I was watching a comedy show about a family a few months ago and was thinking about how the teenager looked and was portrayed. She was very attractive, hair was styled to perfection, clothes were extremely trendy, makeup and lashes were at costume level and she was curvy and well endowed. As an adult I understand that it’s TV, not reality. That level of makeup is needed for the cameras. But I started thinking about younger girls the age of those portrayed on tv and how they might feel like they don’t measure up. They may not realize that they are taking their development cues from these girls on TV. They may feel like they are underdeveloped, immature and not attractive enough.
In actuality, kids portraying eight and nine year olds are often twelve and over. I suppose they need to do that to get the quality of acting desired, but it can really skew what would be considered normal behaviour and appearance for that age.
Movies and TV can also warp how we view and accept aging. Television continues to have…
young adults and thirty year olds playing teenagers
older adults playing younger adults
women in their forties playing mothers and grandmothers to women in their thirties.
We need to be aware of this so that we are not absorbing unrealistic aging standards.
It can also affect how we view our life goals. Unless the movie is a story of failure you will usually witness a fast track pathway to success. It’s just a bit strange to me when we view people in movies getting to the pinnacle of their goals before they are fifteen. Young twenty somethings that are at the top of the corporate world, own a business, house and have children. When did they have time to do all that? People don’t usually graduate highschool and college and fall immediately into their dream career, home and family.
Unless the movie or tv show is about being a lower economic family then excessive wealth is normalized. Relationships issues are easily solved. There will likely be fairytale endings. I get it… we want to see the happy endings rather than reality, we want the escape. I think it’s fine as long as we don’t allow what we see to make us feel unhappy with our lives. These unrealistic timelines for when things happen in life can have us feeling like we are behind.
While there are many biopics that tell true life stories, watching it in a movie can have a rushed surreal effect. Rags to riches and success stories seems to be the most popular. Which can make struggling for years to make a little progress feel less normal in comparison.
There’s not much we can do about this, after all television and movies are dreams that give us something to take our mind off of reality. It’s entertainment and not meant to be taken seriously. We just need to remember that and help the young people in our lives remember that as well. We need to make sure that we don’t allow the things we watch to cause us to have unrealistic life goals.
Have you ever noticed these unrealistic expectations creeping into your life or into those that you know?