Sunday, October 21, 2012

Celebrity Gossip Girls

So let me start by saying that I am not an expert on teenage girls.

Teen girls soaking up media.

I am the proud Mom of three little boys aged one, eight and ten.
I am also the proud sister to two younger brothers.
But I was a teenage girl once myself and if memory serves, my little fascination with all things celebrity began during this time. I watched the Hollywood tabloid scoop shows, read the magazines and as such, was a sponge to all of their splashy content.
I seemed to have turned out OK. 
Sure, I have some normal body image issues and I would love to have Jessica Simpson’s hair…but I am old and wise enough to understand the sheen and fantasy and artistry that go into the images I am presented with now. 

Kate Moss - real and celebrified.

Britney. I think she looks great in the first photo.
But the media makes already beautiful celebrities look like Barbie dolls.

Not to mention the fact that a great deal has changed since I was in my teens. 

Prom photo alert!
Holy hair product Batman!
Where's MY airbrush!???!?
The celebrity gossip/tabloid industry is a much larger monster than it was back then and teens today are bombarded with photos and messages that are much more extreme and mainstream than ever before.
So the question is – is it harmful to allow your teenage daughters to partake in reading celebrity tabloids? How much is too much? Well, as a self-professed, celebrity gossip aficionada, here are my thoughts.

Tabloids Can Negatively Affect Your Teen's Self-Esteem and Body Image.

Young, female actresses and singers are encouraged to be extremely thin.  

I see that this trend seems to slowly be changing, but not fast enough and the Hollywood standard of beauty is never going to mirror reality. 

Your impressionable teen may look at these images of stick-thin celebrities and internalize them as a beauty ideals.   While we as adults understand that celebrities do not represent typical women, your teenage daughter may not.

Tabloids Are Full of Spiteful Comments and Falsehoods.

They don’t call them “rag mags” and “gossip gabs” for nothing. 
Many of the stories in celebrity tabloids rumours based on heresy and half-truths. They also habitually run unflattering photos of celebrities caught off guard or without make-up with captions that are tremendously negative and offensive.  
With all of the nastiness that already goes on between many teenage girls, this constant stream of insulting messages does not aim to dampen this behaviour.

Tabloids Offer A Twisted Reflection Of Healthy Relationships.

Take a look at a celebrity magazine from a year ago and you’ll quickly realize how quickly relationships change in Hollywood.  
Marriages that last more than a few years are rare. 
Affairs, flings and breakups are talked about in such a casual way that more often than not they disregard the very real and agonizing repercussions that result from the constant changing of partners. 
Teens look up to these celebrities and what they are reading can certainly affect their overall views on what it means to have a healthy relationship and commitment.
Now don’t get me wrong. 

A read here and there of celebrity tabloids is not going to equal the end of the world for your teen, but it is important to be aware of the messages they may be internalizing. 

What is important is that you talk to your daughters. to your sons as well!

Help them understand the difference between the gloss of Hollywood and the authentic beauty of reality. 

I may have indulged in a few tabloids as a teen myself, but it was the close, communicative relationship that I had with my parents that truly shaped the woman I am today.



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