Searching for real beauty

Womens bodies in advertisements are unrealistic and promote low self-esteem.

With the ìthe thinner, the betterî trend continuing strong in Hollywood, it is hard for us to see where it will end. The ideal level of beauty has reached an unattainable level for most women, and it even is affecting young girls.

Statistics show that one in four college-aged women use unhealthful methods to lose or maintain their weight. Skipping meals, fasting, induced vomiting, laxatives, whatever it takes. More than half of girls as young as 6 have tried at least some sort of diet.

Low self-esteem in women likely is caused in part by the media buzzing on television screens and magazine pages. In fact, womenís magazines have more than 10 times the amount of diet advertisements as menís magazines do. They are filled with beauty ads featuring not only products to improve oneís looks, but usually also a large picture of a beautiful, young, extremely thin model.

The average model found in the pages of todayís magazines weighs 23 percent less than the average woman. It is no wonder many women have low self-esteem. No matter what body type a woman has, she always can try a diet or a new product to make herself look better.

There is one particularly bright light shining on this situation. Last year, Doveís real women have real curves ad campaign brought six more realistic bodies to the glossies. Although the product advertised was firming lotion, it still is a step in the right direction. The ad campaign got a lot of applause; however, it also got a lot of negative reaction. People complained that they wanted to see the beautiful models they were used to.

The Campaign for Real Beauty, promoted by Dove and Girl Scouts of America, aired a commercial featuring young girls upset with something about they way they look. The commercial is opening awareness to the extreme problem of low self-esteem in young females.

There are many other ways the advertising media could integrate more realistic bodies. Hopefully a normal size trend will continue to grow within the industry.