Over a month ago I wrote a blog called “Marketing to Girls” that largely focused on a rigidly segregate toy department and costs of treating boys and girls as if they are different species. But “girl” is a passing stage of life that evolves into womanhood, so boys to manhood. And as bodies and minds sophisticatedly evolve into adulthood, so too does the market scheme deployed on the female world.
In America, the beauty industry dominates marketing to women in destructive ways. Women often feel slaves to beauty, or to societies expectation of how they should look. The burden in place is large, but not one I can speak of personally.
In place, let me offer a few statistics and personal stories.
- 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. 22% dieted “often” or “always.”
- 86% of students report onset of eating disorder by age 20; 43% report onset between ages of 16 and 20.6
- Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents.
- 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.8
- Women are much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.
- The annual revenue of the U.S. weight-loss industry is over $20 billion.
- There are over 108 million dieters in the United States
- 85% of American Dieters are female
- The cosmetics industry as a whole posted sales of $36.5 billion in 2010
- Women spend upwards of 3,300 hours grooming in a lifetime–over 3 times that of men.
- On average, women make 13 hateful comments against their own bodies.
- Girls and women who self-objectify are more prone to depression and low self-esteem and have less faith in their own capabilities.
I could continue with other statistics relating self-image and depression, self-esteem and body monitoring, correlations of the beauty industry and eating-disorders and habitual dieting. There is far more that could and has be said and I would encourage you to research yourself and think critically about what advertisements and industries are portraying.
But so often statistics are meaningless facts and numbers. We have to remember that behind statistics are real, suffering people who affected by an apathetic status quo. A person who is created in the image of God but whose image is recreated in the name of beauty. Thus, rather than ramble on, let me leave you with the words of the two women below–each affected by the beauty industry and market, each eloquently spoken.
“Shrinking Women” by Lily Myers
“What Guys Look For In Girls” by Savannah Brown
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