ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Now You See It

I was watching my new guilty pleasure the other night – MTV’s new series Teen Wolf. There was one scene where the protagonist, Scott, was in the middle of a make out session with his love interest when his phone rang. He leaned over to turn it off and as he did, the AT&T logo flashed on the phone’s screen. “Nice product placement,” I thought to myself. With the decline of print media and commercial television viewing, advertisers are always looking for ways to keep up with the changing times. They have become very good at sneaking ads in to everything we do, from the shopping carts at the grocery store to the sidebar on Facebook. The next time you’re on your Facebook page, look at the ads if you don’t already.  It’s amazing how they tailor them to exactly what you would be interested in.  I recently went skydiving and posted pictures on my Facebook.  Suddenly I noticed that there were three new ads on my sidebar for skydiving schools close by!

For those of us who still occasionally read magazines, it’s important to realize that everything we see is a fantasy.  The models wish they looked like their finished photos.  I recently met a professional photographer’s assistant who told me that every photo that gets published is now altered in one way or another. It’s one thing to know this, but it’s another thing to remember it every time you see a picture. Seventy percent of women feel worse about themselves after viewing a magazine for only 3 minutes.

Advertisers know that their consumers are preoccupied with affluence, attractiveness, and achievement, and they use this to their advantage.  For example, look at Kim Kardashian’s ads for Sketcher’s Tone Up shoesYou can fire your personal trainer (What? Don’t you have one?), and achieve Kim’s attractive and sexy body.

Before you make any larger purchase, do your own research. Here’s one site which disagrees with the Sketchers claims. http://fyiliving.com/health-news/kim-kardashian-skechers-ad-the-toning-sneaker-scam/

One of the most tried and true methods of counteracting advertisements is to talk back to them.  I know it sounds silly but it works.  In my house we like to dissect them and laugh at how gullible the industry thinks we are.   Do you really think that Kim Kardashian fired her trainer and works out by just wearing these shoes?  Do you really think she wears them at all?  Just looking at the print advertisement, can you see that, while she is beautiful, she has been touched up?

Do I still want to go out and buy the latest and greatest mascara advertised?  Yes!  But I try to be an informed consumer and not just a mindless drone.