Teenagers And The Media Essay

1154 words - 5 pages

Mass Media Teenagers have been the center of attention for the media and a way to get revenue. Understanding how to sell to teens has become a highly competitive industry. If companies can get in on a trend or subculture while it is still hidden, they can be the first to bring it to market. Those who can track down the latest trends in teen life can make a lot of money marketing their expertise to companies marketing to teens. This is because the nation?s teenage population is now bigger than ever and they are the ones flushed with cash and credit cards. Last Year there was an estimate of $100 billion spent by kids and an extra $50 billion given by their parents just because they feel bad for not being there for their kids (proquest, Adams). To a thirteen-year-old kid being ?cool? is very important and it is like a business among teenage peers. Frontline should be commended for their documentary titled ?Merchants of cool? which raises important, scary questions about the corporation of teen culture and whether it has displaced virtually everything honest and original. The main topics the program touched on were the way MTV exploited kids as to know what is cool in order to help their form of business and the behavior of young girls who wanted to model or be in the show business.MTV is obviously concerned about the habits and desires of teenagers. It sends executives to small towns to talk to kids in their bedrooms about dating and domestic life, music and what they wear. MTV permitted the makers of Frontline to come along on their visit, during which a young boy opens his closet and life for casual but fairly close inspection. Information from such chat sessions affects MTV?s programming, drives ratings and results in huge profits for MTV. This is an invasion of privacy. The teenagers do not tend to see it as such, instead they think of it as being ?cool? for MTV to come to them. Although MTV used the kid as bait, reeling in the various teens from all over the world, all for profit.One of the very sad scenes during the documentary was from the annual International Model and Talent Association convention, where girls like Barbara pay $4,000 to strut their stuff before agents and scouts. "I have to look good," says Barbara, 13 going on 30, already an expert coquette. They walk around with numbers hanging around their necks as if they were some slaves pleading to be made stars. Cosmetic surgeries of now increased amongst them as well. A friend of mine said, ?Girls tend to concentrate on just one part of their body and just obsess about it. They don?t know that us guys look at the package as a whole.? They look up to these young teen pop stars like Britney Spears who stripped nearly naked at the MTV ?s Video Music Awards last year. ?Frontline? says, ?she wasn?t jus pleasing eager young boys, she was delivering a powerful missive to girls: your body is your asset (MTV). Flaunt your sexuality even if you do not understand it. That?s the message that...

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