Concerns about young children's lack of understanding of advertising have frequently been voiced by parents, regulatory bodies, and politicians who, in turn, have been reassured by advertisers and marketers that children fully understand such advertising and there is no need for further research or regulation.
Teenage girls tend to view their bodies critically and may hold negative self-perceptions about their physical appearance. Teenage girls are much more likely than teenage boys to question their attractiveness. This negative self-concept is especially likely to be manifest as dissatisfaction with body shape. Girls in their early teens, or even among those who are younger if they achieve puberty early, frequently express dissatisfaction with their body size and appearance (Williams & Currie, 2000).
The emergence of body image concerns is important because it may be associated with the appearance of disordered eating patterns. This is especially worrying when it occurs in early teen years that are in crucial period for physical growth. The more dissatisfied young girls are with their bodies, the more likely they are to undereat, with implications for their health and well-being.
Males, in contrast, usually take a different view of their bodies. That is not to say that boys and young men are unconcerned about their body image, but rather than wanting to be thinner and more attractive, many males want to be more muscular with greater bulk. For males, this represents greater power. Whereas girls' self-concepts of attractiveness stem primarily from physical attractiveness, boys' self-concepts are linked to perceptions of physical effectiveness.
Analyses of advertising content in ...