Body image in the media is one of the most controversial issues in today’s society. Advertisements, magazines, movies, and television all seem to feature the idea of the “perfect” girl. But what kind of message does it send to young girls who are the main audience for these media outlets? When exposed to seemingly too thin women, young girls begin to develop ideas that they themselves have to look the same way that models and actresses do. According to a New York Times article entitled “Girls’ Self Image Survives Press of Glossy Ads” written by Erica Goode, she states that
“Studies have shown that, at least in a laboratory setting, exposure to ultra-thin images encourages excessive dieting and a negative body image in young girls. But few psychologists have tested this theory outside in the laboratory, or investigated whether the effects of media exposure last over time.”
YouTube has become an important part of the digital revolution when it comes to acquiring information about topics. When a video of a Dove campaign ad hit YouTube displaying a model being touched up and photo-shopped through out a time lapse in order to be featured on a billboard, people started questioning ads. It’s no secret that pictures in magazines are edited; photo shopped, and touched up in order to create the “ideal” woman. However, girls are reaching out to magazines such as Seventeen Magazine and requesting that they publish photos of real girls rather than models that have been edited to perfection.
Editor in chief of Seventeen Magazine, Ann Shoket took notice of these concerns from readers and had her entire staff sign something called the “eight-point pact". In a New York Times article entitled “Seventeen Magazine Vows to Show Girls ‘as They Really Are’, Shoket stated,
“While we work hard behind the scenes to make sure we’re being authentic, your notes made me realize that it was time for us to be more public about our commitment.”
While its evident that Seventeen Magazine has made it a point to display more realistic women in their magazine, there are still tons of other media outlets that reach young girls who aren’t putting forth the same efforts. Below is the YouTube video "Dove ad: The Evolution of Beauty (Time Lapse).