Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jean Kilbourne Lecture

After attending Jean Kilbourne's lecture monday night, I just wanted to call up a bunch of advertising companies and scream into the phone. Don't worry, I didn't. But all the messages being sent are just incredibly frustrating. And while the campaign has come a long way, I don't feel like we're getting anywhere very fast. There are still far to many people struggling with eating disorders and just body image in general. But are we really surprised when models' bodies aren't even worthy of skipping photoshop? It kills me that messages are being sent out that women's skin retires after age fifteen, that their breasts will never be optimal, or that pretty faces must be "designed", and no one is doing anything about it. I was stunned that within just three years of TV coming to Fiji that eating disorders doubled, and that vast majorities of women were dieting and an even larger majority saw themselves as "too large." But I think what stuns me even more is that society takes it as normal. There still exists this terrible double standard. Proof for this is when an ad featuring a man's bare abs and thighs gains National media coverage. Of course, as Kilbourne underlined, I don't want men to be objectified either, but when a picture of a man's abs gains national attention over the epidemic of eating disorders or ads featuring men beating women, then there is definitely a serious problem. While I am glad that companies like Dove are beginning to take a stand and change, I wish that more companies would do the same.

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