"400-600 advertisements bombard us everyday in magazines, on billboards, on TV, and in newspapers. One in 11 has a direct message about beauty, not even counting the indirect messages". (about-face.org)
Yes we are affected by media. You can barely get away from it these days. In the majority of instances where the advertising includes body image it also includes self image. Women are put in unflattering positions and dare we say unrealistic? Yesterday I saw a lipstick commercial. The woman was stranded on a dessert island in an a-line flowery dress but she had her lipstick so she was happy. At the end a Tarzan-like figure flew in to save her. What kind of message is this saying to young girls?
A common response, "Well, you have a choice. You can shut off the TV..." just doesn't cut it. What about all the other ad bombardments? Billboards, side cars, trucks, yard signs, building signs, buses. The list is endless. Should we pluck out our eyes? I don't think so. It's time for the industry to take responsibility for who is seeing their ads. After all, a woman doesn't have to have a dog collar put around her neck to sell some liquor. Come on. Is the product that bad it can't sell itself?
You might think the ads you've seen are just fine. But take a closer look. Examine them. There is information in these ads that doesn't register in your mind with the first casual glance but come the 100th time your mind begins to pick up the background messages. Take a look. Be aware of what you're really looking at. If it's not a message you think a young woman should be subjected to then write the company and complain.
We have a choice. We can sit back and let the images wash over us or we can let the industry know how we feel. If we don't they'll keep doing it.