By Douglas Taplin & Richard Gaudio
National Film Board of Canada
Our culture is obsessed with youth, and with the distorted images of youth and beauty conveyed by the mass media, so it's no surprise that young people often become equally obsessed with trying to mold themselves to fit those stereotypes. Girls may starve themselves or purge in pursuit of the impossible thinness of a fashion model, while boys may exercise endlessly and gulp down diet supplements and steroids, trying to achieve the muscular, "shredded" or "ripped," image of action-movie stars and comic book superheroes.
This provocative documentary hangs out with a diverse group of teenage boys whose lives are focused on transforming their bodies. It explores the damaging lengths to which they go, and the risks they are willing to take, to achieve the ideal male shape portrayed by the media. "If this screws me up, it screws me up," says one. "I want to get big quick." They spend hours alternately on the weight bench and in front of the mirror. They have endless conversations about their weight goals and their body-fat percentages. But they also talk with a long-time body-builder, who tells them that one hundred percent of the people she has competed against in her career have experienced health problems (including death) as a result of what they have done to their bodies.
This documentary is designed to provoke discussion and encourage further exploration among teenagers, both boys and girls, about healthy body image and about where to draw the line between healthy and dangerous behavior.
DVD version has both closed-captions and audio description.
Purchase $219.00 DVD
Order No. QA-436
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-820-0
Awards & Conference Screenings
Director's Citation, Black Maria Film Festival
Western Psychological Association
Finalist, International Health & Medical Media Competition
The Family Meal: Obesity is second only to smoking as the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. This documentary suggests that one cause of today's obesity crisis is the decline of the family meal.
Good Food/Bad Food: Clear, accessible, and often humorous, this program examines the alarming rise of childhood obesity in the United States, while demonstrating effective ways that educators and parents can prevent and reverse the effects of this tragic epidemic.
Inside Out: Bulimia can affect women and men from all walks of life, and it kills nearly 20 percent of its victims every year. This moving documentary profiles individuals and families affected by this eating disorder.
Shadows and Lies: This powerful and honest documentary profiles four women who are working themselves free from the deadly grip of eating disorders, and from the overwhelming physical and psychological complications associated with these deadly diseases.