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Series like Germany’s Next Topmodel and the like have long been an integral part of our television programming. Week after week, we watch Heidi Klum cast some extremely thin and beautiful up-and-coming models. It is not uncommon for one’s own child to say, “Mom, I want to look like that, too”. But are the beauty ideals and values conveyed on shows like Germany’s Next Topmodel really exemplary for children?
“You’re Not Good Enough”
This is a phrase you hear all too often on shows like Germany’s Next Topmodel. If a girl doesn’t fit into clothing size 36, she is considered “too fat”. Having one’s own opinion or saying “no” is also not welcomed. Most children have trouble distinguishing that this is an entertainment show and not reality. This can lead to them getting a false sense of good and bad, or nice and not nice. Are these really values you want to confront your child with? Many children, especially girls, take the bodies of contestants as a model and think they are not beautiful if they don’t look exactly like them.
Every parent wants their child to grow up to be a confident person. However, in such series formats, it is not appreciated when someone does not conform and bows to the demands of the jury. You teach your child to say no once in a while, but these shows criticize exactly this and also like to kick out a candidate for this reason. For the child, it looks as if it might not be a good idea to have his or her own opinion. Not a good prerequisite for growing up to be a self-confident child.
Also, the candidates often stand pleadingly in front of Heidi and let themselves be made worse for no reason, without fighting back. This is definitely not a reinforcement of self-confidence.
These Shows Set Unattainable Standards
On Germany’s Next Topmodel, a certain ideal of beauty prevails. If this is not fulfilled, success will not come. These are the values that are transmitted to your child: “If you are not beautiful, you are not successful”. In a series like this, it is a normal case of how girls have to look nowadays. They focus on the body and looks. For many children, this can have dire consequences. Shouldn’t we rather teach them that it’s the inner values that count?
Ban Such Programs?
Basically, it’s up to everyone whether they want to watch such shows or not. After all, you shouldn’t forget that Germany’s Next Topmodel and the like are mainly for entertainment purposes. However, you should still be aware that your child can also take these shows much more seriously. You should make your child aware that the beauty ideals that are shown there do not correspond to reality.
Teach your child that inner values count more than outer ones. Once they have understood this, it should be safe to watch Germany’s Next Topmodel and the like. However, there is always a certain risk that your child will take the show too seriously.