Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest and skinniest of them all? The average woman sees 400 to 600 advertisements per day, and by the time she is 17 years old, she has received over 250,000 commercial messages through the media (Body Image and Advertising). By the mid-1950s, television had become an established part of the furniture in the majority of American homes (Petley). The media has a powerful influence on teenager’s body image through print, electronic, and television advertisements.
Print advertisements strongly influence body image on teenagers from the media. Advertising in teen magazines and on television typically glamorizes skinny models that do not resemble the average women (Body Image Teens and the Media). Other studies found 50% of advertisements in teen girl magazines and 56% of television commercials aimed at female viewers used beauty as a product appeal (Body Image and Advertising). For example, the Mango’s Fall 2009 clothing line campaign featuring Scarlett Johansson, a famous Hollywood actress.
She is selling the clothes by modeling the Spanish retailer’s exclusive clothing line while showing off her body using the technique of transfer/fantasy and testimonial. This ad should be effective because Scarlett Johansson is beautiful and many teenagers would hope to look like her by buying Mango clothes. Also, electronic advertisements influence teenager’s body image in the media. On the one hand, women who are insecure about their bodies are more likely to buy beauty products, new clothes, and diet aids (Beauty and Body Image in the Media).
It is estimated that the diet industry alone is worth anywhere between 40 to 100 billion (U. S. ) a year selling temporary weight loss and 90 to 95% of dieters regain the lost weight (Beauty and Body Image in the Media). On the internet there was an ad for Acai Berry Actives pills, using the statistics and testimonial techniques to hopefully draw in people dissatisfied with their weight after seeing other average people “Before and After” weight loss stories, and the “facts” shown. The ad features the slogan, “Lose weight and flush pounds! , also including a free product offer deal on select packages but only for a limited time (Acai Berry Actives). This advertisement will be definitely successful, because many young adults strive to lose weight and will be easily taken directly to the company’s web site for more details just by clicking on it. Lastly, television advertisements have a big influence on teenager’s body image. Only 9% of commercials have a direct statement about beauty, but many more implicitly emphasize the importance of beauty–particularly those that target women and girls (Body Image and Advertising).
Television commercials influence female self-concept and achievement aspirations, and television often depicts situations in which thin people prosper and larger people are ridiculed (Holland, Kossen, and Faris). For example, a commercial aired on television featuring Britney Spears’s fragrance, Fantasy. The commercial’s layout shown was mysterious and fairy tale-like. The advertisement used the technique transfer/fantasy and bandwagon which will persuade teens to buy the product to fulfill their own fantasy.
With the slogan saying, “Everyone has one”, making teenagers wanting to hop on the wagon and buy the fragrance although it leaves out the price and what kind of scent it has. This ad will sell because Britney Spears is very famous and attracts the attentions of teens. In conclusion, teenager’s body image is greatly impacted by print, electronic, and television advertising in the media. This constant exposure to female-oriented advertisements may influence girls to become self-conscious about their bodies and to obsess over and consider their physical appearance as a measure of their worth (Holland, Kossen, and Faris).
As said, a teenager may be influenced by Scarlett Johansson’s style and figure to buy Mango clothes while looking at the latest fashion magazine. When surfing the internet, a young adult may be persuaded to buy Acai Berry pills to lose weight because being thin is considered “in. ” Or even while watching T. V. , teenagers might be influenced by Britney Spears to buy her fragrance and not feel left out. All the pressure from the media and various forms of advertisements influences teenager’s body image which damages their self-esteem and sends unhealthy messages.