The Instigator
Ants
Pro (for)
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The Contender
WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight
Con (against)
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"Portrayal of Teenager's Body Image on Media wields more Negative than Positive Effects." Discuss

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,997 times Debate No: 62442
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Ants

Pro

The media sets an unrealistic expectation on body image for teenagers. Most fashion industries utilize media to garner viewership and consumership on their products. Industries select models based on their physical apearances to promote their product. This is usually done by editing the photographs to make men look bigger and women smaller, most of the time these are unreal and false figures that viewers are deceived into believing. For example, the recent controversy that Target edited an image of a woman to make her hands look longer and thinner. Teenagers being vulnerable will feel the need to meet up to these societal expectations and thus media has a negative impact on teenagers.
WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight

Con

I accept the Con (negative/refuting) stance to this debate topic. I thank you for hosting this topic and allowing me the opportunity to share information with you.

I am new to Debate.org - thus my understanding of it's formalities are still in its infancy. To my knowledge, the first round is usually deemed to provide each opponent with their introductions.

...with that said, I cannot omit your initial argument listed in the opening round - so I will take a "leap of faith" and yield to round 2 with the hopes that your statement is nothing more than the introduction to the topic.

I ask that if I am mis-interpreting the rules, that in round 2 I be allowed to rebut your round 1 statement (as I said, I am simply accepting it as the introduction to the topic)

Thank you, again, as I do believe this topic may bring about many avenues for us to explore the interpretation of "societal expectations" regarding our youth.

I would like clarity from the affirmative on specific definitions that would be used throughout the debate.
1. "Teenagers" (seems silly enough, but this is a debate forum so I believe following protocol is necessary for a concise argument - thus specificity in the parameters of our argument is requested from the Con.)

Thank you and I look forward to an enlightening experience sharing information with each other.

Respectfully,
BJ Myers
Debate Round No. 1
Ants

Pro

Note to Con: we created this for a school project and thus the topic is strictly on Teenagers and there isn't anything we can do about it. And for the rules, we apologise as we were unsure about the specific rules on this webpage and thought it we could just use it to receive maximum arguments for our project. Thank you for your understanding.

(this is in rebuttal to the commenter regarding parents) It is indisputable that parents should play a huge role in the nurturing of their beloved children. We cannot eliminate the possibility of teenagers hiding their insecurities and shielding the negativity that they face in their community from their parents. Furthermore, the omnipresence of media and with information being a click away on their smart devices, teenagers are far more susceptible to negative influences like cyber-bullies, exaggerated portrayal of perfectly toned models and ways to get these unrealistic and ideal body figures. Be it the healthy way or regrettably harmful methods the teenager has set upon to achieve his goals, the way media portray the image is in no way beneficial for any adolescent.
WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight

Con

Definitions
"Media" - Tools used to store and distribute information/data
"Teenager" - Any person being of the ages 13-19
"Responsibility" - Action you are expected to perform

Defense
Contention 1 - Media's Responsibility Lies With Captialism, Not Parenting/Raising Teenagers

Contention 2 - Employment Rights and Regulations for Models are Proportionate to any Competitive Industry within Capitalism

Contention 3 - Increase in Telecommunication Technologies are Beneficial to Society, Restriction is Detrimental

Contention 4 - Technology Used in Editing Images is not Restricted from the Private Sector

Contention 5 - Personal Choice Has More Influence on One's Self, and Interpretation of Self

C1 - As defined above, Media is simply a tool - nothing more. The use of Media, in the topic at hand, is that it's portrayal of teenager's body image wields more negative than positive effects. Since Media can only store and/or distribute information - it is the USE of the information that would garner any such 'effect.' Since the Media is a collection of any/all information, it can no more effect Negatively than it can effect Positively. The Con argues that Personal interpretation of the information can only be the genesis of ANY effect on a Teenager. The teenager has just as much access to information that can be interpreted Negative as it does Positive, thus the only way Negative information can come across the Teenager lies with the personal choice to seek out such information to be influenced - and interpret the information on their own. The Media is not a person, nor is it a Parent. The current application of Media in this debate suggests "advertising of products" and the Models that are used to advertise products are strictly CAPITAL. The only reason the specific information obtained/distributed by Media is only used to generate profit to the company in charge of promoting the products, and the Models who are used to display the products. With that said - the Models, themselves, are not what is being 'sold' - merely the products they are promoting.

C2 - Models are employees who are being paid for a service rendered to a company. The Employer in charge of hiring a person to perform a specific task required by the company to generate capital, must adhere to Employee Rights and Labor Rights. Any violation would be criminal - and the topic is not stating any illegal activity in which task the Model is paid to perform. Since the primary use of information from the Media is Captial, and the labor required from the Model is intended for Captial gain - all activities are regulated by pre-existing laws, and are in compliance with such laws. In any competitive industry (regardless of industry) the most successful companies require applicants to meet certain 'higher requisites' to the company's standards in order to grow. Saying a Model's body image is "unrealistic" is overlooking the direct proportion of employee requirements for all competitive industries that are exclusive. Top Pharmaceutic Companies may require applicants to have qualities/skills beyond the 'norm' that can also be interpreted as "unrealistic" to some (i.e. - higher education and application in Math, Science, etc...) Schools may require teaching applicants to have degrees and education beyond the 'norm' as well that can just as easily be interpreted as "unrealistic" to some (bachelors degrees, masters degree, etc...) Public Speaking Employers may require their employees to have extensive practice and qualification in Public Speaking before being hired. You cannot ignore the discipline and work toward the craft that often leads to a Model having "unrealistic body images" - just as the student who becomes the professor devotes work toward their craft to become compliant to employer requirements for the sought after occupation. Companies that are in the industry of advertising are simply requiring their employees to fit certain requirements for them to compete, and thrive within Capitalism. With that said there are no existing standards that violate civil liberties for any citizen to reach employment as a Model (religion, sexual preference, gender, etc...) Since the qualifications are not related to education, to imply that "everyone deserves to be a Model" is a fallacy as equal to: "everyone deserves to be a doctor" or even "everyone deserves to be a professor." If the expectation of the Teenager is that of "I deserve to be a Model" then the Con argues that Teenager's are mis-interpreting the information stored and distributed by the Media to begin with. Placing their personal self-image against that of those hired with high qualifications to be Models is not the intent, nor responsibility of Media.

C3 - Advancements in technology, primarily telecommunications, have led to a societal culture than can: access, contribute, and share information at speeds never before witness in history, with a limitless number of citizens not directly associated with proximity, or region. This has led to a culture that is becoming more aware of the differences in cultural practices within different regions, along with the ability to interact with such cultures. People are now able to have conversations at the very speed of talking to anybody, anywhere. The sharing of information not being restricted has promoted growth within our society. Along with that, there have been practices in history that have proven to be detrimental when restricting the amount of information allowed to be access by members of society. The Con argues that this increase in technology is Beneficial to society and culture - primarily because it promotes growth (whether educational, social, capital, religious and even interpersonal relationships) We are no longer bound to barriers that once prevented the transmitting of information from previous eras.

C4 - Technology used by Companies (not the Media) that are used to alter images to satisfy their agenda are accessible, and even used by members of the Private Sector of society. Photoshop is a popular computer application that is not kept from anyone who has the luxury of owning tools that can run the program. The Con would like to point out that the use of this technology is performed by People - not the Media. To state that the Media alters images to display a false image of the truth is overlooking that the Media is only a tool. There are countless people, in every sector of society, that alter images to display to others for their own personal agenda - in fact, the use of this technology in the Private Sector has led to more criminal activity (catphishing, for example) than Companies. Again, the Con would like to point out that Media's primary function is to satisfy Captial agendas - thus the altering of images on Models is used to sell products, not distort a person's interpretation of their self-image.

C5 - Personal Choice is the main factor in determining a teenager's own interpretation of the information distributed/stored by the Media. If the information is portrayed in a specific direction, it is because it was comprised in such arrangement by People and/or Companies for their own agenda. The Media has no detrimental influence over a person viewing the information - it is the responsibility, and choice of the person viewing the information to determine their interpretation of the information. Since there are no barriers to what information is accessible to teenagers, "societal expectations" is a very subjective term. There are an untold number of varying trends/fads that can allow a teenager to identify with a certain 'society.' Each one may have their own perception of the "look" (goth, prep, nerd, etc..) so the Media can only offer information of each. Each teenager may have their own personal interpretation of themselves and how they fit within their preferred "group" - thus the "expectations" are not consistent to ONE overall image. It must lie with the teenager's personal choice as to how they interpret themselves in the environment they aspire to associate with.

Pro's Arguments
R1
1 - Media sets unrealistic expectation on body image for teens.
The Con argues to the contrary. One, if the body image exists from an employed Model - then it must be REALISTIC to obtain. Whether the teenager wants to devote the effort to obtain such body image lies beyond the responsibility of the Media and falls into Personal Choice (C2 + C5)
2 - Fashion industries utilize Media to garner viewership and consumership on their products.
As mentioned - this is true because the Media's primary application is for Capital agendas (C1) and the attaching a teenager's self-image to the information lies with the teen's personal choice (C5)
3-Industries select Models based on their physical appearances to promote their products
Yes, in compliance with labor laws (C2) and promoting products is an application of Media - not Media itself (C1)
4 - Editing photographs provide unreal and false figures that deceives the viewers
Yes, and the technology and application of technology is not restricted from all sects of society (C4) As to what agenda is intended, that is a Company or Person's agenda - not the Media
Ideal - Teens being vulnerable will feel the need to meet societal expectations...
As mentioned in C5 - there are a variety of societies for the teenager to choose to participate in, along with the 'image' of that society - The Media simply provides the information for the teen to interpret. Also, since there isn't ONE overall 'image' to society - there can't be ONE expectation for a teen to identify.

R2 *Pro directed their arguments to somebody other than their opponent - The Con will yield to elaborate in R3 to cover these arguments to allow Pro to "get back on track" to the debate among each other
1- Parental responsibility (C1)
2 - Omnipresence of Media (C3)
Ideal - No way beneficial to any adolescent (C3)
Con would like to point out that Pro' R2 conflicts with R1
Debate Round No. 2
Ants

Pro

Ants forfeited this round.
WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight

Con

WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Ants

Pro

Ants forfeited this round.
WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight

Con

WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Ants

Pro

Ants forfeited this round.
WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight

Con

WhoIsToSayWhatIsRight forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
It is up to parents to instill in their children the value of what is on the inside will last. Outward appearance will fade.
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