INSECURITIES

Dec 26, 2009

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There has always been a debate about the effect of mass media on self-esteem, as we are flooded with images of people who are wealthy, extremely in shape, fair-skinned, promiscuous, etc. etc.

But as highly educated, highly independent thinkers, I find it discomforting that we're still blaming the media for our insecurities. Reason being, I think that insecurities are self-imposed inhibitions that come from all types of life experiences. To me, to be insecure is a conscious choice that we make.

Our parents instill self-worth in us from JUMP-STREET, before we ever lay eyes on a television, a blog site, or whatever. From that point forward, we can make the choice to holdfast to those beliefs or we can allow the things that we face to STRIP us of our self-worth.

Challenges to your self-esteem come from places other than just the surplus of light-skinned girls in the music videos. The boy in the class that called you overweight, the family member who showed favoritism to a sibling who showed more promise academically/athletically, the boss who discriminated based on race, etc. etc.

But to say that the MEDIA is solely responsible for our insecurities is a cop out. Insecurities come from EVERYWHERE...the smallest life experience can shape what we believe about ourselves. And I just think that the media does nothing but reinforce beliefs that we already hold.

At the very least, we shouldn’t allow the media to shape our beliefs because it is full of nonsense and propaganda. As a black male, the media has told me that I should be adorned in platinum jewelry, rockin’ dreads, pourin’ Ace of spades on my side chicks in a music video—I mean you get the point? Shoot according to the media, I should feel insecure or inferior when I’m around white people. Period. But I don't.....

But what do y’all think? Is the media responsible for our insecurities?

7 comments:

Jaron said...

I think the issue is many people look to the media to affirm their beliefs about themselves. For example, even if you've been told you're beautiful from birth, when you don't see people like yourself on TV, in magazines, etc., some people find it hard to hold fast to that belief. For that reason, I do place the media partly at fault, for not providing more diverse images. But the greater blame lies with people who don't realize their self-worth and aren't able to receive the media with a critical eye.

RavynRae said...

I agree! It's all about personal responsibility if you ask me....if you see that BAD is what looks good on tv && then you do bad, the consequences are your own fault. It is our responsibility to perceive the media in whichever way we choose && act on it by turning negative into positive.

Be the change you want to see in this world.

Marie said...

I agree that the way we feel about ourselves begins early on in life & I also agree that every experience either affirms or negates those feelings but what happens when you don’t have people telling you how beautiful, intelligent, or talented you are as you grow up? What happens when all your experiences teach you that you aren’t important, or that you dont matter? If that’s all you know as you grow up, I don’t believe that being insecure is a choice. People view things in a certain manner because of past situations that they’ve been in. Either way, the media plays a major role & affects different people in different ways. Yea there are folks who buy into the propaganda a bit too easily or a bit much but not everyone comes from an environment that instilled positivity about themselves within them as they came up. So no, mass media should not be the only thing blamed for low self-esteems or insecurities but its effects should not be overlooked or underestimated either.

Dub said...

y'all are schoolin' me LS right now. Most of your explanations, I had not thought of before....especially Marie. I guess when I was writing it, I assumed that everyone grows up in the ideal home, when that is definitely not the case.

Kelz said...

I definitely agree with Jaron and Marie. I agree that our experiences shape us. I mean a person can know what racism is, but until they experience it, how much do they really know? I think the issue is complex, and there is no one thing that is to fault, but rather each person is affected in different ways to the things they see in the media, and experience in their life. One person may be able to bounce back or handle discrimination better than others. But blaming all your insecurities on the media is impossible, because ultimately it is you who has total control of how you view yourself.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what everybody has to say about this topic but I also believe that insecurity comes from not having a sense of self. I say that because if a person whether male or female truly had a sense of who they are as an individual it would not matter what society says we should look like. It does not matter how often a person tells you that you are beautiful, smart, talented or special because if you dont believe it for yourself then what someone tells you will never matter. I personally believe that insecurity is something like a mental defect or coping mechanism that a person has because they cant or they dont know how to face the issues that are causing them to be insecure in the first place. Growing up I was very insecure and it didnt matter how often people said positive things to me because I didnt believe those things myself. It wasnt until I got older and started facing all the many issues that caused me to be so insecure in the first place that my insecurities started to disappear. There are still some things that I am insecure about, but the more I learn about myself and the more I love myself the less insecure I become. I never knew how much insecurity could affect your everyday life until I started dealing with my own and now that I have dealt with most of mine...im still me but I talk different, dress different, feel different, and I even love differently!! Piggy backing off what I was saying earlier, the more you are unsure of yourself as an INDIVIDUAL the more insecure you will be because everything around you that is not "like" you will effect the way you feel or think about yourself personally. The media plays a SMALL part in how you view yourself.

Josie Renee said...

I feel like insecurities is a little bit more than that... if it was so easy to feel secure with oneself, everyone would feel that way. I also think it is important to note that somepeoples' low selfesteem come from their parents complaints about them or people in authority positions belittling them. It's truly a complex thing.

 
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