The simple fact is there's an epidemic crisis of confidence affecting girls and women, and both its causes and effects are going largely ignored and unspoken in and by the mainstream. (And we should point out that there is a subset of boys and men who are equally and terribly affected by these misrepresentations.)
We're asking for support to pass federal legislation requiring advertising that's meaningfully changed the human form through photoshopping or airbrushing to carry "Truth in Advertising" labels. The labels will simply state that the models shown have been altered. No judgments, no morality, just transparency and clarity. Transparency and clarity that may help address and stem these horrifying numbers:
- 42% of girls in grades 1-3 want to be thinner
- 51% of 9-10 year old girls feel better about themselves when they're dieting
- 53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies; by the time they're 17, 78% of them will be
- By the time they're 17, these girls have seen 250,000 TV commercials telling them they should be a decorative object, sex object or a body size they can never achieve.
- 7 million girls and women under 25 suffer from eating disorders (myNEDA.org)
- 40% of newly identified cases of anorexia are in girls 15-19 years old. A rise in incidence of anorexia in young women 15-19 in each decade since 1930. Anorexia has the highest rate of mortality of any mental illness. (myNEDA.org)
- 80% of women feel worse about themselves after seeing a beauty ad. $20B is spent on beauty marketing in the US annually. That's a lot of money being spent making women feel worse about themselves.
- Nearly 25 million people - male and female - are suffering from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder (myNEDA.org)
- 3-12% of teen boys use anabolic steroids in pursuit of a lean, muscular ideal
We're not passing judgement here, not making anyone right or wrong; there are no villains. What we are asking is that if changes to the human form are made digitally, that those advertisers making the change simply say so.
Photoshopping, airbrushing, digital manipulation aren't the issue. The issue is too many look at these images and think they should look LIKE these images. And they can't...because they're not real.
So let's call a duck a duck and a modified picture a modified picture. All we're asking is that if you do it - you tell us you did.
If we save one life, if one girl or one woman feels better about herself, or if just one person is spared the horrors of dealing with an eating disorder because of truth-in-advertising labeling, how's that a bad thing?
Please help us address this epidemic crisis of self-confidence, and help support the Media and Public Health Act. Thank you.
- Off Our Chests and OffOurChests.com
- National Eating Disorders Association (MyNEDA.org)