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Body Image and Media

Another commercial I’ve seen on TV that relates to this class is for the product Slimful.  Slimful is a diet bar that works to suppress hunger in order to help an individual lose weight.  This commercial caught my attention when the spokesperson for the product actually said the words “eating less is a beautiful thing.”  On the one hand, I shouldn’t have been too surprised by this statement; the media is constantly using advertisements  to push this thin ideal onto young girls and women.  However, this commercial took the idea of thinness even further by actually pairing beauty and eating less together.  This commercial tells young girls that they should be changing themselves in order to look a certain way.  It doesn’t help matters that the spokesperson in this commercial is a young, white, ridiculously thin girl.  The image of this girl that fits the stereotypical ideal, paired with the words “eating less is a beautiful thing,” is definitely an example of how the media is creating a negative body image for young girls, as well as making them more prone to developing an eating disorder.

According to the Slimful website,

“You can deprive yourself only so long before giving in to temptation. But what if you weren’t hungry? What if you could eat a delicious 90-calorie chew and you wouldn’t be hungry again for hours. Imagine the possibilities. You could eat smaller meals. You could resist second helpings and dessert. Your calorie consumption could drop. So could your weight.”

There are multiple issues with these statements.  First of all, should we really be “depriving ourselves?”  And is eating really a temptation?  Obviously eating healthy is important, but this product doesn’t even discriminate between eating nutritional food as opposed to junk food; it makes the assumption that any kind of eating is a bad thing for women.

This is only one example of many found in the media that are teaching young girls that they should be doing whatever it takes to be beautiful.  I think it’s so important that young girls develop a positive body image, but it becomes increasingly harder to do so with advertisements like this one.


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