The average woman sees 400 to 600 advertisements per day,1  and by the time she is 17 years old, she has received over 250,000 commercial messages through the media.2  

Only 9% of commercials have a direct statement about beauty,3 but many more implicitly emphasize the importance of beauty, particularly those that target women and girls. One study of Saturday morning toy commercials found that 50% of commercials aimed at girls spoke about physical attractiveness, while none of the commercials aimed at boys referred to appearance.4  

Other studies found 50% of advertisements in teen girl magazines and 56% of television commercials aimed at female viewers used beauty as a product appeal.5 This constant exposure to female-oriented advertisements may influence girls to become self-conscious about their bodies and to obsess over their physical appearance as a measure of their worth.6


  1. Peacock, M. (1998). "Sex, Housework & Ads." Women's Wire web site.
  2. Dittrich, L. "About-Face facts on the MEDIA." About-Face web site. http://about-
  3. Media Influence on Teens. Facts compiled by Allison LaVoie. The Green Ladies Web
  4. Dittrich, L. "About-Face facts on the MEDIA," op. cit. 
  5. Media's Effects on Girls: Body Image and Gender Identity, Fact Sheet. 
  6. As 5 above