Body Image Activism
WeAreTheRealDeal is a community of body image activists, collectively dedicated to providing a forum for all women to discuss body image issues. Our contributors are dieters, former disordered eaters, fat acceptance advocates, health at every size experts, and everything in between.
Some Basic Facts About the Media’s Influence in Our Lives:
• The average US resident is exposed to approximately 5,000 advertising messages a day (Alfreiter, Elzinga & Gordon, 2003).
• According to a recent survey of adolescent girls, their main source of information about women’s health issues comes from the media (Commonwealth Fund, 1997).
• Researchers estimate that 60% of Caucasian middle school girls read at least one fashion magazine regularly (Levine, 1997).
• Another study of mass media magazines discovered that women’s magazines had 10.5 times more advertisements and articles promoting weight loss than men’s magazines did (as cited in Guillen & Barr, 1994).
• A study of one teen adolescent magazine over the course of 20 years found that in articles about fitness or exercise plans, 74% cited “to become more attractive” as a reason to start exercising and 51% noted the need to lose weight or burn calories (Guillen & Barr, 1994).
• The average young adolescent watches 3-4 hours of TV per day (Levine, 1997).
• A study of 4,294 network television commercials revealed that 1 out of every 3.8 commercials send some sort of “attractiveness message,” telling viewers what is or is not attractive (as cited in Myers et al., 1992).
• These researchers estimate that the average adolescent sees over 5,260 “attractiveness messages” per year.