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The Contender
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8 Points

The media destorying the self-of-steem of too many teenage girls.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,081 times Debate No: 39112
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




Girls want to be beautiful! This is a fact and a perfectly natural part of life. However, beauty magazines and cosmetic adverts are changing society"s perspective of beauty and this is having a very negative effect on our younger generation. Nowadays the idea of beauty is based on young skinny figures with perfectly even skin; we should go back to the time where everyone is seen as beautiful in their own skin. I completely support Dove and their campaign to abolish the use of Photoshop on models in magazines and adverts. You will be shocked at the effect this has on teenagers mostly girls, many teenage girls who aspire to be a model would consider surgery to make them-selves look more attractive.
Dictionary definition (Merriam-Webster): Beauty- 1. The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurable exalts the mind or spirit 2. A beautiful person or thing 3. A particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality.
This defection has nothing to do with a stereotype of beautiful, so why should society create this stereotype.


Hello. Self-esteem is an important issue and I have given it some thought, thank you for setting up the debate. I’ve had a lot of forfeits recently so here is a motivational video to encourage you to support and clarify your position:

The main problem I have with your setup is that you assume that self-esteem should be related to how attractive you are with respect to others, which is itself an example of a poor self-esteem strategy. You make an unjustified assumption that an evaluation of beauty is somehow new to the modern era and not a product of evolutionary biology and that high concern for your appearance even plastic surgery is necessarily a result of a poor self-esteem.

Media manipulates those with low self-esteem (SE) but does not have the strong influence on self-esteem that you suggest.

“No one can judge you unless you grant him or her the power of being your judge” [2]. It’s the individual that is deciding that their self worth is dependent on how attractive they are when compared with others. How people are able to handle challenges to their body image are dependent on how they evaluate their self worth. If they have a poor/contingent (dependent), external self-esteem (CESE) they tend to evaluate themselves based on how they compare to others [1]. This is a bad habit and inevitably leads to a poor SE.

There will always be others who are more attractive, smarter and more successful. Accepting this fact, not avoiding it, will lead to a better self-esteem. People with a strong CESE require constant validation, often engage in self-deception, are defensive, lack authenticity, lash out at those offering criticism and belittle others to maintain their fragile egos.

There will always be people who are more attractive, successful and in better shape. Avoiding this fact only leads to anxiety since new information is threatening. Accepting this fact makes you more invulnerable to those that you feel are better than you in some area.

Air brushed models are not highly relevant to someone with a strong self-esteem.

A healthy self-esteem does not depend on the fluctuating opinions of others or accept unrealistic goals as a standard.

Those who exercise a contingent, intrinsic self-esteem (CISE) do not compare themselves with others to determine their value. They establish goals and commit to bettering themselves. Their current condition is the starting point and they strive to accept things they cannot change. Their opinion of themselves is based on their own evaluation of themselves and how consistent their behavior is to their values and goals.

Since the process is active they do not set standards that cannot be met i.e. they don’t set a goal to have a certain body frame or lose weight to the point that it is unhealthy. People with a high CISE have a high level of well being, authenticity and self-compassion. They are not strongly affected by outside influences that do not relate to their personal evaluation such as air brushed models.

You assume that we can protect people from unrealistic expectations

I will never be a professional basketball player or be as successful as Mark Zuckerburg. Should I be protected from this knowledge so that my fragile SE will not be affected and how would this even be possible? There will always be someone better. Should we ban make up on attractive women as well? How do you propose we protect less attractive women from the knowledge that they will never measure up to others?

If your self-esteem is based on how attractive you are compared to others then you have lost already and will never have a strong self worth since you will always be exposed to those that are better than you.

You accept that personal beauty is a good standard for personal value

I disagree. You want to ban artificially beautiful images since this detracts from the value of others. Why do you make this assumption? If I have $10 and you have only $1 does this affect the value of your dollar?

It’s clear that more attractive people will likely be able to date those more attractive and will tend to be valued more by the opposite sex. Since you have no control over your innate beauty it is a poor standard to determine your value.

“we should go back to the time where everyone is seen as beautiful in their own skin”

There was no such time. It’s true that standards of beauty have changed and some standards are unhealthy but there has not been a time where relative beauty has not been a part of the value someone can offer, particularly to a romantic partner. Sexual selection is one way specific genes are chosen and passed on to the next generation.

This is often beneficial and standards of beauty are not arbitrary. It is no coincidence that we often look for facial symmetry, shiny hair, height and healthy teeth. These are signs of health and there are likely many subconscious standards and tastes that indicate genetic compatibility [3].

Concern for your appearance even plastic surgery can be rational and not the product of a low self-esteem

Attractive people tend to receive better pay, have better relationship with coworkers and, of course, have the potential to find a higher quality partner. This is simply a fact and obsessing over your relative appearance will only cause problems. It makes sense to improve your appearance to the best of your ability while not neglecting your character, people skills, critical thinking etc. In extreme cases where your appearance is a major detraction from your success the cost of plastic surgery is warranted.

A high concern for your appearance even to the point of plastic surgery, in some instances, may be rational and not the product of a poor SE as you indicated.

You are advocating a campaign of ignorance when knowledge is more effective

Setting out on a campaign to remove air brushed photographs of models is not going to have a large effect on teen SE. I have indicated that basing your value on personal beauty and comparisons with others is the major problem. To improve the self-esteem of teens it’s this idea that needs to be communicated.

Knowledge campaigns that emphasize the need to have your own goals and values in place to help you earn your own respect are what is important. Spreading the idea that your personal value is not dependent on intrinsic beauty will advance your goal more than protecting teens from beautiful images.


Who gave you a can of gasoline and told you to put the fire out?

My main problem is you have accepted intrinsic beauty as a good standard for personal value, which is the problem in the first place. You are looking for a solution in the wrong place.

Those strongly affected by images of air brushed models all ready have a poor self-esteem. Beautiful images are not the problem.

[1] Optimal Self-Esteem is Contingent: Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic and Upward Versus Downward Contingencies






[7] Appearance-Related Social Comparisons

Debate Round No. 1


Sherl0cked forfeited this round.


Arguments extended.

Debate Round No. 2


Sherl0cked forfeited this round.


Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by fuckthisworld 3 years ago
damn. rightfully won the argument!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mysterious_Stranger 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff, and S&G for a poorly worded and misspelled resolution.