Posted by: cindy | October 21, 2008

Do you love what you see when you look in the mirror?

negative media

negative media

Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries work hard to make each of us believe that our bodies are unacceptable and need constant improvement.  Print ads and television commercials reduce us to body parts- lips, legs, breasts – airbrushed and touched up to meet impossible standards.  TV shows tell women and teenage girls that cosmetic surgery is good for self-esteem.  Is it any wonder that 80% of US women are dissatisfied with their appearance?

Women and girls spend billions of dollars every year on cosmetics, fashion, magazines and diet aids.  These industries can’t use negative images to sell their products without our assistance.

Women and girls are continually bombarded with images from entertainment and advertising that help define our culture’s beauty ideal.  Fashion magazines, celebrity blogs and TV shows like Make Me  A Supermodel continue to push girls and women to try unhealthy fad diets to achieve unrealistic body types.

Children and Advertising Facts:

  • For children ages 6-17, the number one after-school activity is watching TV
  • On average, children watch 3-4 hours of TV a day (28 hours a week)
  • Students spend about 900 hours in the classroom and 1500 hours in front of the TV each year
  • By age 21, the average child will have watched 1,000,000 commercials
  • Children who watch 4 or more hours of TV a day are more likely to believe claims made by advertisers.
  • Advertisments in teen magazines are designed to sell teens a product by any means possible.

What can you do?

  • Look at the magazines your teen is reading. Talk to your teen about the ads and articles and what they think about the content of the ad.  Does the ad really address the product?
  • Recognize that eating disorders are not simply a problem over “food”.  Eating disorders have multiple causes, not necessarily having to do with food or weight.
  • If you are tired of being accosted by sexist ads in your local newspaper and magazines, organize a picket or start a petition drive in your local school or community aimed at the publications that promote offensive images of women and girls.

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