In this media-focused world, the things we see and hear in the movies, on TV, and on the radio influence us all. Some of these influences are benign or even beneficial to the forming minds of youth. But many others provide young people with questionable messages, for example, the MTV hits “Jersey Shore” and “My New BFF.” The stars of these shows do not commit technically immoral acts; they simply commit mindless ones. The lack of blatantly immoral behavior leads many viewers to conclude that the shows are harmless. We can recognize when behavior lacks common sense, however, the greater danger is that we have been conditioned by the media to view mindlessness as acceptable.
I am disgusted with TV programs and movies that promote mindless behavior. The stars of these shows demonstrate to young people—particularly girls—that it is attractive to be dumb . That idea feeds into other self-image issues that girls already experience, and I believe this is affecting the future of our nation. If we want to have any hope for our society, we must stop this epidemic of stupidity.
Mixed in with all the blatant messages that young people are gathering from the media is a subliminal implication that it is attractive to be dense—especially for young women. Paris Hilton has readily admitted that she is not familiar with common knowledge, including the function of the Walmart stores and the capital city of England. Despite these intellectual failings, Hilton—whose mindlessness has inspired the term “celebutard”—has been linked romantically to the rich and famous— models, musicians, actors, and businessmen—showing young women that desirable men find her vapidity attractive. These negative examples lead girls to imitate Hilton in order to gain male attention; this begins young—perhaps as early as grade school—and only escalates during the teen years.
By promoting the “stupid girl” image, the media prevents young women from avoiding issues of body image and acceptance. While it is true that many eating disorders are caused by depression or abuse , many begin with a yearning to be attractive and accepted. Some girls will try almost anything to gain boys' attention, including dumbing down, taking up a crash diet, or getting a spray tan.
Some people may view the “stupid girl” trend as a simple display of childishness. If this were the case, the idea of girls playing dumb would not alarm thinking people as it does. However, the immaturity of youth is not to blame; stupid girls are growing up to be stupid women and having children. What will these mothers teach the future leaders of our nation? Will they teach their daughters to always wear makeup and encourage their sons to pursue ditzy girls? If this cycle continues, our country will be run into the ground in a matter of a few generations!