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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 24th 2011, 11:08 PM

I think the media has bashed a certain "look" in girls minds these days. Look at toddlers and tiaras where the little girls have to parade around in ridiculous get ups, in front of judges which probably does wonders for their self-esteem (sarcasm) and not to mention could infact lead to eating disorders. I keep reading that eating disorders are setting in at younger ages than ever. When a little girl starts questioning whether to eat dinner or not because she doesn't look like the girls on TV, there is something seriously messed up with the media these days.
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 24th 2011, 11:27 PM

The media and pagents are two completely separate things. I think the media gets the blame as if it's a cause and effect relationship when there's no way to prove that media images cause eating disorders. The media has an influence, but there's a lot more to an eating disorder than what someone sees on tv (or encounters in the other forms of media). It's up to the parents or other adult figures in the child's life to monitor what they're exposed to and explain to them that image isn't everything, no one really looks like that, etc.

As for pagents, I've always thought they were a horrible concept for this reason and others.


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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 25th 2011, 12:23 AM

I'm not going to get into this because it's seriously something I could talk about for pages, but my opinion boils down to the following:

I don't believe media/pageants/tabloids lead to eating disorders. Eating disorders are serious, complex illnesses: they are so much more than 'I want to look like Mary Kate Olson', and to say that media leads to them simplifies and often trivializes them. Yes, the way we socialize girls (and boys) can be a factor in the development of an eating disorder, and more often than that it can certainly fuel an ongoing disorder, but in years of treatment I have never once met someone who considered the media the cause for their illness. (And I would say it has nothing to do with mine at all.)

That said, the way we present the world through media is seriously f***ed up and needs to change ASAP. It isn't healthy or realistic, and it certainly doesn't help anyone's self esteem.
   
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 25th 2011, 12:33 AM

I would also like to point out that there's a lot of pressure on guys to look a certain way too.

The biggest issue with it all is that sex sells. Whether we like to admit it or not, our society wants to have sex. And in order to do so, they want to look good, and attract as many people to do so as possible. And unfortunately, this has lead people to believe they need to have the "perfect body."

So basically, until we as a society become less shallow and less of a slave to our sexual needs, this is going to keep happening.


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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 25th 2011, 02:21 AM

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I would also like to point out that there's a lot of pressure on guys to look a certain way too.
I completely agree, guys are expected to be perfect as well, which is in no way realistic. With the G.I Joe-like dolls, with muscles from head to toe and mean, emotionless faces, how do boys portray that? I need to look and be like this. So guys are put under the microscope just as much, and I apologize for not pointing that out.
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 25th 2011, 06:03 AM

I don't think the media directly causes eating disorders. Like another poster said, eating disorders are complex illnesses. That being said, I do believe the media has a hand in helping things along. When women are surrounded by images of beautiful, size 1 women, they begin to doubt their own body shape. It's natural. For some, that could be a huge trigger that could set off an eating disorder. I know it has been for me. But, the media definitely cannot be solely blamed for an earlier development of eating disorders in young girls.


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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 25th 2011, 09:00 PM

It's stretching things a bit far to say that the media directly causes eating disorders - the causal chain simply isn't there. What I would say, though, is that the media has a hell of a lot to answer for generally in terms of the image it portrays of what is supposed to be the "ideal" man or woman, doctoring images to fit this ideal and villifying anyone who dares to look different or even be slightly outside the norm. Take that combination, paste it into the magazines young girls (and boys) are likely to read, and it's hardly surprising that eating disorders are on the increase for both genders. Obviously there's a combination of other factors such as pre-existing disposition to developing such disorders, peer pressure/bullying and influences from other sources, but these publications certainly don't help and in all honesty cause a lot of harm. I can still recall the TMZ website running a story of Jennifer Love Hewitt saying she'd "eaten all the pies" simply because her hips were not insect-thin - considering she was in very good shape overall, that just strikes me as completely ridiculous and gives completely the wrong message to people. We're all different shapes and sizes - much as I'd like to be like Brad Pitt or his ilk, it isn't going to happen, and the sooner we all accept ourselves for who we are the happier and healthier we'll be. That doesn't suit the media, though, because it doesn't sell magazines, hence why this has if anything gotten worse in my lifetime. So while I can't in good conscience blame the media solely for eating disorders, they're certainly laying a lot of the groundwork for them to develop and the sooner they are held to account for this the better, frankly.

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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 26th 2011, 04:47 AM

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The biggest issue with it all is that sex sells. Whether we like to admit it or not, our society wants to have sex. And in order to do so, they want to look good, and attract as many people to do so as possible. And unfortunately, this has lead people to believe they need to have the "perfect body."

So basically, until we as a society become less shallow and less of a slave to our sexual needs, this is going to keep happening.
By what, shaming people who find good looking people attractive? Accepting that you're not going to be the most attractive person in the room is a lot more feasible than trying to force the world to ignore the (completely natural) concept of attractiveness.
   
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 26th 2011, 04:17 PM

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By what, shaming people who find good looking people attractive? Accepting that you're not going to be the most attractive person in the room is a lot more feasible than trying to force the world to ignore the (completely natural) concept of attractiveness.
No, just be not being selfish idiots who demand perfection.


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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 26th 2011, 09:13 PM

Consider this:

How about we ban war movies because it could upset vets with PTSD.

How about we ban food ads because it might upset someone with an ED.

How about we ban showing our hair, because it might upset balding men.

How about we ban the outright spending of money, because it might upset a poor person.

The world cannot cater to everyone's pissing and moaning. It's that simple. Turn off the TV/close the browser if something your see is bothering you.

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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 27th 2011, 02:17 AM

I don't think that the images we see in the media, beauty pageants, or all that others stuff causes eating disorders, many people view this stuff all the time and nothing happens. HOWEVER, it is an influence. THe funny thing is how Disney jokes about this, and their stars have suffered from it (such as Demi Lovato). It's absolutely disgusting. This is normalizing it for girls, so if they already have a problem, this makes it seem like it's okay. There is also proof that that models have gotten skinnier lately, and eating disorder rates have gone up. I'm not putting causation. But it's something to consider, and something that needs to change.


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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 27th 2011, 06:26 AM

I'd say there is a correlation between images promoted through media and the effect on girls and boys. I only say correlation because there are other relevant factors, such as parents/guardians. If the media is blamed as being the single causal factor, then it implies parents have no effect, which is bullshit.

The show toddlers and tiaras is a bit different because in my opinion, the parents actively force the children to dress and wear the outfits and make-up. so the parents have a strong active role, whereas kids who watch the show but are not in pagents do not have parents that actively push them into it.

In either case, it's an over-simplification to suggest eating disorders are due to media. Also, suggesting the media has a causal factor immediately creates a problem: if everyone sees the thin females or muscular guys, why do only certain people develop the eating disorders?


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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 01:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKmadu619 View Post
Consider this:

How about we ban war movies because it could upset vets with PTSD.

How about we ban food ads because it might upset someone with an ED.

How about we ban showing our hair, because it might upset balding men.

How about we ban the outright spending of money, because it might upset a poor person.

The world cannot cater to everyone's pissing and moaning. It's that simple. Turn off the TV/close the browser if something your see is bothering you.

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I don't even.. what?

You've simplified this to a level where it doesn't even make sense. If it was as simple as turning off the TV then it wouldn't be having such a huge effect it? I'm having real trouble pulling myself back here because you've seriously pissed me off by completely trivialising the struggles and pain that so many young people go through, most likely because you have a "It hasn't happened to me, therefore I don't give a shit" attitude.

First you show that you believe that by stopping adverts of this kind we're in some way 'caving in' to the other half of the group. Rubbish. If we stop adverts that are causing these hugely negative effects on youth, guess who loses? The advertising companies. Guess who wins? Society. It's not 'caving in', and it's not legalising feeble peoples opinions, it's putting into practise a series of laws that would dramatically increase quality of life for all age groups of society, as well as securing an enjoyable, satisfactory future for all our descendants. I don't want them to be surrounded by the same imagery that I have, and I hope you don't either.

Essentially what you're saying, as I feel I didn't do a grand job of explaining this earlier, is that if we ban and/or regulate adverts in this fashion and with this criteria (such as sexual images, photoshopped models etc.) that we are, in some way, doing it because we don't want weak people to be upset about their weaknesses. That's what your examples told me anyway; poor people, bald people etc.
If I was to be more understanding, I could infer a bit and perhaps assume that, more likely, you're saying that just because some things may upset some people, it doesn't mean we should ban them. And while in essence I agree, this isn't just 'upsetting' people. This is having a hugely negative effect on every member of society. It's something that's causing depression and more, and fuelling and possibly causing eating disorders among others. It's telling almost every group in society that they're a mess and that they need to look like this (insert ridiculously photoshopped & airbrushed photograph of insanely hot model) otherwise they're a terrible person.

If it was as simple as turning off the TV, then it wouldn't be having a proven hugely negative effect on our population, would it? And yes it is having such an effect. Do you know why? because you can't switch off from it, because it's everywhere. Turn off the TV advert and open up a newspaper and you'll see models advertising beauty products. Put down the newspaper and play a video game, more images of men and women who are completely unrealistically attractive. Turn off the console and go for a drive, billboards, radio adverts, vans, buildings all advertising the same thing. Please stop being so ignorant.
   
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 03:51 AM

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If it was as simple as turning off the TV, then it wouldn't be having a proven hugely negative effect on our population, would it? And yes it is having such an effect. Do you know why? because you can't switch off from it, because it's everywhere. Turn off the TV advert and open up a newspaper and you'll see models advertising beauty products. Put down the newspaper and play a video game, more images of men and women who are completely unrealistically attractive. Turn off the console and go for a drive, billboards, radio adverts, vans, buildings all advertising the same thing. Please stop being so ignorant.
Except Ben gave the answer for WHY we have attractive people in the media, because sex sells. There's a reason why companies end up paying money for a good looking model when advertising their product, or casting a show, because it does better. Despite all the fuss about what 'society' wants to do to raise self esteem, society wants the most attractive and the best looking. When we see an attractive person our brain releases a chemical that makes us feel pleasure, we enjoy looking at them. A business caters to what we want and what we feel. And the goal of a business is to maximize profits, not ensure kids don't have eating disorders.

And when we get to the point where countries have to start introducing 'laws' to regulate how attractive people are in the media, then we'll have bigger problems to worry about.
   
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 12:12 PM

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Except Ben gave the answer for WHY we have attractive people in the media, because sex sells. There's a reason why companies end up paying money for a good looking model when advertising their product, or casting a show, because it does better. Despite all the fuss about what 'society' wants to do to raise self esteem, society wants the most attractive and the best looking. When we see an attractive person our brain releases a chemical that makes us feel pleasure, we enjoy looking at them. A business caters to what we want and what we feel. And the goal of a business is to maximize profits, not ensure kids don't have eating disorders.
You've stated two opposing viewpoints, you can only believe one. You first state that society wants the most attractive. But then you also state, correctly IMO, that society wants to raise people's self-esteem, ie. what is best for everyone not for a minority. So which is it? Which one does it want? Well I think it's the latter. I think society, people, are becoming more and more aware of how much bullshit is being shoved down their throats via advertising and they're starting to realise how badly it's affecting them. I don't think that this means they don't want to be attractive, in case you're wondering. I think it means that they don't want to be told every second of their lives that they're not good enough and that they should work harder to be prettier because being prettier means you're a better person.

So then we have to ask ourselves: why do we allow businesses to ruin society? Is it because then we can print out more notes? Is it because it gives us the illusion of civility and development? When they contribute so much negativity to our society, not just here, I'm talking about economic crashes, bailouts, using tax-payers money etc etc., why do we continue to allow them do so? I think it's about time we stopped letting them decide what we can do, and we started deciding what they can do.

Quote:
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And when we get to the point where countries have to start introducing 'laws' to regulate how attractive people are in the media, then we'll have bigger problems to worry about.
What, you mean banning adverts? A practise that's been going on in almost every country in the world for decades?
   
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 05:14 PM

Cosmo: Everyone has things that trigger them or offend them, and honestly we cannot make everyone happy. Do not watch, read or listen to topics that offend you. I'm offended by when people go on homophobic rants, and therefore I change the chanell or leave the webpage when I see something like that. If we somehow removed all forms of homosexuality in the media (because some are just as offended by pro-homosexual rants as I am by homophobic ones.) but then the homosexuals lose their face in modern media, but some other people are happy.

I mean it's as easy as being offended by something and expecting it to just somehow leave, which just won't happen.

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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 08:06 PM

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Originally Posted by JKmadu619 View Post
Cosmo: Everyone has things that trigger them or offend them, and honestly we cannot make everyone happy. Do not watch, read or listen to topics that offend you. I'm offended by when people go on homophobic rants, and therefore I change the chanell or leave the webpage when I see something like that. If we somehow removed all forms of homosexuality in the media (because some are just as offended by pro-homosexual rants as I am by homophobic ones.) but then the homosexuals lose their face in modern media, but some other people are happy.

I mean it's as easy as being offended by something and expecting it to just somehow leave, which just won't happen.

- Justin
I've already explained that 'not watching it' is not an option. Please try another argument. And this is a completely different context. If you're offended by something, nothing actually happens. However in this case lives are ended, mental illnesses formed and nurtured and overall self-esteem rapidly decrease in all groups in society. Completely different.
   
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 08:09 PM

I think that originally, media was a large influence. Now that the media has ingrained this ideal of perfection between men and women, we're teaching younger audiences our ideal of perfection. I think that media has became less of an influence over the years while society has became more of an influence because it reinforces the idea of perfection by producing shitty shows geared toward a large audience. I say we drop all those teenage shows, those little kid dancing shows, any kind of American Idol show, and bring back the old cartoons. Kids will still suffer with eating disorders, but at least they can watch the good shit while suffering.
   
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 10:32 PM

Cosmo: It could cause me to self-harm, or maybe if I'm feeling batshit enough today... push me to suicide. I'm at a very sensitive period in my person growth right now...

I mean dude, yes this is a problem. No people should not have eating disorders. However censorship to somehow appease a certain audience is kissing the ass of that group. Let's not act like every human on earth is suffering from an ED, or will over the course of their life. So it's the good of a few at the loss of many.

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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 10:36 PM

This topic seriously pisses me off. I see a huge difference in the kind of attitudes little girls, and even boys, have nowadays compared to how kids were when I was younger. They're more spoiled now and they don't treat their elders with enough respect. I was flicked off by an 8 year old because I was trying to help her see that it was okay to cross the street at the time, and she literally flicked me off and her friends laughed. I was disgusted. They were all dressed in mini skirts and low cut tops even though they didn't have anything to show off. I cant think of anyone else to blame than the media. It is gradually getting worse, and if someone doesn't stop it, its eventually going to eat out the minds of every child.


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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 28th 2011, 11:04 PM

Quote:
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Cosmo: It could cause me to self-harm, or maybe if I'm feeling batshit enough today... push me to suicide. I'm at a very sensitive period in my person growth right now...

I mean dude, yes this is a problem. No people should not have eating disorders. However censorship to somehow appease a certain audience is kissing the ass of that group. Let's not act like every human on earth is suffering from an ED, or will over the course of their life. So it's the good of a few at the loss of many.

- Justin
I don't know how you can possibly not understand how ridiculous what you're saying is.

First, you're saying that only super-sensitive, basically pathetic, people are affected by this.
Wrong. Almost everyone is.

Second you say that by removing material that causes or encourages eating and/or other disorders, causes depression and lowers self-esteem of the vast majority of society, it's ass-kissing and therefore a bad idea.

Third you say that because the majority of people do not have eating disorders, we should not take action to help those who do or prevent others from getting one. Plus you seem to not know that adverts are already censored in almost every country in the world. There are advertising authorities, agencies, broadcasters etc. Let's not pretend it's a new thing that will somehow become a 'slippery slope' to censorship of everything.

Trainwreck of a post.

Last edited by forfrosne; December 28th 2011 at 11:20 PM.
   
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  (#22 (permalink)) Old
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 29th 2011, 01:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
You've stated two opposing viewpoints, you can only believe one. You first state that society wants the most attractive. But then you also state, correctly IMO, that society wants to raise people's self-esteem, ie. what is best for everyone not for a minority. So which is it? Which one does it want? Well I think it's the latter. I think society, people, are becoming more and more aware of how much bullshit is being shoved down their throats via advertising and they're starting to realise how badly it's affecting them. I don't think that this means they don't want to be attractive, in case you're wondering. I think it means that they don't want to be told every second of their lives that they're not good enough and that they should work harder to be prettier because being prettier means you're a better person.
Whoa, calm down there Beale, we get it, you're angry and you're not going to take it anymore. Now what are you talking about? Despite all this awareness about how the media is supposedly distorting our perception of beauty, our want to stare at the most good looking people is a natural desire that you're not going to stomp out in human beings. Looking at attractive people makes us feel good. And according to you, being surrounded by advertisements with attractive people equates to being told you're not as good looking as them. How you look compared to your peers in you know, reality, apparently isn't the reason.

And yes, the ugly truth is that we believe being more attractive makes you a better person.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
So then we have to ask ourselves: why do we allow businesses to ruin society? Is it because then we can print out more notes? Is it because it gives us the illusion of civility and development? When they contribute so much negativity to our society, not just here, I'm talking about economic crashes, bailouts, using tax-payers money etc etc., why do we continue to allow them do so? I think it's about time we stopped letting them decide what we can do, and we started deciding what they can do.
I doubt you want to get in a debate about market competition, but businesses cater to (or at least they're designed to) our needs and wants. And we want to look at attractive people. As I said before and I am going have to say again, the more attractive a person advertising a product, the more the product will sell. The more attractive the cast of a TV show, the better ratings it will get. We like good looking people more than ugly ones. It's the reason businesses get an edge over the competition and hire good looking people at more of a price than an unattractive person. It's the entire basis for the concept of glamor models and tons of other things.
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Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
What, you mean banning adverts? A practise that's been going on in almost every country in the world for decades?
What? So almost every country in the world has been banning ads and regulating television, film and radio, based on the attractiveness of the models and stars? Because that's what you're implying what 'needs to be done'.
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Originally Posted by leavemealone View Post
They were all dressed in mini skirts and low cut tops even though they didn't have anything to show off. I cant think of anyone else to blame than the media. It is gradually getting worse, and if someone doesn't stop it, its eventually going to eat out the minds of every child.
You know girls showing off their bodies, (and therefore competing with other girls) has been going on since, you know, the beginning of time. The media back then totally influenced them as well.

Goddamn long posts...
   
  (#23 (permalink)) Old
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - December 29th 2011, 02:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber View Post
Whoa, calm down there Beale, we get it, you're angry and you're not going to take it anymore. Now what are you talking about? Despite all this awareness about how the media is supposedly distorting our perception of beauty, our want to stare at the most good looking people is a natural desire that you're not going to stomp out in human beings. Looking at attractive people makes us feel good. And according to you, being surrounded by advertisements with attractive people equates to being told you're not as good looking as them. How you look compared to your peers in you know, reality, apparently isn't the reason.
Seeing adverts with attractive people isn't in itself a bad thing. The problem is the way it's marketed. In general, adverts use attractive people in such a way that viewers think "If I use this product I could look that attractive". What we can see in our society at the moment is that many, many people (I find it difficult to believe less than about 75% of young girls have low self esteem), from being constantly bombarded with adverts and images and messages of what they should look like end up a bit of a mess. Low self esteem, depression, eating disorders, etc. etc.


Then there's the issue of: are they as attractive as the adverts depict? 99% of cases, no they're not. Massive amounts of photoshopping, airbrushing, complex lighting, photographical tricks and more are used to make the model look far more attractive than they already are. I believe that since early 2011 it's now illegal in the United Kingdom to heavily modify photographical or otherwise visual advertisements for beauty products to the point where you get totally fictitious results. We saw it a lot where the end result with Photoshop applied ended up with a photo of a model who looked about 10x better than they actually did, and it totally misrepresented how good the product is; however it, again, reinforced the "This is what you should look like, ugly." message so many adverts throw on people.


I have no problem with attractive people being used in advertisements, in my opinion it's all about how and why.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber View Post

You've totally misrepresented what that study shows. All it shows is that people are more likely to take an interest in an attractive person, rather obviously.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber View Post
I doubt you want to get in a debate about market competition, but businesses cater to (or at least they're designed to) our needs and wants. And we want to look at attractive people. As I said before and I am going have to say again, the more attractive a person advertising a product, the more the product will sell. The more attractive the cast of a TV show, the better ratings it will get. We like good looking people more than ugly ones. It's the reason businesses get an edge over the competition and hire good looking people at more of a price than an unattractive person. It's the entire basis for the concept of glamor models and tons of other things.
That's not really the issue here. The fact that there are attractive people being used in adverts and TV shows isn't the issue, it's the messages associated with them, as I say a bit later on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber View Post
What? So almost every country in the world has been banning ads and regulating television, film and radio, based on the attractiveness of the models and stars? Because that's what you're implying what 'needs to be done'.

That's not what I've said, stop being deliberately obtuse and/or twisting my words. Almost every country in the world has been banning/regulating adverts and television programmes, radio and films based on certain criteria. I would like to see adverts regulated for the message they send across and the techniques, for instance I would like to see all use of Photoshop or other modification on adverts for beauty products. If the product advertised cannot achieve the look advertised then it should be banned, for example.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliber View Post
You know girls showing off their bodies, (and therefore competing with other girls) has been going on since, you know, the beginning of time. The media back then totally influenced them as well.

Goddamn long posts...

Interesting but I don't think it really adds much to your argument. The fact that women, and of course men too, like to be proud of their looks doesn't really back up what you said earlier. I have nothing against it.
   
  (#24 (permalink)) Old
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Re: What is your take on the how the media affects little girls to the point of eating disorders? - January 6th 2012, 09:59 PM

I think saying that the media CAUSES eating disorders is really closed minded. Maybe it can affect a person with an ED but not cause it. I don't think I've ever spoken to anyone with an ED who's disordered eating is all about looking perfect and beautiful and looking like those in magazines etc. I think for the most people with EDs, it's a lot deeper than that. This is a mental illness and I don't think you can say the media, causes a mental illness. There is so much more behind the reasons to why a person might develop an eating disorders such as going through traumatic experiences and the person feeling like they need to take 'control'. Emotional difficulties are known to impact this and it's also known for eating disorders to be genetic. If you think a person gets an eating disorder just because of the media then I think that is very closed minded.


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