Nutrisystem

     This advertisement for Nutrisystem places a strong emphasis on clothing size. Clothing size is a superficial measurement which seems to be more closely aligned with appearance than with actual fitness. Since height and body structure varies, clothing size is not a reliable or accurate determinant of physical fitness. A woman who is 5’2” and wears a size 0 may just appear petite, but a woman who is 6’ and wears a size 0 would probably appear rather gaunt, and could, in fact, be underweight. Thus, by emphasizing a superficial descriptor such as clothing size, the ad may be inadvertently convincing otherwise healthy women that unless they are a size 2, they need to lose weight. This, at best, contributes to the establishment of poor self-image and at worst, can lead to body dysmorphic disorder.

Nestle - La Cremeria Ice Cream

     While the language barrier makes it impossible to analyze every aspect of the advertisement, many clear messages were conveyed through the ad’s visual component. This commercial for ice cream shows a day in the life of a woman who possesses the features typically idealized in ads, namely thinness. The protagonist witnesses several instances in which men fawn over full-figured women while virtually ignoring her. Rejected and dejected, the woman finally decides that she will partake in the advertised ice cream to look more like the attention-getting women she previously encountered. The depictions in the ad were, speculatively, made in jest. The contrast between this topsy-turvy portrayal of male-female interactions and the interactions usually displayed in the media was certainly meant to grab the attention of the viewer. The message, however, is what remains unclear. Are the full-figured women displayed in the ad meant to serve as a statement about the need for all-inclusive depictions of beauty or are they simply the butt of the joke? Unfortunately, the latter seems to be more likely.
     If that ad was meant to simply be a representation of different forms of beauty, the experiences of the thin protagonist did not need to be juxtaposed with those of the full-figured women. The ad could have shown men hitting on women with many different body types. Also, since the ad seems to imply that the protagonist will gain weight by gorging on ice cream, it inadvertently implies that the other full-figured women achieved their figures by similar means. The idea that anyone who is overweight got that way by gorging on fatty foods is offensive and not completely accurate. Certainly, an ad meant to celebrate various forms of beauty would not have made such an assertion.
     Thus, if the depictions in the ad are not meant to be taken seriously then the message becomes: Men do not really like full-figured or overweight women, so if you want men to like you, don’t be fat. This implication reinforces the link between thinness and attractiveness and contributes to poor self-image among girls and women.

               Mind Blowing Statistics
The above video contains some startling statistics. To follow along, I have included all of the statistics in the below paragraph:

"(1) Americans had 11 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in 2006 - up 7%. (2) More than half of teenage girls are, or think they should be, on diets. They want to lose some or all of the 40 pounds that females naturally gain between ages 8 and 14. About 3% of these teens go too far, becoming anorexic or bulimic. (3) The Medical Journal of Psychiatry conducted a general population study on men with eating disorders and found that 2% of men, compared to 4.8% of women, have anorexia or bulimia. (4) The average American woman is 5'4" tall and weighs 140 pounds, while the average American model is 5'11" tall and weighs 117 pounds. Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women. (5) Some 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance (6) Female athletes are six times more likely to develop eating disorders than other women. (7)Some 80% of women say that the images of women on television and in movies, fashion magazines, and advertising makes them feel insecure. (8) 42% of girls in first through third grades want to be thinner. (9) Some 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. (10) Without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders die. With treatment, that number falls to 2 to 3%. (11) The average woman spends 2 1/2 years of her life washing, styling, cutting, coloring, cramping, and straightening her hair at home and in the salon."

Some of the statistics in this video are startling and unbelievable. It is unreal that girls in first and third grade are even concerned with body image and wanting to be thinner. It is understandable to want to be healthy, but for such young girls, there is no excuse for their childhood to be robbed by an obsession with weight. To see in black and white that most super models are thinner than 98% of American women is just sickening. Some women strive to be what they view as "perfect", and the women they idolize make up about 2% of the female population. These statistics further prove the horrifying facts of media influence on the female and male body image.

     Hardee's: Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Burger
This commercial is intended to advertise a burger that Hardees is starting a new campaign for. The woman featured in the ad is Top Chef Host, Padma Lakshmi. Other than the fact that the burger is in her hand, this commerical doesn't seem to be too much about Hardee's. Attention to the burger is lost as Padma begins eating. The camera zones in on different places in Padma's body: legs, lips, licking her wrist. Her tone is seductive, and she is eating the burger in a seductive way. These don't seem to be things that are necessary for selling a plain old hamburger.

This ad seems to be more about sex appeal, and that eating this burger is sexy and appealing. Hardee's has used sex appeal to sell a hamburger. Padma is a beautiful woman, and the way that the ad is done just shows things that society has deemed as sexy. As a result, young girls and women see things like this, and wonder if they should look like that too. It's just another way the media has turned advertisements. It can be noticed that advertisements have become less and less about what is actually being sold.




Girls of 90210 display bad body images to girls.

This video discusses two of the leading actress in a new hit prime time show that is projected at teenage girls. The controversy about these actresses is the fact that they might be displaying subliminal messages about body image. The fact that they are extremely thin might lead females to believe that to be popular, sexy; which in the end will get you a “hot” boyfriend, you must look like me. One of the actresses is standing tall at 5’8” but her weight is only around 100lbs. Since celebrities are usually a youth’s role model, people are concerned about the message that young girls may receive from them.

Male Body Image

The male body is rarely mentioned when scrutinizing negative body images in the media. As men's health and fitness magazines focus on how the body looks, rather than how it functions, readers change their priorities as well. The questions men now ask are, "What supplement can I take to help me increase my muscles?" or "How should I work out to make my biceps bigger?" This focus on appearance is what makes men's pursuit of greater muscularity similar to the pursuit of thinness in women. Both are pursuing visual ideals that are sometimes impossible to achieve.

Dove Evolution

Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty is the start of change to the media portrayed body image. In this advertisement an ordinary woman is transformed into a model that is the vanguard for women of today's society. This Dove film takes us through the steps of photo shopping that is used by expert editors in most media outlets, including film, TV and magazines. Dove has made a gallery of short films that raise some questions about body image and self-esteem. They have outlets via blogs, workshops and sending beauty e-cards. To learn more go to CampaignforReakBeauty.com .

Today show: "Too fat to model"

 

This video discusses the trend of skinny models. Models are one of the most highlighted people in the media since where ever you go you will see a model advertising something: on build boards, magazines, etc. They are the one type of celebrities that are seen the most since advertising is everywhere, which can make them the most impressionable. They are also considered the most beautiful people in the world.  This video discusses the epidemic of models that are on the verge of appearing anorexic (which some are) and it then the last part is an interview with a model that was told that she was too heavy to model.