communications discussion post 6

This forum requires the viewing of two videos: the first is an excerpt from Dr. Kilbourne’s talk “Slim Hopes” and the second is a TED Talk by Ashley Graham. 

Dr. Jean Kilbourne is a renowned speaker who has made a career of presenting on her critical analyses of the effects of advertising on the American culture (ChallengingMedia, 2006). The video is of a brief excerpt (5:10) of Kilbourne’s talk “Slim Hopes,”Links to an external site. where she aims to persuade her audience that our culture’s current obsession with weight stems in part from the powerful influence advertising has on our culture. In fact, she argues that “there is no aspect more pervasive or more persuasive than advertising.” Also, while not required, you may want to view other videos by KilbourneLinks to an external site. which discuss the media’s influence on our culture’s attitudes regarding alcohol, tobacco, and sexuality.

The second video “Plus Size? More Like My Size”Links to an external site. is from a TED Talk by Ashley Graham, a model who is a major voice in the body acceptance movement (TEDx Talks, 2015).

Also, study the chapter on persuasive presentations in our textbook. In light of the videos, the text, and your own experiences, respond to the questions below:

  • How do the speakers effectively address the appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos? 
  • How do the images and data serve to persuade? 
  • With regard to kairos and context, how may modern viewers respond to Kilbourne’s message differently than those who viewed these messages when they were first created (Kilbourne’s videos were made nearly 20 years ago)? 
  • How does seeing Ashley Graham, a modern voice, support the work Kilbourne has been doing? 
  • Finally, what is your personal reaction? Do you relate? Do you find the messages persuasive? Does the context or age of Kilbourne’s videos affect your receptiveness of her message?

Be sure to respond to your peers as well. As a reminder, connect to a scholarly source beyond the videos from Kilbourne and Graham.


ChallengingMedia. (2006). Slim hopes: Advertising & the obsession with thinness.

TEDx Talks. (2015). Plus size? More like my size.