Adult viewers generally recognize the distorted standards often perpetuated in media as unrealistic advertisement-driven ideology but younger viewers may not. Younger audiences often see such advertisements as goals as opposed to unattainable but coveted traits. These images and messages strike younger viewers as an expectation they must live up to as opposed to the exception that can’t be achieved by most. Youths with a purchasing power of over $200 billion USD annually respond to advertisements that inspire feelings of inadequacy and high risk behavior (Lamb). These young people spend approximately 72 hours a week tuned in to electronic devices such as television and the internet (Lamb). We propose that the problem is not misleading advertising, but the lack of readily available resources to counter what is promoted by them.
We often hear organizations attacking the media and attempting to control what’s reproduced in advertisements; no one, however, is promoting the creation of an image independent of these sources. Advertising will always reflect the desires of its audience. If these desires are unattainable and unhealthy, audiences will continue to be negatively affected. Viewers need another basis of objective comparison for what constitutes healthy, beautiful, and desirable. The Risks
Negative self-image is a psychological health issue that has resounding consequences on the mental growth and stability of adolescents. Bad self-image generates a variety of risks ranging from minor to extreme, including: distorted body views/body dissatisfaction, depressed mood, anxiety, anger, eating disorders, identity confusion, physical appearance comparison tendency, and internalization of “thin ideal”. Ultimately, negative media portrayal becomes the source of many personal and psychological disorders that can tear apart people’s lives. These issues are symptoms of high-risk behavior in both men and women. Our target audience represents the demographic most likely to be affected by detrimental messages; American girls ages 10-21 and boys 14-24. This age demographic is so often bombarded with media exposure that they begin to see what they observe in advertisements as the norm. These youths lack an understanding of what is normal for themselves and what is healthy for each individual. The populace aspires to become the image being sold to them rather than the healthiest version of who they really are. Unfortunately, more money is made by manipulating insecurities than inspiring self-satisfaction. The Facts
Research conducted by the University of Melbourne evaluated the self-image of girls grades 7 and 10 after exposure to idealized female advertising images. Stable body dissatisfaction, physical appearance comparison tendency, internalization of “thin ideal,” self-esteem, depression, identity confusion, and body mass index (BMI) were assessed to determine the affect of the images on the girls. A week later the group was given a survey of their body images before and after viewing magazine advertisements. The results show a significant increase in self-conscious low-esteem and depressed bodily dissatisfaction (Posavac). This research helped us outline our demographic and tells us that young girls are more inclined to view themselves from the perspective of others. Understanding the affects advertising has on our audience is integral to our course of attack in counteracting the origin of their body dissatisfaction. Women who internalize the “thin-ideal” body image are more susceptible to seeing their own bodies as unsatisfactory after viewing advertisements with models (Dittmar, H. etc). They see discrepancies between their own body and their ideal body.
This can occur whether the women are actually overweight or not (Dittmar, H. etc). Many women see themselves as fat when in fact they are well within the range of a healthy weight (Dittmar, H. etc). This study states that well over half of women in the US and UK are overweight (Dittmar, H. etc). This creates a huge gap in the thin-ideal and reality. Nintey-six percent of the women studied were Caucasian (Dittmar, H. etc). The study conducted by Dittmar and Howard (2004) also states that women who didn’t subscribe to the thin-ideal weren’t affected by showing models since they did not hold themselves to the thinness standard (Dittmar, H. etc).
This research is conclusive evidence that women with objective views on health and wellness are less likely to be affected by advertising where those who harbor unrealistic standards are unable to separate views of the bodies of others from their own. The study confirmed the deeper psychological principle of “think bad, feel bad.” Their research suggests that an initially poor body image may predispose a woman to decreased body satisfaction following exposure to idealized female images (Dittmar, H. etc). The most severe changes in body images were recorded when girls were asked to compare themselves to the the women in the advertisements. It should be noted that girls who only viewed the ads passively were not nearly as affected (Dittmar, H. etc).
Weight-loss commercials appeal to viewers of all ages through television advertisements. Whether it’s a pill, smoothie, sugar substitute, or meal plan, the products’ promises all sink into young people’s mind. TV breaks are cluttered by these product ads, and they inspire people to be dissatisfied with who they are. These advertisements can challenge people’s nutrition and food choices. Products that are sometimes hoaxes are marketed as if they will make you healthier when often they won’t (Tartakovsky).
A study was conducted to determine the impact media exposure has on male self-image. It was found that the males that were exposed to ideal male body image became more depressed about how they saw themselves and their bodies than those that were exposed to neutral messaged media. (Citation?) Our Mission
We want to campaign for confidence not only by raising awareness of media’s affects on self image, but also by promoting healthy body images for individual people. The media’s perception of beauty harms society by making people believe that beauty only comes in one shape, ethnicity, and age. The core of the issue remains unaddressed. Commercials, movies, video games, magazines, and television will continue to sell their negative ideals, so we must match them with our positive messages. Being The Difference
Our audience is comprised of those who are most affected by advertisements on the Internet, television, and through print media so we have arranged to make our campaign visible in these mediums. Our campaign would have a website which would have links to local programs to educate on health through events, supportive sponsors, open forums/testimonials, games, personalized fitness routines, and advice for healthy nutrition/living. This site would be the launchpad for various events, advertisements, and activities to promote better living. We would host a YouTube channel named “The Difference” that would act as an expose, showing what’s real and what’s unrealistic. We would have a team/panel to discuss shows like “The Swan” (which encourage extreme cosmetic make-overs) and their negative impacts (The Swan). Then on the “real side” we would have shows like “What Not to Wear” that encourage finding an appropriate and complimentary style for your body type (What Not to Wear). We would use other videos like the “Dove Evolution Film” to promote an understanding of the difference in what models really look like and what reproductions we see of them (Staav).
We want to create interactive games that will educate children on their health using outside comparisons that encourage objective views of people. Fifty million teenagers worldwide post their profiles on Facebook. We would make a site linked to social media pages like Facebook that would allow girls and boys to determine their BMI and compare them to a celebrity who might have otherwise been thought of as unrealistically fit/small/etc.. This would encourage an understanding of different body types and respect for appearance as it relates to health. We would use the people’s BMIs and compare them to celebrities like Heidi Klum(BMI: 18), Jennifer Lopez (BMI: 19.3), Jennifer Love Hewitt (BMI: 21.9), Beyonce Knowles (BMI: 22), Queen Latifah (BMI: 23.7), Tom Cruise (BMI: 26), Ryan Reynolds (BMI: 25). We would ask magazines like TeenVogue, Seventeen, Glamour, Elle, Sports Illustrated, and GQ to publish “Dress for Your Body Type” articles that illustrate how to look great as you are.
The styles shown help accentuate your best traits and play down other features. Likewise, we have a number of print advertisements such as our magazine ad aimed at creating awareness and exposure for our campaign and the risks affecting viewers. We would distribute brochures to chains of health providers, doctors offices, and gyms positioning ourselves almost like a Weight Watchers organization for healthy outlook and healthy living. Our brochures are information packed reflective looks at how we look at ourselves. They include actual mirrors in the panels and statistics on boys, girls, and young adults. Within the brochure we prompt the reader to use some resources to help themselves/their loved ones and also ways to get involved in the campaign by visiting our website. Networks like Disney and Nickelodeon would promote educational summer camps that mirror Nickelodeon’s Salute Your Shorts television series that aired from 1991-1999 where adolescent viewers have the chance to spend a few weeks learning about healthy living and what it means to be healthy (Salute Your Shorts).
This would promote good self-image and active living at an early age that would help create self-esteem. We would attempt to create a partnership with companies that reflect our basic philosophy. Many companies today, such as Naked Juices and Dove, are working towards promoting a fresh look at health and beauty. Socially motivated media such as Facebook and Seventeen Magazine as well as health related organizations such as the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) would act as outlets for our sponsors and partners to reach the public. Our Persuasive Approach
Our campaign advocates for objective assessment of each individuals’ health and body. We have employed various tactics to strategically promote healthier living. We are enticing our audience with proof; the appeal of our campaign is that we sell honesty which promotes the wellness of all people. We use statistical evidence, narratives and anecdotes, and visual evidence to persuade viewers. Our target audience will realize that this nonprofit campaign promotes better living; our legitimacy is derived from our direction and strategy. We operate on an open discussion platform which gives the audience the ability to contribute and make this campaign something positive for themselves and others. We want participation to promote the issue and to encourage discussion as a community. The idea is that an enlightened people is an empowered body. We appeal to the logos of people using the central route of processing. We want to make viewers aware of what they’re processing peripherally by speaking to their central processing minds. We are trying to get real information into the hands of our target audience so that they can make informed decisions.
Our campaign uses sophisticated communication technologies to reach target prospects. We utilize cause-to-effect reasoning by giving examples of how the media portrays “ideal” beauty and how this can be damaging to the self-esteem of society. It calls to reason that all people should have the freedom to love themselves, regardless of how they look. This is the central idea of our campaign, and we employ criteria-to-application reasoning in order to drive the point home. We want to expose unrealistic expectations for what they are so that people realize there is an alternative to the “thin-ideal” body image so commonly portrayed in the media. Of the different tactics we could employ to strengthen our argument we feel association will be most effective. For this reason we feel the scale of our campaign must be large and the ideas referenced must be simple. For example, we use the BMI’s of celebrities to entice a younger audience into looking more acutely and objectively at what it means to be healthy.
We have elements to support our argument that dramatize the urgency of the issue at hand. We use this principle of intensifying the opposition in displaying the Dove Evolution of Beauty video (Staav, Yael). This exposure to the media’s doctored up photography shows the lies people are subjected to. We created an ad campaign featuring women with signs saying, “I am beautiful.” This ad sends the message that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can still be beautiful and believe it. We are intensifying our own strong points in this ad. We are creating a positive image to combat the negative images seen in so many media ads. We say, “Health has no look”. We want people to be healthy and happy in their own skin and know they don’t look like someone else.
Bibliography for Analysis Paper
REMEMBER TO DOUBLE TAB SECOND LINES FOR SOURCES
Daniel Agliata, Stacey Tantleff-Dunn. “The Impact of Media Exposure on Males’ Body Image”. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2004 23:1. 7-22. Print.
Derenne, Jennifer, and Eugene Beresin. “Body Image, Media, and Eating Disorders .” Academic Psychiatry. 30.3 (2006): n. page. Web. 31 Mar. 2012. <http://ap.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=50181>.
Dittmar, H., Halliwell, E., & Stirling, E. (2009). “Understanding the impact of thin media models on womens body-focused affect: The roles of
thin-ideal internalization and weight-related self-discrepancy activation in experimental exposure effects.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(1), 43-72. Retrieved from <http://ezproxy.rit.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/224853446?accountid=108>.
Durkin, Sarah J. & Susan J. Paxton.. “Predictors of vulnerability to reduced body image satisfaction and psychological wellbeing in response to exposure to idealized female media images in adolescent girls.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 53.5 (2002). Elsevier Science Inc. 995-1005. Print
Lamb, Charles W. & Joseph F. Hair & Carl McDaniel. MKTG: Student Edition. Mason: Southwestern, Cengage Learning, 2012. 44. Print
Marika Tiggemann, Belinda McGill (2004). “The Role of Social Comparison in the Effect of Magazine Advertisements on Women’s Mood and Body Dissatisfaction”. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: Vol. 23, 1 Special Issue: Body Image and Eating Disorders: Influence of Media Images. 23-44. Print.
Posavac, Heidi D. & Posavac, Steven S. & Posavac, Emil J. “Exposure to Media Images of Female Attractiveness and Concern with Body Weight Among Young Women”. Sex Roles”. Volume 38 Number 314 (1998). 187-188. Print.
“Salute Your Shorts.” IMDB. 1990-2012. Website. 29 April 2012. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101190/
Staav, Yael.“Evolution: A Dove Film”. 15 October 2006. Web. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hibyAJOSW8U>.
The Swan. Fox. 2004. Television.
Tartakovsky, M.. “Why weight-loss & diet commercials are dangerous.” . Web. 28 Mar 2012. <http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2012/01/why-weight-loss-diet-com
Stinchfield, Kate. “Surprising Celebrity BMI’s”, A Numbers Game. Health Media Ventures Inc. Web. April 29, 2012. <http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20460621,00.html>
What Not to Wear. TLC. New York. 2012. Television.
Bibliography for Brochure
“11 Facts About Body Image” Do something.org. Web. 20 April 2012. <http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-body-image>.
“11 Facts About Teens and Self Esteem”. Dosomething.org. Web. 20 April 2012. <http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-teens-and-self-esteem>.
“Body Shape Calculator.” Shop your Shape.com 2011. Web. 20 April 2012. <http://www.shopyourshape.com/calculate-your-body-shape.html>.
“Calculate Your Body Mass Index.” Calculate Your BMI. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/>.
“Healthy Eating.” Healthy Recipes and Meal Ideas. Television Food Network. Web. 29 Apr 2012. <http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy-eating/index.html>.
“Healthy Eating Games” PBS. Web. 29 Apr 2012. <http://pbskids.org/games/healthyeating.html>.
Mirror Image. Digital Image. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. <http://www.homestansted.co.uk/images/GILT_O_M_48_72.jpg>.
“Mission Nutrition”. Kids Health; The Nemours Foundation. Web. 20 April 2012. <http://kidshealth.org/kid/closet/games/game_nutrition.html#cat122>.
Morris, Dr. Dee and Johnson, Dr. Pamela. “Healthy Living on Campus: How College Students Can Stay Fit”. Faith and Fitness Magazine. <http://www.cbn.com/family/Youth/FF_collegehealth.aspx>.
“Tips for Parents – Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Oct. 2011. Web. 29 April 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html>.
“Toolkit & Resources for The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem.” The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem. Unilever. Web. 29 April 2012. <http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/Self-Esteem-Toolkit-And-Resources/>.