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There are many explanations of what this topic revolves around, but I will be explaining three out of many. One is the exploitation of insecurities, another is the use of tobacco/alcohol, and the third is teens eating certain foods that may not help them in a positive way. Point number one of advertising on teens is insecurities being exploited. During the time of being a teenager, most seem very insecure about themselves if other people say something about your body or who you are as a person.
Some vulnerabilities are wanting to fit in, be recognized as someone attractive, and not be the biggest dork you’ll see or know. Teens care about where their position stands among others, which somewhat manipulates them into thinking that they need to change themselves on the outside. Boys and girls are particularly worried about the comments they get on body image.
Because of that, various marketers see this as an opportunity to take advantage of them and supposedly “help” teens feel better about themselves.
From a 2007 December Journal of Consumer Research issue, Deborah Roedder John “…found that a young person’s level of materialism is directly connected to their self-esteem.” One example is that girls will mostly spend their money on makeup and skin products and according to one website, they can spend over $9 billion on those two things alone. Teens were one of the people being criticized and now they are the ones judging others because they don’t want to be seen as someone different either.
The next point I’ll be talking about is the use of tobacco and alcohol. The second point is adolescents using tobacco and alcohol.
Whenever you’re on YouTube or any social media page, you’ll probably have seen an advertisement called “The Real Cost”. If you have watched it, you can notice that it is a vaping commercial, using young people (most likely not in their 30s) to represent it. Though it is trying to address its viewers to not vape because of what it does to your body. Tobacco and alcohol are one of the most negative influences that are advertised to teenagers worldwide and according to a Pediatrics issue in 2006, companies that mainly run tobacco and alcohol mostly target young people that are vulnerable to it. The same journal wrote that in all cases of adolescents, one-third of those cases are linked to tobacco advertising. This trend also applies towards teens starting to drink as well.
There are many harmful health effects smoking has, one being getting hip fractures and the other is colorectal cancer. Smoking causes bone density at a fast rate and it can also produce variations of cancer. This one forms in your intestine and it has stated that cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. The final point is teens making certain food choices that may be unhealthy for them. The third point is the food choices that teens may want to eat than others. In our daily life, we see many commercials that advertise foods. The majority being from fast food restaurants or some food item that is sugary, sweet, and looks good enough to eat. Sugary cereals and french fries are among them, and even myself is slightly tempted to want to eat them.
But obviously, those are not the best choices you can make. Teens are still growing and eating unhealthy food choices on a daily basis isn’t going to help in a positive way. An article states from that from the University of Michigan’s 2013 study, they found that teens had high brain activity while watching “…food-related commercials than those that did not involve food items.” Sometimes advertisements will include your favorite sports athlete and you’ll automatically think “If they eat or drink it, it must be good for me too!”. Another bad effect of these advertisements is that they can cause obesity to teens. A survey from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that “3,342 youths” that were aged between 15-23 had the higher percentage rate of overweight participants. In summary, this topic shows that these ads can easily manipulate into thinking what is put in front of you to watch, is good to do. But as I have explained, we need to take control of ourselves and make better decisions.
Exploiting insecurities is very common amongst every teenager, saying they aren’t as beautiful others or saying that they want to look like everyone else. Don’t tempt yourself to start smoking or use alcohol at this age. Even if no one in your family smokes or drinks, the ads you watch will most likely lead you to become a victim of it. As well as the food choices that you will make. You can eat fast food or sugary items, just don’t eat it on a daily basis. Teens have enough to worry about already, so I encourage you to not add it onto your plate. As long as you stay healthy, your teenage years are not going to be as tough as you think. Hopefully of “What is advertising on teens?” has been answered. Being a teenager will put you on a bumpy road and the three points are how to not add that into your life. Common sense is very important and if you want a good life for it, make good choices and don’t stress on it too much.
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