Segments in this Video

Introduction: One-Minute Makeover (00:51)


Watch a young woman go from natural to heavily made-up with cosmetics in this introduction.

No More Wolf Whistles (02:00)

Sunny Bergman interviews two construction workers who tell her she is, indeed, "over the hill." She explains that she was once a model and finds it hard to let go of her "babe identity." Sunny doesn't want to fret about her waning looks.

"A Hundred Insults A Day" (03:32)

Sunny Bergman's mother Trilby Shaw (Fairfax) and Barbara Meter made a film in the 1970s that argued against cultural pressure on women to be beautiful. We see excerpts from the film; Fairfax and Meter comment in a current-day interview with filmmaker Sunny Bergman.

Is Botox Normal? (03:28)

At the New Beauty Fair in Amsterdam, a physician explains the 'logic' supporting her using botox to get rid of small lines in her face. New Beauty Fair-goers in Amsterdam consider the services offered. A woman receives a botox injection in her forehead.

'Normal' Cosmetic Surgery (01:37)

Models at the New Beauty Fair in Amsterdam talk about what the sort of surgery they would consider as they age. A plastic surgeon explains that "Most people want to be normal. Not super good-looking or super young." He says there is a "certain range" of surgery that is considered normal.

Have Wrinkles Ceased to Be Normal? (03:10)

Sunny Bergman interviews cosmetics industry expert Paula Begoun at the New Beauty Fair in Amsterdam.

Global Research on Self- Acceptance (02:06)

Harvard University psychologist Nancy Etcoff says only 2% of women describe themselves as beautiful; 25% would consider plastic surgery. She offers demographic data on the likelihood to have plastic surgery.

Home Alone (01:19)

Sunny Bergman reflects on changing beauty norms as she shaves her legs. A quick flip through the TV channels reminds her of all the beauty products out there that promise to keep her young looking.

Belly Dancing (02:44)

Sunny Bergman visits a dance studio where a young adult woman and her mother learn dance together. Each expresses the positive feelings they experience through dancing. The instructor encourages the women to embrace their fat and their bodies.

Solidarity Among Women (02:21)

At a private hammam (Turkish bath) for women, a Tunisian woman explains that acceptance of the body is best supported in the absence of men. In her native country, she says women are more comfortable with their bodies because they have a lifetime of exposure to other women. (Nudity)

Self-Acceptance: Easier Said than Done (00:56)

Filmmaker Sunny Bergman lays out at the beach, considering the female bodies around her.

Historical Standards for Beauty (03:05)

Dr. Liesbeth Woertman explains that although beauty is universally correlated with womanliness, historically the standard of beauty was embodied in real women. Such is not the case today. Archival footage offers examples of 'beauty queens' of times past.

Fashion Magazines (01:43)

After a photo session, a photographer uses a "standard technique to make the slimmest model even slimmer." He says, "Today, every picture in every magazine has been Photoshopped." "Reality doesn't sell."

Before & After Photos (01:09)

Filmmaker Sunny Bergman participates in a photo shoot, then watches as the image is manipulated to make her more "beautiful." Looking at both images, she now feels her original photo is ugly.

Women Defend Fashion Magazine Messages (02:01)

The editor in Chief of Dutch Cosmopolitan Magazine says Photoshopping shows "a certain level for women to aspire to." Staff at the Dutch fashion magazine "Jackie" defend the industry.

Influence of Images on Self-Image (03:39)

Staff at the Dutch fashion magazine "Jackie" say women who let fashion magazines get to them "are either not that bright or very insecure." Dr. Liesbeth Woertman explains research that shows we are influenced by images of unrealistic beauty.

Economics of Making Women Feel Ugly (02:05)

The cosmetics industry is big business--first making women feel inferior, then selling them the "solution." Cosmetics industry expert Paula Begoun points out how fashion magazines and the cosmetics industry can be understood as one and the same.

Plastic Surgery (01:32)

Editorial staff of Jackie Magazine says each member has had some form of cosmetic surgery. In the U.S. plastic surgery is accepted as normal. Los Angeles, California has a clinic on "every corner."

Competitive Edge Through Plastic Surgery (02:46)

Sisters Julia and Tamara discuss their satisfaction with the multiple cosmetic procedures each has undergone, including laser vaginal rejuvination and labiaplasty. Tamara says the surgeries have given her confidence to achieve her goals for the future.

Getting "That Playboy Look" (02:53)

Gynocologic surgeon David Matlock recommends $20,000 worth of cosmetic procedures to 33 year-old filmmaker Sunny Bergman, including laser vaginal rejuvination for "enhancement of sexual gratification" and laser reduction labiaplasty.

Plastic Surgery - Laser Reduction Labiaplasty (02:35)

Gynocologic surgeon David Matlock offers photographic examples of "beautiful vaginal structures." Viewers witness laser reduction labiaplasty. (graphic images)

Science Fiction Standard of Beauty (02:26)

Filmmaker Sunny Bergman points to the changing image of beauty in pornography. (graphic images) Writer Ariel Levy points out that women are opting for surgeries that may inhibit sexual pleasure in order to conform to this unrealistic standard of beauty.

Teen Plastic Surgery Candidate (04:01)

Fifteen year-old Victoria and her mother talk about her upcoming labia reduction surgery--something they feel is medically necessary to make Victoria look like other women. She says she received a discount from gynecologic surgeon David Matlock in exchange for this interview.

Teen Plastic Sugery (01:34)

As fifteen year-old Victoria is prepped for labia reduction surgery, Gynecologic surgeon David Matlock tells her "a lot" of young girls are having this surgery. She is awake during part of the surgery, talking under the anesthesia.

"Medicine is a Business" (00:38)

Gynecologic surgeon David Matlock says he earns $350,000 per month. His business plan will allow him to retire in 3 years and still bring in a million dollars a year from his practice.

Epilogue: A World Increasingly Dictated by Unrealistic Images of Beauty (02:50)

Filmmaker Sunny Bergman returns home with new insecurities--and her partner tries to undo them with words of assurance. She considers the fact that each year thousands of young Dutch girls also want their vaginas lifted. Bergman is co-founder of a web site where women can register complaints against the cosmetics industry.

Credits: Over the Hill: Media Impact on Women's Self-Image (00:40)

Credits: Over the Hill: Media Impact on Women's Self-Image

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Over the Hill: Media Impact on Women's Self-Image

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In this program, Sunny Bergman, a 33-year-old filmmaker, tries and largely fails to rally support for the idea that aging naturally is preferable to Botox and breast implants. Speaking with psychologists, fashion editors, surgeons, and the young women who believe that retouched magazine images are something to emulate, Bergman argues that the media has raised the bar for beauty, working against the efforts of 1970s feminists who encouraged women to accept themselves as they are. The latter portion of the video candidly explores the impact of the porn industry on the rising number of labiaplasties. Contains explicit nudity and surgical footage. Viewer discretion is advised. (Portions in other languages with English subtitles, 60 minutes)

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL43585

ISBN: 978-1-61733-548-8

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Sound and Image Award

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