Great numbers of girls and women suffer from the impacts of a negative body image, including, for example, health concerns such as eating disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health, referring to the results of the National Comorbidity Study — Adolescent Supplement, cites that approximately 2.7 percent of 13-to-18-year-olds, suffer from anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating. Based on the U.S. 2010 Census, approximately 6,300 Maryland adolescent girls are estimated to suffer from eating disorders. Overall, 0.9 percent of women or 21,000 women in Maryland are estimated to suffer from anorexia alone at some time over the course of their lifetime. Constant media bombardment of society with images of air-brushed photos of young women with so-called "perfect" bodies adds to the chorus telling girls and women that our bodies are not OK as is. In addition, advertising that uses images of scantily clad, bikini and porn star images of girls and women to sell products further drive home the point that what girls' and women's bodies look like is what matters. Our brains and skills don't. In 2012, it is time that we sent a different message to girls and women.
Recently, The Sun failed on this, having included a detailed two-page advertisement from the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders for their swimsuit calendar, and The Sun's web site continually showcases the Ravens cheerleaders' tryouts and other events where the focus is always the cheerleaders' bodies in tight, revealing outfits and sexual poses, and little emphasis on gymnastic or other skills. I urge The Sun to reject this advertising and send the girls and women of our city and state a different message: that their brains and athletic skills capture the headlines, that their sexualized bodies are no longer the story.
In addition, the July 4 issue of The Baltimore Sun Media Group newspaper "b" had as its cover story the food at local strip clubs and more scantily clad women in suggestive poses. Many stories are available to showcase the great work of girls and women using their brains and athletic skills in Baltimore. Please show us more examples.
Molla Sarros, Baltimore