"In recent survey by Teen People magazine, 27% of the girls felt that the media pressures them to have a perfect body,2 and a poll conducted in 1996 by the international ad agency Saatchi and Saatchi found that ads made women fear being unattractive or old."
"researchers have found that exposure to idealized body images lowers women's satisfaction with their own attractiveness."
"According to a study conducted by the DOVE campaign for Real Beauty, only 2% of women around the world described themselves as beautiful. This shocking statistic traces back to Festinger’s notion of social comparison and the stereotypical representations of beauty in mediated sources. However, in the DOVE research study, 81% of females in the U.S. strongly agree that “the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve.” "
|This ad was attacked for being distasteful and not used|
|Axe, widely perceived as a marketing sucess, has been in |
the crosshairs of critics who see a rapid increase in
sex and sexism in advertising
However, we know from research like that mentioned above that advertising DOES affect people in a negative way. Media and advertising is blamed for everything from increasing prostitution (http://www.psfk.com/2013/04/louis-vuitton-prostitution-video.html) to the rise in eating disorders and body dissatisfaction.
But who carries the responsibility? The advertisers, whose only concern is making money and are not taking into account the negative psychological effect their media? Or the consumers, who are influenced by the onslaught of media images and messages and may lack the psychological fortitude to not, eventually, be influenced by the messages they send that are larger than just "buy this product"?
In the next two blog entries, we will discuss whether or not advertising is protected by the first amendment and how, whether or not advertisers have a moral obligation to present information that does not harm people or increase insecurity, and on a more practical level, how we can protect ourselves from the negative influence of media on our own body image.