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Slim Hopes

Advertising & the Obsession with Thinness

Slim Hopes

Duration: 30 min
ISBN: 1-893521-60-5
Date Produced: 1995
Subtitles: English

Filmmaker Info
Study Guide
Praise for the Film

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Slim Hopes
Advertising & the Obsession with Thinness

Jean Kilbourne's award-winning video Slim Hopes argues that the stories advertising tells about food, femininity, and the female body contribute to disordered eating. From ads that glamorize emotional eating with catch-phrases like "you can never have too much," to ads that promote thinness and tell women to watch what they eat, Kilbourne takes the advertising industry to task for sending young women, in particular, a set of deeply contradictory and unhealthy messages about food. In the process, she offers productive new ways to think about anorexia, bulimia, and other life-threatening eating disorders.

Sections: Impossible Beauty | Waifs & Thinness | Constructed Bodies | Food & Sex | Food & Control | The Weight-Loss Industry | Freeing Imaginations

Jean Kilbourne

Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. Her films, slide lectures and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. She was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses today.

Jean Kilbourne's website -- -- contains a host of information, including:
How to schedule a lecture with Jean Kilbourne at your school or organization
Information on her books
An extensive list of resources for change

Filmmaker Info

Executive Producer, Director, Editor: Sut Jhally
Director of Photography: Charles Pappert
Assistant Editor: Sanjay Talreja
Production Assistant: Shannon Monahan, Tom Gardner

Film Festivals

Press Reviews

Praise for the Film

"Extremely important...her message is timely, persuasive, and thought provoking."
- Francie Berg, M.S. | Editor, Healthy Weight Journal

"Shocking and empowering! This video is must viewing. After viewing it, you will never look at advertising and women's bodies in the same way again."
- Christiane Northrup, M.D. | Author, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom

"Jean Kilbourne's work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored, yet most powerful, realms of American culture - advertising. We owe her a great debt."
- Susan Faludi | Author, Backlash and Stiffed

"Jean Kilbourne's work is profoundly important. She's one of those people who makes a difference in how we see the world."
- Arlie Hochschild | Director of the Center for Working Families | University of California, Berkeley

"Hearing Jean Kilbourne is a profound experience. Audiences leave her feeling she teaches them to see themselves and their world differently."
- Member | Italian Parliament

"Jean Kilbourne is a prophet calling out in the wilderness for fundamental change in the way we communicate publicly with one another."
- Adweek

"Slim Hopes offers ways to endorse alternative female images."
- Donna Lee King, Teaching Sociology


Certificate for Creative Excellence, U.S. International Film and Video Festival

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