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Mirror, Mirror (NYC)

News Story

With the help of media and advertising, the multi-billion dollar beauty industry has infused in us a false perception of the perfect body and a sense of insecurity. See sneak previews, meet the producer, and hear more about a film that turns the mirror on the media.

Sex sells. What sells even more? Insecurity. In the US alone, 30 million people will be affected by eating disorders and 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. Even more disturbing, 69% of American elementary school girls who read magazines say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape and 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight.

As part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, the Pace NYC Counseling Center is teaming up with the National Eating Disorder Awareness Association on Monday, February 23 to debut a sneak preview screening of selected scenes from Elena Rossini’s new film, The Illusionists, which explores the global impact of advertising messages about beauty and thinness and how they have a toxic effect on our health. Through advertising and mass media, multi-billion dollar industries (most notably cosmetics, fashion, dieting, and cosmetic surgery) saturate our lives with images of idealized, unattainable beauty, of an “Official Body” that does not really exist in nature and that can be obtained only through cosmetic surgery. From Harvard University to the halls of the Louvre Museum, passing by a cosmetic surgeon’s office in Beirut, to the heart of Tokyo’s Electric Town, The Illusionists explores how the body has become “the finest consumer object.”

The screening, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Bianco Room, will be followed by a panel discussion of professionals from the fashion and advertising worlds as well as eating disorder and media literacy experts who will tackle some big questions: What role does advertising play in the development of poor body image and disordered eating? How can we sharpen our media literacy skills? And what can we do to bring about changes that will flip the script on the old adage that insecurity sells?

Moderated by:

Jennifer L. Pozner, media critic, media literacy educator, and founder and executive director of Women In Media and News, a media analysis, education, and advocacy group

Panelists include:

>>Yomi Abiola, speaker, journalist, and social entrepreneur
>>Ignacio Oreamuno, executive director of the Art Directors Club
>>Elena Rossini, Italian filmmaker, DP, photographer, multimedia producer, and blogger
>>Laura Sproch, PhD, research coordinator and outpatient therapist for the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt

This event is free, but space is limited to 125 attendees. To reserve your seat, click here.