Posts tagged body image

Tween Girls Ask The Internet If They’re Pretty or Ugly

Am I Pretty or Ugly” is a social media phenomenon where tween girls post YouTube videos of themselves and ask viewers to tell them if they’re pretty or ugly. All of the videos have more or less the same “script;” the girls will say that some people tell them they’re pretty, and some people tell them they’re ugly, but they just want to know “the truth.” They then request that people leave a comment with their opinion on whether or not they’re attractive.

A global study conducted for Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign revealed that 90 percent of 15-to 17-year-old girls are dissatisfied with their physical appearance. 13 percent of them admit to having an eating disorder and nearly a quarter of them would consider plastic surgery.

So the fact that adolescent girls don’t like their bodies and they’re straight up asking the Internet whether or not they’re attractive is unfortunate — but not shocking. 

In 1997, adolescent girls identified the mass media as their primary source for health and body image information — and that was before the Internet really took off.

Now in 2013, social media is becoming the preferred source of body image information for young girls, and they’re trusting Internet users to give them “the truth” about their appearance. This so-called “truth” is hurting them — with 68 percent of girls saying they’ve had negative experiences on social networking sites and 53 percent of them becoming unhappy with their bodies by age 13

Tumblr blogs like “Fuck Yeah Thigh Gap” and  “Bikini Bridge” urge women to look bony and frighteningly thin in order to be hot. And we can’t forget Thinspiration — where girls encourage each other to be anorexic or bulimic for the sake of “attractiveness.” 

FJP: The ironic thing about girls turning to social media to determine whether or not they’re attractive is that most adolescent girls present false images of themselves on the Internet.

Seventy-four percent of girls agree that most girls their age use social media sites to make themselves look “cooler” than they are in real life, and forty-one percent of them admit that this describes them, according to a 2010 study by Girl Scouts. 

If you take away the Instagram filters, Photoshop, creative camera angles, and the sweet Tumblr layouts, what do you have left? Normal tween girls with zits and cellulite, most likely. 

If these girls are looking at Photoshopped images of one another all day long, their ideas of what’s physically achievable is going to be tragically skewed. Actresses and models still seem larger than life to a lot of young girls. But when tweens see their own friends looking impossibly good in their photos, the pressure to be pretty is far more intense. The “Am I Pretty or Ugly” YouTube videos are a clear indicator that the body image pressure levels for tween girls are officially in the danger zone. — Krissy

Seventeen Magazine's Body Peace Treaty

On April 19, 14-year-old Julia Bluhm started a petition on Change.org asking Seventeen magazine to print one unaltered photo in its magazine each month.

By Tuesday morning, the petition had attracted 84,168 signatures. And Ms. Bluhm reacted enthusiastically to news of the magazine’s policy statement.

“Seventeen listened!” Ms. Bluhm wrote on her petition page, under the headline “How We Won.” “They’re saying they won’t use Photoshop to digitally alter their models! This is a huge victory, and I’m so unbelievably happy.”

Editor-in-chief Ann Shoket, along with the entire magazine staff signed an eight-point pact to never change the body or face shapes of any of its girls and only include images of “real girls and models who are healthy,” and also make photoshoots transparent by posting them on Tumblr.

FJP: Well done, Julia Bluhm. And well done, Seventeen. We especially like the effort to be transparent.

Vogue Editors Announce Pact to Promote Healthier Body Image
Via Vogue UK:

THE HEALTH INITIATIVE, a pact between the 19 international editors of Vogue to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry, is unveiled today in the June issue of Vogue.
"As one of the fashion industry’s most powerful voices, Vogue has a unique opportunity to engage with relevant issues where we feel we can make a difference," editor Alexandra Shulman explains in her editor’s letter, adding that the Initiative will "build on the successful work that the Council of Fashion Designers of America with the support of American Vogue in the US and the British Fashion Council in the UK have already begun to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry".
In line with the Health Initiative, the international issues of Vogue jointly pledge - among other things - to “work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image” and to “be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image”.

Women’s Wear Daily has additional details:

Among the points that form the pact are that the editors will not knowingly work with models under 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder; that they will ask casting directors not to knowingly send underage models to their magazines; they will help structure mentoring programs so that more mature models can advise their younger counterparts; they will encourage designers to “consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes,” and that they will encourage show producers to create healthy backstage working environments for models.
The new initiative builds on the steps that the Council of Fashion Designers of America and U.S. Vogue have taken, such as the launch of a mentor program for models in 2011, and those of the British Fashion Council and British Vogue, such as the launch of the BFC’s Model Health Inquiry in 2007 and the establishment of a model advisory panel, a meeting of casting directors, stylists and booking editors to discuss model welfare.

Image: Cover for Vogue UK’s June Issue.

Vogue Editors Announce Pact to Promote Healthier Body Image

Via Vogue UK:

THE HEALTH INITIATIVE, a pact between the 19 international editors of Vogue to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry, is unveiled today in the June issue of Vogue.

"As one of the fashion industry’s most powerful voices, Vogue has a unique opportunity to engage with relevant issues where we feel we can make a difference," editor Alexandra Shulman explains in her editor’s letter, adding that the Initiative will "build on the successful work that the Council of Fashion Designers of America with the support of American Vogue in the US and the British Fashion Council in the UK have already begun to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry".

In line with the Health Initiative, the international issues of Vogue jointly pledge - among other things - to “work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image” and to “be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image”.

Women’s Wear Daily has additional details:

Among the points that form the pact are that the editors will not knowingly work with models under 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder; that they will ask casting directors not to knowingly send underage models to their magazines; they will help structure mentoring programs so that more mature models can advise their younger counterparts; they will encourage designers to “consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes,” and that they will encourage show producers to create healthy backstage working environments for models.

The new initiative builds on the steps that the Council of Fashion Designers of America and U.S. Vogue have taken, such as the launch of a mentor program for models in 2011, and those of the British Fashion Council and British Vogue, such as the launch of the BFC’s Model Health Inquiry in 2007 and the establishment of a model advisory panel, a meeting of casting directors, stylists and booking editors to discuss model welfare.

Image: Cover for Vogue UK’s June Issue.