The young women in the Girl Scouts study are media literate. They view the images they see in magazines and on television with critical eyes. They know full well that what they see presented as beautiful is all but impossible to achieve. They even suspect , rightly, that some of the women they're seeing are sick. And yet, they still think those women are beautiful, and they still want to look like them.
It's clear then, is that changing how we see fashion models is only half the battle. That so large a proportion of the women surveyed in the Girl Scouts study were media literate, and were able to view fashion critically, represents enormous progress. But until we change what's considered beautiful in our culture, until we broaden the definition of female beauty to encompass more than 2% of the population, young women will continue to emulate the current ideal, even as they know it to be unrealistic and unhealthy.