Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

False beauty in advertising and the pressure to look 'good'

From smoothing skin and erasing wrinkles to enlarging muscles and slimming waists, airbrushing, or "photoshopping," men and women to so-called perfection is the norm in advertising. These images don't reflect reality, yet from a younger and younger age, people are aspiring to these biologically impossible ideals.

For some, the desire to look as perfect as these models can become all-consuming, and a wealth of evidence suggests that people in the UK are experiencing serious body image problems -- a trend undoubtedly replicated around the globe. Adolescents and teenagers unhappy about their bodies can develop eating disorders, turn to diet pills or steroids, or try cosmetic surgery and Botox injections.

One study found that one in four people is depressed about their body, another found that almost a third of women say they would sacrifice a year of life to achieve the ideal body weight and shape, and almost half of girls in a recent survey think the pressure to look good is the worst part of being female.

These very real and serious issues are not helped by the impossible visions of perfection everywhere in our visual culture. A growing body of scientific evidence reinforces the link between negative body image and exposure to idealized images. (more)