The Sexualization of Teens: The Brutal Truth

Teenagers are constantly being sexualized. It’s hard enough to go a second without being judged in today’s day and age, they’re never given a break. However, there is not enough talk confronting the sexualization of people so young.

The scary truth people disregard as the world evolves is that nothing has changed in today’s society. Sticking up for what is right is often seen as too much of a risk. Even if an issue is talked about, the reality is that people are scared to stand up and fight for the young people being affected by such cruel words and actions. 

There is an explanation for the way kids have begun to portray themselves on social media, creating a mask and image to be accepted socially. There are many factors that influence teens and cause this problem. Social media, the news, images throughout the web, and adults are speaking on bodies that aren’t theirs to control. It only starts with women being influenced, which Ashlynn Wells, a junior at DVC, spoke about. 

Women know that they’re not going to be seen as equal and that they have to be even more cautious than they already are going out into society,” Wells said. 

The thought that goes into a young girl’s mind for a night out with her friends should not cause her to go into a state of anxiety in anticipation of what could happen. The idea of “what could happen” has been instilled by more than just rapists and pedophiles of the world.

Source Riverdale, Chapter Twenty- One: House of the Devil, The character, Betty, as a teenager is pole dancing.

It may seem as though when someone comments on social media platforms, it wouldn’t leave the same impression as it may if it were stated by someone outside of a screen, walking on the street or passing by. However, the reality is it could do the same amount of damage or more. Leah Sosa, a junior at DVC spoke on the truth of what it’s like being a teenage girl on any social media platform.

“And they will get hate for it. Just because she has more cleavage [rather than any other part] of her body,” she stated. 

Sosa has witnessed when a young woman posts feeling confident and ends up with the wrong part of her post getting the attention of the audience. 

According to a Jonny Shannon article, “We live in a society that tells us that women are little more than glorified sex objects.” The world pictures young girls as beautiful and exotic, and they’re told, “All the boys are going to want you when you’re older.” What people don’t recognize is that these “compliments” make girls feel as though people will see them for nothing more than their looks, as if that’s what determines their worth. 

Not only are young girls influenced, but young men are often compared to models with unrealistic figures. Men that play the roles of superheroes and the love interests on television are the image that boys will aspire to be. The muscle on these “idols” is unrealistic for a 14 year old to accomplish. The goals young men set for themselves have brought upon expectations too hard to exceed.

DVC eleventh-grader Zion Palmer’s view on Instagram.

An article by The Conversation read, “So, we should be concerned about the sexual objectification of men…The issue is that the ideological scripting of men’s behaviour is coming to be as all-pervasive as the ideological scripting of women’s behaviour,” Peter Lucas wrote.

Every sight of the truth is hidden to the point where there has been a lack of consideration that the objectification of women could be happening to young men as well. Caleb Ortiz, a DVC sophomore, illuminated what has been done about the issues of objectification and sexualization.

“I mean, nothing really. I don’t think anything significant has been,” Ortiz said. When asked to elaborate, he said, “I think it’s because the world is cruel. It’s not a fair place. Like not everyone ge ts what they want. It’s not fair.”

The world we live in is not a utopia, life is not fair, and in order for change, more than one voice needs to be heard.