US Parents Pushing For Self Esteem Act To Battle Airbrushing

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If you were pleased to learn that kids as young as 10 years old were learning how to identify airbrushing, here is another great initiative. Parents Seth and Eva Matlins have launched a bill entitled the Self Esteem Act in an effort to regulate airbrushed advertisements and magazine speads.

The mom and dad are requesting that commercials and magazine spreads have disclaimers if the models have had an enormous amount of airbrushing. The couple says that they were inspired to develop such an initiative after seeing the statistics of the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which revealed that 80% of women felt that the media’s depiction of women made them feel insecure. The same data also revealed that 71% of girls with low self-esteem felt they didn’t feel pretty enough, thin enough, stylish enough, etc. after viewing said media.

Mr. and Mrs. Matlins were also inspired to tackle this issue for their kids. The couple has a five-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son and knows that their children will soon start to be impacted by these ads — if they haven’t been already. Mr. Matlin said it best when he explained his reasoning for taking action:

“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 Matlinses hope that putting this disclaimer on advertisements and magazine spreads will make children “contexualize” the images that they see, realizing them to be not true to life. Mr. Matlin also expressed that he hopes that having a disclaimer will function much like warnings on cigarette packaging. Between this effort and British school children learning how to spot a photo-shopped Keira Knightley, I think today’s kids are getting smart about how to interpret media images.