Thursday, June 30, 2011

Girl Scouts and American Medical Association Promoting Healthy Media for Youth

Yahoo News reports that having an unrealistic body image is growing more and more common in today's image-conscious society. About three percent of American adolescents suffer from an eating disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Many people suggest the culprit is the severity of Photoshopped images of models in advertisements and on the covers of magazines.

Girl Scouts of the USA recognize this problem and have started the Healthy MEdia: Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls campaign. The program is designed to "encourage advertising associations to work with public and private sector organizations concerned with child and adolescent health to develop guidelines for advertisements, especially those appearing in teen-oriented publications, that would discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image," according to a statement from the Girl Scouts organization. Girl Scouts of the USA is also working with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA),and The Creative Coalition on the campaign. Events are planned to coincide with the campaign and are listed on the Girl Scouts' website.

The American Medical Association has issued its own anti-Photoshop plea to advertisers. The new policy -- adopted during the association's 2011 annual meeting -- is aimed to discourage distorted photographs from negatively influencing young people. Girl Scouts of the USA joined the American Medical Association in urging advertisers to promote healthy media images. The American Medical Association, the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States, voted yesterday to adopt a new policy to “encourage advertising associations to work with public and private sector organizations concerned with child and adolescent health to develop guidelines for advertisements, especially those appearing in teen-oriented publications, that would discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image.”

Do you think the media goes too far with digitally altered images?