Pussycat Dolls and Sugababes bad for teens, say researchers

Filed under: Media, That's Entertainment

Recently there's been a movement in the fashion industry attempting to ban ultra-thin models on runways and in magazines, as critics say images of these women promote eating disorders amongst teens. But new research suggests that watching popular girl bands like the Pussycat Dolls and Sugababes can have the same effect on young women.

"The imagery is far more potent and the risk factors are so much more powerful," says Dr. Amanda Jordan, chief executive of the Eating Disorders Foundation.

Participants in the study were separated into three groups -- one group watched girl band music videos, one listened to girl band music without watching videos, and one memorized a list of neutral words. Researchers found that watching videos had the most detrimental effect on self-image -- and, most alarmingly, that even girls who normally had high self-esteem felt worse about themselves after watching the ultra-thin girl band performers.

This isn't exactly surprising, but is yet another reminder that young women are constantly inundated with imagery telling them that "thin, sexy and alluring = successful." I agree with Dr. Jordan and others like her that the entertainment industry needs to take responsibility for perpetuating this negative message, but at the same time, I'm sure they wouldn't create, promote and distribute this material if they didn't think parents were going to buy it for their kids.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.