The Illusionists: Kickstarting a Body Image Revolution

Image from The Illusionists blog.

We live in a world where we take in an average of 4,000 advertisements per day, where the vast majority of those advertisements have been digitally retouched to inhuman ‘perfection’, where media has become the wallpaper of our life.

 I wonder if some people actually know anymore what a real human body is supposed to look like.

What are we learning? What are our children learning?

Children as young as 3 years old are reported to be aware of and unhappy with their weight.

By 7 years old, 70% of girls report wanting to be thinner.

From ages 11-17 years old, girls say “looking good” is their number 1 wish in life.

Half of women would rather be hit by a bus then get fat.

My friend Elena Rossini, the film maker and media literacy expert behind The Illusionists, knows it is time we get honest about how corporations are using the media to shift our perceptions about our bodies and bank on our learned insecurities. Our bodies have become the ‘finest consumer object’.

The preoccupation with physical beauty is as old as time; what is different today is the central role that the pursuit of the perfect body has taken. It has become our new religion. Everyone is affected: boys, girls, women and men from Los Angeles to Tokyo, passing via Mumbai. 

– Elena Rossini, The Illusionists

The Illusionsts intend to create a feature-length documentary to examine and discuss how this marketing is affecting all of us, all over the globe. As the mainstream media occasionally talks about the issues, but we need revealing and solution-based media with some teeth. And we need the creation of this media to be free of censorship and interference from media companies, which is why independent funding is crucial.

I asked Elena to tell me why this film would be important for families, especially parents:

Since the mid-2000s, I have noticed the emergence of some worrying trends. A vertiginous rise in media consumption by children (as much as 7.5 hours a day). The proliferation of TV shows, magazines, websites, and advertisements for products that sexualize and objectify girls. And reports about an epidemic of body dissatisfaction and self-objectification by girls as young as 6. I think the three phenomena are deeply interconnected. Teaching parents and children to analyze and interpret mass media and advertising messages is absolutely critical. I’m making this documentary because I would like to talk about what lies underneath the tip of the iceberg: an economic system based on creating “cradle to grave” consumers who are insecure about their appearance and that value their attractiveness above everything else. 
-Elena Rossini
When we control the media, we control the message. Let’s begin to have the message be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.

My family and my business will be contributing to The Illusionists Kickstarter campaign to help fund this desperately needed film. I hope you will join me. Give what you can give, as several hundred of us giving even $20 or $50 will make a difference. We will BE the difference the media needs.

***Learn more here and watch a preview, PLEASE CLICK HERE.***



  1. The media wants us to never be satisfied with ourselves because if we did we might stop buying into their products or programs. I just had a post on this idea published over at elephant journal. Perhaps we need to redefine our ideas of beauty!–hannah-siegle/


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