Want to see an attractive woman transform into a magazine-cover model? Dieting or exercising isn't required. All you need? Photoshop.
In a video produced by Global Democracy, an average woman is transformed into a doe-eyed, long-legged supermodel; this was all done in 36 seconds. With the help of makeup artists, hairdressers, and a computer, the woman was completely made over into a Barbie-like figure.
The ending credits of the video read “On December 18th, 2011, a global proposal was created to encourage mandatory disclaimers when manipulating bodies in advertising.”
The ad was originally aired May 2012, but only recently gained popularity. The time-lapse video was created in order to bring awareness to body and image manipulation in magazines, television, and other advertisements.
A survey conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that 40 percent of girls, ages 9 and 10, have tried to lose weight because of an ad or an image that they saw.
“They were dissatisfied with their own bodies after watching a music video by Britney Spears or a clip from the TV show 'Friends,'” the study reports.
These misconceptions come with a variety of self-esteem problems, including heightened risks for suicidal thoughts and attempts. In 2005, a study found that there was no direct correlation between how teenagers saw their own bodies and their actual body mass index measurements. "Perceived weight alone does not explain why a person exhibits suicidal behavior," said Danice K Eaton., Ph.D., lead author of the study. "However, the presence of extreme-weight perception may serve as a warning for an increased suicide risk."
Before leading up to these suicide attempts, many adolescents suffer from some type of eating disorder. And approximately 1,000 women die each year of anorexia nervosa; eating disorders in general affect five million Americans yearly.
Labeling photos is not a recent topic. In 2009, Britain’s liberal Democrats voted yes to prohibiting fake photos that are “overly perfected and unrealistic images” of women, the New York Times reports. The French also followed suit with photo labeling, as their parliament called for a label on manipulated images.