For years, young girls and women have compared their own bodies to that of the images presented to them of celebrities in advertisements and the media. The Off Our Chests group wants to put an end to this body image manipulation by forcing advertisements and editorials to attach disclaimers to any images of “the human form” that have been airbrushed or photoshopped in a significant way. This will be called the, “Self-Esteem Act.”
Off Our Chests is a user-generated women’s magazine and apparel brand founded by former CAA exec Seth Matlins and wife Eva Matlins. They believe that when advertisers put out images of celebrities that have been photoshopped to death, that they are contributing to young girls and women having low self-esteem because there is no way for them to achieve the images of “perfection” that they see in the media.
“We can’t ignore that our beauty culture is having wildly negative effects on girls and women,” says Eva Matlins. “Real, serious, and enduring problems occur when we don’t recognize that the images and ideals of the human form being presented in the media are setting unrealistic expectations and standards for our country’s female population. Our daughter is five and our son is four, and they’re going to start seeing these ads and depictions soon. We want them to be contextualized each and every time they see one, just like a pack of cigarettes.”
The Dove Self-Esteem fund gathered statistics about how falsified body images effect young girls and women. According to their findings, 71% of girls with low self-esteem feel that their appearance “doesn’t measure up, including not feeling pretty enough, thin enough or stylish enough or trendy enough,” which, coupled with the fact that 80% of adult women polled said images of women on TV and in movies, magazines, and ads make them feel insecure about their own appearance.
Seth Matlins was beyond upset about these findings, “These numbers show that we’ve got a societal problem, the consequences of which are having serious effects on individual happiness and well-being, economic productivity, and an astounding number of eating disorder deaths each year. When generations of women compare themselves to images, ideals and standards that are unattainable, when generations of men are taught to believe that’s what people should look like, the evidence for action and change is morally incontrovertible.”
The Matlins are really pushing for this law to be passed, but it is still unclear about how specific these labels will be. Will there simply be a stamp on the advertisements stating that the images have been tampered with or will there be arrows pointing to every part of the celebrity’s body that has been falsified? If this law passes, it will expose not only the advertisement companies, but more so the celebrities. Every flaw will be exposed in an effort to show that there is no such thing as the “perfect body.”
My only thing with this law is what about those celebrities who actually do have flawless skin and ridiculously tight bodies? Should they just not do advertisements or editorials because they risk making young girls and women feel bad about their own appearance? Talk about it!