Here we go… Image Conscious (part 1)

Not really sure any of this year’s Super Bowl commercials are going to stick with me.  Actually, the image that most caught my attention was some guy just behind the goal post waving a Canadian flag.  (We saw that guy a LOT during the first half…just sayin’.) I have no idea how much he paid for those seats, but advertisers might want to think about that strategy for next year, because I kind of want to go to Canada now.

Back to the commercials.  Oh, sure there was that ridiculously cute puppy/horse one (Stahp it, Budweiser; just STAHP! ) and a few that made me smile (“The 80’s called…” Well-played, RadioShack).  But none, in my opinion, compare with what is arguably the greatest SB ad of all time:  Volkswagen and a mini Darth Vader.  You can enjoy that creative gem again here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0

So, while I was mostly underwhelmed by how “meh” most of the zillion dollar ads were, I was pleasantly surprised that the majority were family-friendly.  (Except Butterfinger.  :/  Why? Just… why?)  And there was a noticeable lack of bikini-clad supermodels; for that, I’m grateful. Partly because I didn’t have to worry about how those images might affect men, but also because I didn’t have to worry about how they would affect women. Yes, women.

You see, those images have more impact than we might realize.

I’ve been doing some research as I prepare to speak at a women’s conference next month on the topic of “body image.”  Why that topic?  Well, when attendees were surveyed at previous conferences, that was one of the issues mentioned most often.  It’s a problem.  A big one.  And media plays a role:

  • 80% of women say that the images of women on television and in movies, fashion magazines, and advertising make them feel insecure.
  • Media exposure has been found to constrain young women’s conceptions of femininity by putting appearance and physical attractiveness at the center of women’s values.

You might think this is only a “young women’s issue.” You’d be wrong.  In fact, in a 2011 survey, women in their early 60’s and in their late teens were surveyed about body image.  The results might surprise you. The responses to questions such as “Do you like your appearance?” and “Have you ever considered plastic surgery?” were almost identical between the two groups.  You can see the survey results here: Body Image Statistics: How Women Feel About Their Looks

That’s what I’m working on right now, so that’s where I’ll start.  It’s an issue we all deal with in one way or another so I hope you’ll stick with me.

Because it’s really not a physical issue.  Nope.

(To be continued…)

Oh, and if you live in the Phoenix area and are interested in attending a really great women’s conference, you can get more information and register here: http://women4truth.com/
I’ll be there.  🙂