Films to Help Students Make Sense of Mass Media’s Impact on Body Image

Eating disorders, which affect about 28 million Americans, have risen dramatically since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.¹ One reason, experts say, is that people are spending more time than ever immersed in mass media, especially social media, where the pressure to look perfect and share only the best moments is intense, particularly for young people.²

“Many students said that social media has been ‘detrimental’ to the way they feel about their looks,” The New York Times recently reported. “Even though they are aware it doesn’t show the full picture, they still struggle not to compare themselves to the people they see online.”³

If you’re an educator looking for films to help young people think critically about these issues, be sure to check out our Media Representation & Body Image Collection below. To mark National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which runs Feb. 27-March 5, we’re offering 20% off all films in this collection with the code NEDA23 from now through March 5th.

We especially want to call your attention to our bestselling Killing Us Softly 4, the latest edition in Jean Kilbourne’s groundbreaking film series about unrealistic ideals of female beauty, and Tough Guise 2, the latest in Jackson Katz’s acclaimed series about how regressive media images of manhood can shape unhealthy attitudes and behaviors in boys and men.

For decades, educators have been using these two films — and their comprehensive free discussion guides —to help young people think critically about how mass media disseminate unattainable, and often destructive, ideas about femininity and masculinity. Browse our collection below!