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Spain Cracks Down on “Body-Worship” Advertising

Spain Cracks Down on “Body-Worship” Advertising

Peddlers of plastic surgery procedures, slimming treatments and some beauty products take note — you will soon be banned from advertising on Spanish television before 10 p.m.  In an effort to stamp out the growing number of eating disorders among women, Spain has upped the ante in its fight against so-called “cult of the body” advertising.

According to a recent article in Advertising Age, the law bans broadcasters from airing ads that are “based on ideas of social rejection as a result of one’s physical image or that success is dependent on factors such as weight loss or looks.”  The goal of the legislation is to keep such adverts away from the eyes and ears of girls under 18, who are more easily influenced by “thin ideal” images and are at a greater risk for developing eating disorders and body dysmorphia.

While I think the law is well-intentioned, it does little to address the root of the eating and body image issues young women too often endure. TV ads are not the primary purveyor of unrealistic standards of beauty. We all shoulder some degree of blame for condoning images of wafer thin models and actresses, and for foisting our expectations of attractiveness and thinness on girls at an every-younger age.

Just look at the uproar initiated by last year’s reinvention of cartoon heroine Rainbow Brite. Thanks to Hallmark, the pint-sized cutie traded her baby fat and cherubic features for a taller, leaner, sexier physique. Why are we perpetuating these images, which are targeted specifically toward children, and indicting others that are clearly meant for an older demographic? Instilling impressionable girls with impossible images of beauty is why they end up butchering themselves beyond recognition by the age of 23 (I’m looking at you, Heidi Montag).

Feel free to weigh in on this important issue (no pun intended).

Posted by Abby