Body Image in Advertising

How Our Skinny-Centric World Impacts Women and Girls

Eating Disorders: Body Image and Advertising

  • 50% women's commercials about appearance
  • 56% women's commercials use female insecurity to their advantage

Commercials have been shown to directly impact girls' outlooks on their bodies

Examples of Body Image Advertising

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99% of American Women and Girls See Advertisements Every Day

The Numbers:


47% US adolescent girls want to lose weight

69% US adolescent girls influenced by ads

True, many women are naturally thin. However, the issue here is the lack of representation for women of all shapes and sizes.

Advertising mainly affects white American females in their teens. However, despite the young age, adverse effects of body image advertising such as anorexia or bulimia nervosa can last a lifetime.

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Studies and Surveys:

68% felt worse about themselves after looking at magazines

75% of women think they are overweight

90% of women overestimate body size

Advertising Impacts:


  • Girls as young as 11 dream of being skinnier
  • Even 5 year old girls obsess over becoming fat
  • 80% of 10 year old girls dieted
  • 50% of US women dieting at any given time
  • Dissatisfaction in appearance has led to anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and body dysmorphic disorder.
Victoria's Secret 'Perfect Body' ad sparks outrage

Less than 7% of women have the same body shape as models

Models weigh 23% less than the average woman

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Words To Know:

Body Dysmorphic Disorder – Chronic mental illness in which you obsess over flaws in your appearance


Anorexia Nervosa – Disorder in which you have an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted view of your appearance.


Body Image - the mental image of one's own body

Seek help for eating or body dismorphic disorders

You can seek help close to home at the Four Winds Hospital in Saratoga. Treatments here include group therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and prescription medication in some cases.

Bibliography (Articles)

  • "ANAD." Eating Disorders Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.
  • "Eating Disorders: Body Image and Advertising - HealthyPlace."HealthyPlace. Mediascope Press, 11 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
  • Cogan, Marin. "The Great Photoshop Crusade." National Journal 11 July 2014. General OneFile. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
  • Swinson, Jo. "False Beauty in Advertising and the Pressure to Look 'good'" CNN. Cable News Network, 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.