National Omnibus for the Canadian Women's Foundation shows 90 per cent
of Canadians believe exposure to unrealistic images of women in
advertising is a problem for girls growing up in Canada
TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - With Valentine's Day approaching,
thousands of girls in Canada are being bombarded with ads featuring
perfect-bodied women in sexy poses. According to a recent survey
commissioned by the Canadian Women's Foundation, 90 per cent of
Canadians agree that exposure to unrealistic sexy imagery of women in
advertising is a problem for girls growing up in Canada (62 per cent
think it is a major problem and 28 per cent see it as a minor problem).
In addition, 88 per cent of Canadians feel that exposure to unrealistic
sexy imagery of women in TV and movies also contributes to problems for
Many people have come to accept the advertising phrase that "sex sells"
and have grown accustomed to flawless models draped in, over and around
products in an attempt to increase sales. As girls enter adolescence
their confidence can decline sharply and they can become highly
influenced through media images and peer pressure. Bombarding young
girls with images of underweight and digitally manipulated women
alongside tabloids publishing unflattering photos of these same models
and celebrities with aggressive captions provokes negative body image.
"When girls have constant exposure to unrealistic images of sexualized
women, they become critical about their bodies and may start to believe
their main value comes from their appearance, rather than their
intelligence or other strengths," said Beth Malcolm, Director, Girls'
Fund at the Canadian Women's Foundation. "This can lead to problems
such as eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression."
To help girls stay safe, build self-esteem, challenge stereotypes and
successfully navigate adolescence, the Canadian Women's Foundation
funds dynamic programs across Canada that engage girls' mind, body and
spirit. The Foundation also supports violence prevention programs that
educate girls and boys about healthy relationships and how to recognize
warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship.
"At the Canadian Women's Foundation, we want every girl to believe in
herself and realize she matters. To achieve this we fund strong
programs that give girls the opportunity to not only learn new skills,
but also to practice these skills and develop critical thinking and
media literacy," said Malcolm.
The study also shows that 37 per cent of Canadians know a girl who
doesn't think she is pretty enough and wants to diet or get plastic
surgery as a result.
Parents can help their daughters to build self-esteem and not feel
pressured by what is shown in advertising and on movies and TV by:
Talking to their daughters about images, stereotypes and influence of
media. Pointing out the negative messages and how peer pressure can make people
change their attitudes and values.
Talking to their daughters without boundaries and listening without
judgment. Making her feel that it is OK to ask you questions or talk to you about
Looking into community programs. In some communities, girls can participate in a Canadian Women's
Foundation funded program that help girls move into confidence by
learning ways to stay safe in relationships, improve their mental
health, challenge stereotypes and successfully navigate adolescence.
In other communities there may be girls programs that provide a safe
space for girls to discuss issues and build their confidence. Reach out
to your local community centre or school to find out about programs in
Methodology: Online survey among 1,504 randomly selected Canadian adults
who are Angus Reid Forum panelists, conducted on November 22 and
November 23, 2012. The margin of error—which measures sampling
variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been
statistically weighted according to the most current education, age,
gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the
entire adult population of Canada.
For more information, you can visit the Canadian Women's Foundation
online at www.canadianwomen.org or tweet using hashtag #cdnwomen.
About Canadian Women's Foundation
The Canadian Women's Foundation is Canada's public foundation for women
and girls. We empower women and girls in Canada to move out of
violence, out of poverty and into confidence. Since 1991, we've raised
money and invested in over 1,200 community programs across Canada, and
are now one of the ten largest women's foundations in the world. We
take a positive approach to address root causes of the most critical
issues facing women and girls. We study and share the best ways to
create long-term change and bring community organizations together for
training and to learn from each other. We carefully select and fund the
programs with the strongest outcomes and regularly evaluate their work.
We have a special focus on building a community of women helping other
women. Helping women creates safer families and communities, and a more
prosperous society for all of us. We invest in the power of women and
the dreams of girls. For more information please visit www.canadianwomen.org
Editors Note: When referring to the Canadian Women's Foundation, please
use the full name. Please do not abbreviate or use acronyms.
SOURCE: Canadian Women's Foundation
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