In our current world, 100% of major fashion and design industries not only create beautiful clothing, they create the looks of the models underneath. This creates a harmful image in the minds of youth, who are easily influenced by the media and its covert advertising methods. At first glance, the models in the adverts look real, which could not be farther from the truth. However, as the images of these photoshop models make their rounds through our daily lives, people start to believe that it is the standard. The detrimental effects can be easily seen. 80% of women say that images of women on television and in social media make them insecure, 53% of men feel uncertain about their appearance once or more times a week and even children: why are 81% of 10 year olds afraid of being overweight?
Out of everyone this affects, students take the brunt of the impact. They are already coping with a lot of changes and pressures from the transition into adulthood, but have the additional stress of looking like a photoshopped model. We think this is inherently harmful to their mental health, but also additionally harmful because the negativity also comes at the expense of their education. Knowledge is one of the most valued aspects of our society, yet it is not emphasized enough in the minds of children. 14% of girls in grade 10 self confident compared to the 36% of girls in grade 6. The numbers are startlingly low. A recent research on female Canadian students found that 42% of girls in grades 1-3 want to be thinner, 51% of 9-10 year old girls feel better about themselves when they are dieting, 53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies and by the time they are 17, 78% of them will be. This is clearly an issue.
As Dr. Wendy Walsh says,
“The deck is stacked against women and girls. As long as young girls are told they are beautiful more often than they are told they are smart or kind, this problem will persist”