It’s no secret that magazines, advertisements, clothing stores, and more distort photos to make models look like they have no imperfections, no extra weight, no beauty marks–nothing. Obviously, this is promoting an over-idealistic, unrealistic view of human bodies since the mass majority of the world’s population doesn’t have the “perfect” body, flawless skin, and no imperfections and this sends a horrible blow to teen body image.
If you’ve ever gone online shopping, you’ve probably run into the online store Modcloth (and if you haven’t, I urge you to check it out because it’s amazing). Well, Modcloth just took a real stand against the media’s ridiculous portrayal of bodies. Not only have they never manipulated an image to change someone’s body, they include a really wide range of sizes, and they use many different body types for modeling. Now on top of all of that, Modcloth announced that they recently teamed up with a congresswoman to create legislation that would work “to develop regulations for over airbrushing, photoshopping, or altering the appearance of people in advertisements.”
How media affects teen body image
Many teens–especially girls, but also boys–are self-conscious about their teen body image. Part of this is societal pressures, but more research has indicated that it definitely has a large part to do with the way the “perfect” body is portrayed in media everywhere: tv shows, movies, magazines, advertisements on the highway. In a study of fifth graders, girls and boys (10 years old) reported that they felt dissatisfied with their bodies after either watching a Britney Spears music video or a piece of the TV show “Friends”. Even in a study from 1996, researchers found that they amount of time a teen spends watching movies, music videos, or soaps was related to a negative teen body image.
Media and the unhealthy idea of the “perfect” body has integrated itself into our daily lives, which is why it’s important when a company like Modcloth takes a stand. By showing their base that this is what real, healthy people look like it sends a more positive effect on teen body image. Hopefully, Modcloth’s message will encourage other companies to follow suit–like Aerie, who currently doesn’t photoshop any of their models, but continues to use very thin and flawless models for advertising.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen body image issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.
For more information about how Solstice East handles teen body image issues, please call 828-484-9946.