Veritas Form

Mackenzie and Makena

Barbie Doll Transformation from Real Life Girl


  • Twenty years ago, models weighed, on average, 8% less than average American women. By now, they weigh 23% less.
  • Most models now have a weight that’s considered clinically anorexic
  • 70% of girls in 5th grade reported that magazines pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape
  • The perfect body type portrayed in the media is only possessed naturally by 5% of American females.
  • 90% of people with eating disorders are girls between the age of 12 and 23, the same time span of a models career
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Our question

How does mass media create stigmas when it comes to the ideal body image?


  • The weight and proportion of popular female icons, as measured by BMI, has remained consistently below that of the average American woman for several decades.
  • Marilyn Monroe had a BMI of 20
  • Twiggy, the '60s supermodel, had a BMI of merely 15.
  • 80s model Cindy Crawford had a BMI of 19,
  • Kate Moss's BMI was only 16.
  • average American woman had a BMI of 25.2

Plus sized models

  • A size 4-6 is now the start of the plus sized sizing chart
  • A plus sized model interviewed for PLUS model magazine spoke out saying she now wears the same size as Cindy Crawford did at the height of her modeling carrier in 1990
  • Ten years ago, plus size models typically ranged between size 12 and 18
  • Half of American women actually wear a size 14 or larger, meaning that even plus sizes no longer represent the average American woman.
  • Most designer fashions now only range up to size 10 or 12.
Cameron Russell: Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model.



  • The BMIs of celebrity women are most commonly ranging from 17 to 20. The result is that, for a growing number of American women, the image of beauty portrayed in media is simply impossible for them to achieve and potentially unhealthy even if they did achieve it.
  • They glamorize eating disorders by doing interviews about their anorexia and weight loss goals
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Celebrities speaking out against negative body image ideals.

Jennifer Lawrence: 'I'm miserable when I'm dieting, and I like the way I look.'

'I think it's really important for girls to have people to look up to and feel good about themselves.'

Lorde: speaking out against her photos being retouched on tour

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How far is TOO far?

  • Teenage girls and grown women are not the only females that are affected by the mass media’s warped portrayal of body image. Girls as young as three years old have been the subject of debate in recent times, particularly in the case of Child Beauty Pageants.

  • Toddlers and Tiaras, a program that portrays the sexualization of little girls, through extreme grooming measures such as spray tans, strict dieting, and more makeup than most grown women wear on a daily basis.

  • The young girls are then paraded like circus animals across a stage in front of a panel of judges, in order to receive a rating based off of facial beauty and “talent”. Prizes awarded to the winners include toys and money, two things that appeal to young children in particular.

  • Because they are distracted by the rewards they will receive if they win, children participating in beauty pageants often develop extremely detrimental lifestyle habits and an unhealthy obsession for instant gratification through materialistic rewards. Many young pageant contestants become addicted to winning before they even begin grade school.

  • Not only do child beauty pageants promote materialism, they also can be linked to serious self image issues. A young girl exposed to the idea that in order for her to be "accepted" by society she must wear revealing outfits and obscene amounts of makeup, will more than likely grow up to be an insecure, and perhaps shallow adult.



  • target swim wear adds appear for 2013 with drastic cuts from models, creating unrealistic body images that even models cant live up to
  • Photoshop used in magazine covers and music videos create false body goals for girls to look up t


"By the end of the 20th century, female beauty standards in America
have remained unrealistic and extreme, with popular images of thinness
being more out-of-reach for the average woman than ever before. This
trend has been reflected in many first-world nations, although women
in certain developing nations lack this widespread anxiety over their

The chief contributors to negative self-image and weight
dissatisfaction are media images promoting thinness, peer pressure,
and personal levels of anxiety or depression – conditions which can be
exacerbated by continued unsuccessful pursuit of an unattainable goal.
The result has been a marked rise in weight anxieties in even very
young girls, as well as an increase in dieting from a young age, and
even potentially deadly eating disorders such as anorexia. While the
severity of this problem is receiving increasing attention in the
public sphere, these anxieties remain so common as to be “normal”
among women." - - "body image stigma


  1. 11 Facts About Body Image. (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)
  2. America the Beautiful. (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)
  3. Barbie, Meet ‘Average Barbie’ | (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)
  4. Gates, S. (n.d.). Model Scouts Solicit Girls Outside Sweden Eating Disorder Clinic, Staff Says. Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)
  5. Henson, M., & The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Melissa Henson. (n.d.). 'Toddlers and Tiaras' and sexualizing 3-year-olds. Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)
  6. Krupnick, E. (n.d.). Vogue 'Health Initiative' Focuses Body Image Conversation On Magazines. Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)
  7. Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model. (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)
  8. Toddlers and Tears: The sexualization of young girls. (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)
  9. Wilkin, G. (n.d.). Former model: 'What young girls can learn from my anorexia' Retrieved December 18, 2014, from (tags: none | edit tags)