Advertising Effects on Young Girls

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The number one wish for girls ages 10-17 is to be skinnier and they are one of America's largest consumer markets. These girls account for billions of dollars in purchases each year and many have a profound influence on the purchases of their parents. Marketers and advertising agencies are trying harder than ever to attract these young consumers therefore most of their advertisements have become geared toward this demographic.Advertisers deliberately portray an unrealistic body image to girls in order to create an unattainable desire for an image that drives product consumption by bombarding them with advertisements, providing unrealistic role models and idealizing the image of normality.

Girls frequently compare their bodies to those they see around them and by the time she reaches 17 the average girl has seen over 250,000 advertisements. Even though only 9% of the ads have direct statements about body image, many more implicitly emphasize the importance of body image. One study of Saturday morning cartoons revealed that 50% of the commercials aimed at girls spoke about appearance and physical attractiveness. This constant exposure to female oriented ads influences girls opinions of themselves and contributes to their self conciousness and obsession over their bodies. This unnecessary pressure on girls to look a certain way creates a impractical standard.

Young girls look to actresses, models and singers as role models for an idea of how they should look. However many of these celebrities are under pressure from record labels and movie studios lose weight or maintain a certain weight in order to further their careers. For example, a singer, Jessica Simpson, was asked by her record label to lose weight at a young age to fit in with other pop stars and sell more records. In addition singer and actress, Mandy Moore, recounts a time when she was asked to lose weight for a role in an interview by a major fashion magazine. These same actresses, models and...
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