Thursday, June 23, 2011
|**Photo from NYMag|
By Jody Marich
The American Medical Association adopted a new policy for body image and advertising to youth.
In the annual meeting, the AMA noted that “Advertisers commonly alter photographs to enhance the appearance of models’ bodies, and such alterations can contribute to unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image – especially among impressionable children and adolescents. ” The unrealistic expectations could then lead to disorders and other health problems.
In the press release, AMA Board Member Barbara L. McAneny, MD mentioned how ads that reach out to impressionable children and teens need to stop portraying models with body types only achievable with photo editing. She pointed out one specific example. ”The appearance of advertisements with extremely altered models can create unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image. In one image, a model’s waist was slimmed so severely, her head appeared to be wider than her waist.”
The adopted policy is to encourage advertisers to work with organizations involved in child and adolescent health to create guidelines for ads, especially in teen-oriented publications. The guidelines would discourage altering photos that could promote unrealistic body image expectations.