One of the dominant segments of media today is entertainment, not only in terms of content, but also as the main principle of establishment, functioning, and providing information. In its turn, in this sphere of entertainment, glossy magazines for both men and women occupy a significant place; they are dedicated to a great diversity of topics, but most of all, they are focused on the glamorous lifestyle they expect their readership to adhere to. Though these magazines are supposedly for entertainment, they still have a significant impact on the minds of people who read them, be it adults or teenagers with forming personalities. And unfortunately, claims about the negative influence of this kind of information are heard more often, and are more reasonable than those offered by the advocates of the glamorous lifestyle.
To start with, glamorous magazines propagate rather debated values. In particular, the most obvious danger is the body image promoted by celebrities. Eating disorders, such as anorexia, are known all over the world; psychologists connect it to the desire of young people to have “ideal” figures possessed by people whom they usually see in glossy magazines, and whom they believe to be fashionable or prestigious. About 69% of young people aged 9-18 perceive models’ figures they see in magazines as ideal bodies (Commonplace). Rather often, people see hunger as the shortest way to become slim, and through this, they develop a neurosis known as anorexia. Its results are dramatic and familiar around the world: teenagers and adults die of exhaustion, or undergo serious and difficult rehab procedures. Is it worth looking “glamorous?” Not at all.
The glamorous lifestyle propagated by such personalities as Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and other celebrities one can see in tabloids is impossible to achieve without narcissism. In fact, today we are witnessing the rise of a more narcissistic world culture. Self-expression had been substituted by the enormous craving for recognition and for admiring attention. To gain this, a person whose personality has been affected by glossy propaganda acts dysfunctionally, but in full accordance with their understanding of what is glamorous or stylish. Though glamour is often associated with a prosperous life, in fact people who crave it are more prone to alcohol and drug addictions, public emotional meltdowns, broken relationships, and other scandalous repercussions (The Good News). Hence, glossy magazines and glamorous propaganda change the way people think and behave in a negative way.
Yet another problem connected to the glamorous lifestyle is a lack of money. Entertaining magazines advertise a vast amount of expensive and prestigious items, such as jewelry, electronic gadgets, vehicles, clothes, and other luxurious products. Since glamour and consumption usually go hand in hand, a person who desires to lead a glamorous lifestyle usually feels obliged to purchase these items, even being financially incapable to do so (PhilCom). Banking loans spent totally on luxury items are no longer fiction. Vast amounts of money are spent by such people on products that will be out of fashion in no time; and whereas celebrities can afford changing prestigious accessories whenever they wish, for common people, changes in fashion usually mean new loans.
The glamorous lifestyle is commonly associated with a life full of pleasure and enjoyment; however, it has another side, which is not as attractive and shiny. Inappropriate body image concepts lead to a development of anorexia among teenagers and adults who want to look like models they see in magazines. Narcissism, cultivated by glamorous propaganda, usually leads to dysfunctional behavior and various kinds of addictions. Besides, being “glamorous” is rather expensive. Hence, adhering to a glamorous lifestyle is not something to strive for.
Petty, Gary. “Celebrity Culture: The Distorted Mirror.” Good News Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/celebrity-culture-distorted-mirror/>.
Reed, Victoria. “Glossy Pages of Deception: Magazines and Body Image.” Commonplace. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <http://www.mhlearningsolutions.com/commonplace/index.php?q=node/5960>.
Willing, Sam. “Glamour: What Are the Costs?” PhilCon. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
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