Body Image and the Media [Videographic]

The image of the female body presented by the media in most cases is one that is unattainable. In movies, magazines, music videos and advertisements women are shown ideal body weights that in most cases meet the physical criteria for anorexia or bulimia. By presenting these images, we tell women that they can only be sexy and acquire what they want if they meet these physical requirements. Because of these reasons, we decided to create have this video created to inform the public about these beauty standards imposed on women. The facts from this video on body image and the media are posted below. Please share this.

The facts from Body Image and the Media:

  • Over 8,000,000 people in the United States have an eating disorder. Of which, 90 percent are women.
  • An estimated 1,000 women will die from anorexia this year.
  • 95 percent of those with eating disorders are between the age of 12 and 25.
  • More than half of girls engage in fasting, vomiting, laxatives, and skipping meals.
  • A study found that adolescent girls are more fearful of gaining weight than cancer, nuclear war, or losing their parents.
  • Eating disorders have increased by 400 percent since 1970.
  • 69 percent of girls say magazine models influence their idea of a perfect body shape.
  • The average person is exposed to 5,000 ads per day.
  • A survey of British models found that 50 percent believe anorexia and bulimia are significant problems amongst models.
  • The average U.S. woman is 5’4″ and weighs 140 pounds.
  • The average U.S. model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.
  • 25 percent of Playboy centerfolds meet the criteria for anorexia.
  • Kate Moss, Niki Taylor, Elle Macpherson, and Gisele Bundchen meets the Body Mass Index (BMI) physical criteria for anorexia.
  • 79 percent of teenage girls who vomit and 73 percent of teenage girls who use diet pills are frequent readers of women’s health and fitness magazines.
  • Following the introduction of western television in Fiji, there was a surge in the rate of eating disorders.

Southern Connecticut State University
South Carolina Department of Mental Health
University of Washington
Rader Programs


  1. The 8,000,000 seems high’ That would be close to 4% of the population when other stats have it more at around 1%. Further, it is at odds with the claim that 1,000 people will die this year. That would be only a .01% morbidity rate, which is very low and out of step with stats I have read elsewhere which say around .5% morbidity. This make me curious about the source of the numbers.

    • Actually 8 million is more like 2.6 percent of the population based on a population of 300 million. And speaking as a person who has had a sister as well as a few friends with eating disorders I can say that the pressure we see from the popular media to be skinny has increased dramatically in recent history and is driving more girls than ever to become obsessed with their body image. As for the morbidity rate it seems that you are simply splitting hairs. What was incredible to me is the stat about womens health and fitness magazines and diet pills / vomiting.

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