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Advertising and body image

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  1. Introduction
  2. The policies on the subject of body image
  3. The effects of advertising on body image
  4. The thinness of the models used in advertising
  5. The positive results for the problem of body image in advertising messages
  6. The effects of advertising on men's body image
  7. A content analysis of sole male images
  8. Conclusion
  9. Works cited

There has been a decrease of Women's ideal weight as depicted in magazine in the last 40 years, and the average model is more than 20% underweight (Wiseman, Gray, Mosimann, and Ahrens, 1992). A staggering 99% of traditional women models are found to be underweight (Halliwell and Dittmar, 2004). These figures aren't surprising, and shouldn't be. We as a society have grown accustomed to images of skinny women in advertising and other media. Concern over this issue is ever increasing. In June 2000 the government in the UK held a body image summit to discuss the necessity for policies on the subject of body image.

[...] This study's purpose was to demonstrate that the thinness of the models used in advertising, not the attractiveness that is a problem for women's body image anxiety. And it was demonstrated well, as the thin model produced more body-focused anxiety among susceptible women. The study used participants that included women in a large age range, with the average age of a participant of the study at 31. It was shown that young women aren't the only ones susceptible to body size anxiety, as women across a wider age range were shown to also be negatively affected advertising that features thin size models. [...]

[...] These studies have displayed positive results for the problem of body image in advertising messages. If thin and normal size models share the same advertising effectiveness and the advertising industry supports this, then society could benefit by seeing more normal size models in ads than thin size models. It has constantly been demonstrated through numerous studies, and it is not difficult to believe, that thin models in advertisements generate a higher body dissatisfaction in viewers than normal size models. Higher body dissatisfaction has been indicated to predict eating-disorder symptoms among young women (Halliwell, Dittmar, and Howe, 2005). [...]

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