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Old 9th November 2009   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: November 2008
Posts: 417
Default Re: Ads ruin body image (report)

Another story about the report appears here:

It turns out that the link between anorexic imagery and eating disorders is supported by "more than 100 studies worldwide" (!). That's pretty overwhelming, and a sharp rebuke to anyone who anecdotally claims otherwise.

Experts want a ban on airbrushing ads that leave girls loathing their own bodies

By Tim Shipman
Last updated at 12:06 AM on 09th November 2009

...More than 40 of the world's leading experts on body image issues today call for a ban on touching up photos in advertising for the under 16s.

In a hard-hitting report they warn that such unnaturally skinny models can make girls as young as five become self-conscious about their weight...

In a letter to the Advertising Standards Authority, the academics from Britain, America and Australia say that the 'clear majority of adolescent girls' have problems with 'depression, stress, guilt, shame, insecurity and body dissatisfaction'...

But the watchdog has previously refused to act because those who have complained have not provided scientific evidence for their claims.

In response, four academics have written a report detailing the damning conclusions of more than 100 academic studies worldwide.

The paper was written by body image experts Dr Helga Dittmar of the University of Sussex and Dr Emma Halliwell from the University of the West of England and researchers from the U.S. and Australia.

It has been signed by a further 40 doctors and psychologists worldwide. In a letter to the ASA, the researchers say: 'Exposure to the media ideal is linked with greater body dissatisfaction and more unhealthy eating beliefs and behaviours in women...

I like the fact that this article also noted Dittmar's findings (as M. Lopez mentioned above) that plus-size models are just as effective at selling products as their emaciated rivals:

Tackling the widely held view in advertising circles that 'thin and sexy sells', the authors cite research showing that average-size models - size 14 - are just as effective in advertising products as ultra-thin models, as long as they are equally attractive.

A ban on body-size airbrushing is a definite advance. Hopefully this will be a step toward the elimination of skeletal models and underweight imagery altogether, in favour of full-figured models.
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