Researchers are finding that what girls see on the pages of their favorite magazines and what they see dancing in front of them in music videos can affect how they feel. Why? These media outlets paint an unrealistic picture of what a girl’s body should look like and these everyday girls aren’t fitting the bill.
Do magazine models influence the body esteem of girls?
Researchers from the University of Minnesota published a study in the 2007 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics. They suggested that adolescent girls who read about diet and weight loss in magazine articles can be negatively influenced years later.
Magazines feature impossibly thin supermodels next to “back-to-school” diet plans and tips for getting your body into “bikini-bearing” shape. Cover headlines scream; “50 Shortcuts to a Sexier Body” (Glamour) or “6 Ways to Thin – Easy Diets That Really Work” (Allure)
Articles might say “Embrace your curves” but the retouched photos of ultra thin models tell a different story. Suffice to say, some advertisers have their hands in more than one cookie jar.
Who was in the study? middle school students that were surveyed, weighed and measured in 1999 and again in About of the participants were girls.
The Scoop: Adolescent girls who frequently read magazine articles that featured articles about dieting were more likely five years later to engage in extreme weight-loss practices such as vomiting than girls who never read such articles. This result was not influenced by whether the girls were considered “overweight” by medical standards or if the girls believed weight to be important to them.
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