Subject:English Genre:Australian Youth and Popular Culture Task:Magazine Article The Media shows youth as either being "perfect" or "rotten".

Essay by wenderlin May 2004

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"Power structure, and the dominant discourses through which they are reflected within Australian society, tends to marginalise youth. The media, for example, presents predominantly negative representations of youth or, alternatively, an idealised construction of 'perfect youth'. Each version is equally damaging in contributing to the way Australian youth perceive themselves."

"Troubled youths"... "This week 20 children went on a killing rampage"... "Juveniles embark on mindless vandalism, theft and assaults"... "16, 400 crimes committed by kids."

Shocking news such as this gives the public a disturbing image of youth. The public could be led into believing that all kids are untrustworthy, dishonest lawbreakers.

On the other hand, portrayals of youth being ideal or perfect, definitely disturbs youths self-esteem and the way they see themselves. Not everyone looks like a Barbie doll or has the perfect life, but the media often portrays Australian youth as if that were so.

This does not improve anyone's self-esteem. Instead you get children as young as six starving themselves just so they can look like the pretty girl they see in the magazine for example.

A recent newspaper article, titled TEENS FALL PREY TO RIP OFFS (Sunday mail), was about teenagers in QLD getting ripped off by unscrupulous retailers, keen to exploit their inexperience. Almost 1,200 young people lodged complaints last year with Fair Trading, with motor vehicles, accommodation, mobile phones and financial services being the top subjects of complaint. A sixteen year old girl was sold a faulty lap-top computer and was quoted as saying,

"As soon as they realised how old I was they wouldn't take me seriously."

This article was also suggesting youth are naive and ignorant of their rights.

In the same paper, the headline OUR CHILD OUTLAWS a shocking 16,400 crimes in a year- and they...