Messages from the Media

This information accompanies the lesson "Beauty is Skin Deep."
Grade Level

This information accompanies the lesson "Beauty is Skin Deep"


  • A study of over 4,000 television commercials revealed that 1 out of every 3 to 4 commercials sends some sort of "attractiveness message," telling viewers what is or is not attractive. The average teenager sees over 5,000 "attractiveness messages" each year.
  • One study found that teens who watch soaps and TV shows that emphasize the ideal body type report a higher sense of body dissatisfaction than other teens. This was also true for girls who watched music videos.
  • Another study found that identification with television stars (for girls and boys), models (for girls) and athletes (for boys), is related to their unhappiness with their bodies.
  • In a study of fifth graders, 10-year-old girls and boys told researchers they were unhappy with their own bodies after watching a music video by Britney Spears or a clip from the TV show,Friends.
  • In one study, 69% of 5th -12th grade girls reported that magazine pictures influenced their image of the ideal body and 47% wanted to lose weight because of those pictures.
  • A psychological study found that three minutes spent looking at models in a fashion magazine caused 70% of women to feel depressed, guilty and shameful. Frequent readers of fashion magazines are 2 to 3 times more likely than infrequent readers to diet and exercise to lose weight.
Teaching Tolerance collage of images

Welcome to Learning for Justice—Formerly Teaching Tolerance!

Our work has evolved in the last 30 years, from reducing prejudice to tackling systemic injustice. So we’ve chosen a new name that better reflects that evolution: Learning for Justice.

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