Letter writer: Pop culture has negative effect on teen girls

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Though it’s happening everywhere, I’m going to focus on my mere seven weeks I spent at North Buncombe Middle School. I was an eighth-grade student when I attended NBMS (now I’m in ninth); before that, all I had was home schooling. I was pretty much isolated from pop culture, and, in turn, I was spared from its influence.

What I saw when I was in school was the popular idea of the perfect female body, an excessive use in makeup, and worst of all, was the way the eighth-grade girls saw themselves. They seemed to think that the perfect body type was a fair-skinned and pencil-thin girl with a fancy phone and no flaws. That is completely ridiculous! There’s no one who has no flaws or problems; girls, get that unrealistic idea out of your head.

One more, out of many problems I saw, was the way the girls changed their whole mannerism and way of being when one of the “popular” boys came around (notice I say “boys and girls,” because, let’s face it, we’re still children). This I saw as strange. No 13- or 14-year-old girl should care so much about some random guy. It’s unhealthy in my opinion for someone who is barely out of being a child to have those sort of feelings.

I also noticed the girls trying to improve their body type to fit what the boys liked and wanted. For example: If a boy was awing over some model, the girl would take notice and try and improve her body to look like the model. She would starve herself to have a tiny waist; wear tight, uncomfortable clothes to show off this new waist of hers and put on a gross amount of makeup to hide what they see as flaws. It’s sad that these girls are so impressed by pop culture.

So to conclude, I challenge you to tell a girl she’s beautiful with or without makeup, or that extra 15 pounds. And not only say it, mean it, too.

— Lily Harlin


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11 thoughts on “Letter writer: Pop culture has negative effect on teen girls

  1. boatrocker

    Amen. You make very meaningful points.

    I just wrote a comment here a few hours ago and was told by an editor for disputing the value of Facebook that ‘everyone is online’, therefore what is said online actually matters.
    So not true.

    Pop culture affects adults too, sadly. Notice the capital P for Pop, aka popular, and the lower case c for ‘Culture’.
    Ask your parents about MC Hammer pants, Rubik’s Cube and a TV show called Miami Vice.
    None of those are ‘popular’ anymore for being put on a pedestal in the 1980’s and then discarded once the new thing came along.
    Ask you grandparents what was ‘popular’ in their youth and you get the idea.

    Google the Internet. It has not made us smarter or wiser. It has furthered the disconnect between us all.

  2. Lulz

    Again, the nation is politicized for the power of the elite. That means that certain groups that are brainwashed that there is inherent unfairness in the system, the culture, the county can never succeed. That narrative is so that only a few gain or remain in power. That means that the majority of their intended audience who buy into the lies need to remain down. Think long and hard about that. For all the fluff the politicians say and for all the money spent, the nation is in decline. People are unhappy and the most telling of all, many can’t even come up with $400 in an emergency, Such a huge success post 1965 LBJ stupidity.

  3. Yep

    the Pop culture of thugs wearing pants below their posterior … what kind of culture statement is that ?

  4. The Real World

    Lulz says — “is so that only a few gain or remain in power. That means that the majority of their intended audience who buy into the lies need to remain down. Think long and hard about that. For all the fluff the politicians say and for all the money spent, the nation is in decline. People are unhappy and the most telling of all, many can’t even come up with $400 in an emergency,”

    Lulz, you get on my nerves often times b/c you seem to only post negative comments and don’t offer solutions or a knew way of thinking about something. But, I read your stuff for the occasional gems like above. Nailed it. And it reminded me of something the homeless letter writer, John, said a few months back. Essentially that, there will never be zero homeless because too many people have a vested interest in homelessness — as in, they get paychecks or influence/power, etc. by working to serve that community. Worth the time to think hard about that one too.

    • boatrocker

      Aaaand, your posts annoy me almost as much as Lulz’s.

      You fail to address any point the OP made and blame the poors. Again.

      Did you actually read the above letter?

      • The Real World

        Accurate comprehension is the first component of any reasonable conversation. You did not comprehend Lulz’s point or mine and they weren’t complicated!

        As if that isn’t bad enough, you double-down and assign intent. Like you have the right to tell someone else what their intent is. Are you 12? Apparently. Back to grade school for you.

  5. Tracy Rose

    Several of these comments have gone pretty far afield of the points raised by the original letter. Please try to stay on topic.

    • The Real World

      Yes, we did go on an unrelated tangent.

      Tracy – curious question. A kid is having pubescent angst about totally typical teenagey things. She needs to be discussing that stuff with her Mother or aunt or school counselor…….all of whom can assure her that it’s not new and is part of the package of growing up. But, a letter to a local newspaper about her personal social frustrations……and it gets published? Seriously?

      • Tracy Rose

        I think the writer’s point was to critique how pop culture affects the behavior of local teens. That seems like a worthy topic of discussion to me.

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