Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers #85 – Media Pounds Teens with Appearance Pressure

Teenagers typically spend a lot of time staring into the mirror: studying, wondering, wishing, crying. 

Do you remember doing this? Asking yourself:

  • “How do people see me?”
  • “Am I every going to shape up the way I should?”
  • “I wish my hair, eyes, nose, body, etc. looked like this?”


Today teens look into the mirror (or at their selfies) but with unfair comparisons to tons of images of the “perfect” people media throws at them thousands of times a day – actors, supermodels, athletes, celebrities and more. Somewhere along the way, our teens (adults too!) believe the lie that if you want to be valuable, worthwhile, lovable, and acceptable, then that’s what you must look like. They struggle with who they are because of who they’ve been led to believe they should be (or look like).

By being loving, sensitive, and real yourself, you can serve as a buffer in the midst of the pressure-filled media and peer culture that relentlessly hammers teenagers with dangerous and impossible standards. We need to model right views and values ourselves to back up our words. If you are always going on about this actor or actress and elevating their appearance over their lifestyle you are simply adding to the pressure. How do you talk about yourself, your weight, your looks? Do you make fun of the way people in your family look? These messages all get through LOUD and CLEAR to our kids. And they are the WRONG message.

Teach your teens that real beauty and true manliness can only be found inside them. Make sure God’s truth is loud and clear in your home.

“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b (ESV)

in HIS service,

Pastor Mark

P.S. The blog titles and main ideas come from Walt Mueller’s book “99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers”. I personalize and modify the message, and also add Scripture.