UNREALISTIC BODY IMAGES OF CHILDREN DUE TO ADVERTISEMENT 7
UNREALISTICBODY IMAGES OF CHILDREN DUE TO ADVERTISEMENT: AN ANALYSIS OF THESTAKEHOLDERS
Bodyimage has become an issue that people in the present day have soughtto dwell on. There are various aspects that characterize the bodyimage maze. They vary from how we visually perceive our bodies, whatwe tell other people about how we feel about our bodies, the way wefeel about our body in the physical space and how we are connected toour bodies (Brown.edu, 2014). All these are determinants of how wefeel about our bodies in comparison to other and the subsequentmeasures we are willing to execute to change aspects of our bodies tosome degree of satisfaction (Radiancemagazine.com, 2014). Body imagehas been contorted to suit definitions of other people as opposed toself acceptance. Children are especially affected by self denial. InCanada, specifically in the Quebec Province, the government hasidentified advertising to children as a major contributor and has,consequentially, banned ads that are targeted for children audiences.
Thereare various factors that have contributed to the trend.Advertisements aimed at the children age bracket are of greatinfluence. Ads on toys and fast foods have been designed to lure themto purchase them, but have transcended into the destruction of thechildren’s perceptions of their body images (Radiancemagazine.com,2014). The law defines a child as anyone below the age of 13 years(Dhar & Baylis, 2011). The legislators identified that peoplebelow 13 years of age are not in a position to critically analyzeads they could, therefore, become victims to commercial adverts.This impairs their decision as on what is right for them to do andthey are not able to restrain themselves from the influence of themedia (Nedic.ca, 2014). The children end up envying models that areused as vessels to relay commercial messages to them (Nedic.ca,2014). They dislike themselves and admire to be like those people whoare deemed as iconic.
Thereare other factors that contribute to low self esteem and hence poorself body image. They include comments from peers and family members,ideologies that individuals develop about their physical appearance,how often one compares themselves with others, prejudice anddiscrimination on bases of ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation,as well as experiences in life, especially those that are sensoryeffects (Radiancemagazine.com, 2014). Children could be impulsive andit calls for the intervention of other stakeholders to salvage them(Brown.edu, 2014). This paper, hence, pays key attention to variousstakeholders, their roles and positions.
Parentshave a patent role to play in improving their children’s bodyimage. Parents are important stakeholders in guiding their childreninto the right content they should expose themselves to (CoalitionPoids, 2011). It is a parent that knows what is best for thechildren. The ban on advertisement may not be comprehensive enough tocover all the necessary variables. However, the parent has theability to manually censor the content infiltrating through theloopholes of legislation. It is also important that the parents teachtheir children good feeding habits to complement what the law isdoing (Spettigue, 2004). This will ensure that even if the childrenaccidentally bump onto an advert that encourages wrong foods forthem, they are able to become judgmental and say no to such. Theywill also aid in a great way in helping the kids accept the way theyare.
Parentsalso have a very critical role to play in the process of legislation(GDHR, 2014). They have a firsthand experience of the impact thatadvertisements have on their children. They, therefore, should be onthe forefront to help seal loopholes or even amend laws to make themmore inclusive and explicit (Coalition Poids, 2011). They are thepeople who the innocent children for health complication that couldarise from poor feeding behaviour. The health of the children is ofparamount importance and so the parents should not be silent on anyatrocities that would be seemingly looming to ruin it (Rhonda, 2011).
Thegovernment has a major role to play. There is the federal government,the Provincial Government and the international community, that havea role of safeguarding children from advertisements whose intent isatrocious (CHCSO, 2013). Despite the role played by the QuebecProvincial administration, there is still a lot that needs to be doneby both governments. To begin with, the international community haslaid down regulations and recommendations regarding advertisement tochildren. For instance, The United Nations, through the World HealthOrganization, has clear recommendations laid out, regarding marketingof products to the children (Nedic.ca, 2014). These recommendationsought to be adopted and adhered to even in Canada, being a signatoryof the UN (CHCSO, 2013).
Itis the role of the federal government to adopt the recommendationsand accelerate the process of their implementation all in a bid to,quickly, ensure that there is a safe market for children and thattheir health is not at stake (Dhar & Baylis, 2011). The federalgovernment should avail the necessary financial support to ensure theimplementation of the recommendations. It should facilitate theformation of a commission that ought to closely monitor theactivities prevailing in food production and its subsequentadvertisement. With good evidence and factual reasons, the federalgovernment should follow Quebec’s example (CHCSO, 2013). It is thegovernment’s responsibility to ensure that every child in thecountry is safe and free from business men who want to create empiresfor themselves at the expense of innocent young citizens.
TheProvincial governments also have a great role to play. Quebec isleading by example of how advertising on children should be treated.It is the work of the provincial governments to ensure that theproduction and advertisement of products whose use and presentationhave adverse effects on the body images of children who can merelymake an autonomous decision (Dhar & Baylis, 2011). They have toamend or formulate legislations that prohibit marketers from doinginjustice to the young ones (CHCSO, 2013). They also ought to createawareness to other stakeholders to ensure that there is coherence inthe achievement of the prime goal.
Media/advertisingcompanies and Product producing companies
Itis notable that the government, advertisers and advertising agenciesin Quebec have, over the years, treated the issue of advertising tochildren with respect and sensitivity (Brown.edu, 2014). They havecreated a good track record that is characterized by responsiblecommunication practices. The government has availed a mechanism thatensures the children are protected and that legislation is adhered toby all players in the industry. Advertisers on the other end havetaken up the responsibility of respecting the law as well as mindingthe effects that their adverts could have on naïve and inexperiencedchildren (Cbc.ca, 2014). The advertisers in Quebec can be said to beguided by moral ethics an example that the rest of the internationalcommunity should emulate. All the same, there have been loopholesthat corrupt advertisers have sought to exploit in forcing their viceinto the industry (aLPha, 2013). This is especially on the producers’part their aim is to make profit regardless of the healthimplications that their products could have on children.
Associationof Local Public Health Agencies, aLPha. (2013). Marketing to childrenand menu labeling – Stakeholder consultations. Retrieved fromhttp://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.alphaweb.org/resource/collection/822EC60D-0D03-413E-B590-AFE1AA8620A9/alPHa_Response_HKP_Consultation_151113.pdf
CanadianHealth Care and Scientific Organization, CHCSO. (2013). RestrictingMarketing of Unhealthy Foods and Beverages to Children and Youth inCanada. Retrieved fromhttp://www.canadianstrokenetwork.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Final-Policy-Statment-Marketing-to-Kids.pdf
Dhar,T., & Baylis, K. (2011). Fast food consumption and the ban onadvertising targeting children: The Quebec experience. Retrieved fromhttps://www.ama.org/Documents/fast_food_consumption.pdf
CoalitionPoids. (2011). Banning advertising to children: Quebec Model andPolicy options. Retrieved fromhttp://www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca/wp-content/uploads/Banning-Advertising-to-Children-Quebec-Model-and-Policy-Options-Suzie-Pellerin.pdf
Brown.edu,.(2014). Body Image | Brown University Health Education. Retrieved fromhttp://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/nutrition_&_eating_concerns/body_image.php
Cbc.ca,.(2014). Proposed Ont. ban on ads aimed at kids unrealistic: mediaobserver. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/proposed-ont-ban-on-ads-aimed-at-kids-unrealistic-media-observer-1.731459
Spettigue,K. (2004). Eating Disorders and the Role of the Media. TheCanadian Child And Adolescent Psychiatry Review,13(1),16. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533817/
Radiancemagazine.com,.(2014). Building Blocks for Children’s Body Image. Retrieved fromhttp://www.radiancemagazine.com/kids_project/body_image.html
Nedic.ca,.(2014). Prevention & Health Promotion | National Eating DisorderInformation Centre (NEDIC). Retrieved 8 June 2014, fromhttp://www.nedic.ca/give-get-help/prevention-health-promotion
Departmentof Health: Department of Education (GDHR),. (2014). Media and bodyimage — Growing and Developing Healthy Relationships CurriculumSupport for teachers. Retrieved 8 June 2014, fromhttp://gdhr.wa.gov.au/background-info/media-and-body-image/view