined with entertainment, fashion, and music, making it almost impossible to differentiate reality from fantasy. Teen-age girls who viewed commercials depicting women who modeled the unrealistically thin-ideal type of beauty caused adolescent girls to feel less confident, angrier, and more dissatisfied with their weight and appearance (Hargreaves, 2002, p. 287). According to the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, sociocultural norms for ideal appearance lead women to base their self-worth more strongly on appearance than on character. This study focused on the effects that media marketing has on influencing adolescent girls’ lives.

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