According to Statista, did you know that digital advertisers plan to spend over $455 billion dollars a year on marketing to teens and kids? The reason for this is because teens will spend over $143 billion dollars on their products every year if the companies can get them to buy in. They have been sending out messages your whole life making you think that you need these specific products in order to solve all of life’s problems.
Now, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but the teen years are challenging enough as it is. These are the years that you are trying to discover who you are, why you’re here and what direction you want to take in life.
See, these advertisers have been studying your biggest fears and insecurities for decades. They understand your desire to fit in and want to be accepted and they are feeding off of those insecurities. Advertisers use these insecurities to make you think that who you are is determined by the products, clothes, the games you play, the apps you’re on, whatever it may be. They want you to think that those are the things that define who you are.
For girls, struggling body images and the pressure for perfection increases when it comes to seeing these ads. They are pushing thoughts of, “You can’t be beautiful unless you have this…you wear this…you use this product…you try this diet or workout routine.” They push the need for being popular or for being self-confident, but do they really know anything about you? Or are they just feeding off of your fears?
Did you know that statistics show that teen girls spend over $44 billion dollars on makeup and skincare products alone? How many of you have ever tried a skincare product or makeup because you saw it on an ad? The ads are basically telling you, the only way that you will be beautiful or get accepted is by using their products.
Think about it, we want to fit in. We want to look beautiful and wear clothes that are trendy or popular. We don’t want to be thought of as an outcast. We want to be accepted by those who are around us. We want beautiful skin and beautiful hair. When we see these ads, they always show these girls with flawless skin and incredible hair, right? We see them and think…I want that!
These companies try to reach deep into your identity and get to your insecurities. Once they have reached the part of you that they know they can touch, then they know that they’ve got you.
To learn more about what we can do to combat the media's influence on our identity, check out this week's episode.
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