While I agree the issue is complex, big business still bears some responsibility.
In his view, advertisers and marketers are using a vehicle/formula (read: model/particular physical attributes) to get their message out and sell their products. And when the chosen vehicle is successful, it is used again and again. He believes there is no conspiracy; these people are just doing their jobs.
I smiled when he said this because I immediately saw the solution. He did agree with me that women are targeted much more often than men are for health and beauty products and clothing. After all, a woman's appearance is always in the spotlight. No disagreement there. I also said that after years of seeing skinny models, our idea of a normal body weight is skewed, so it should come as no surprise that women might be insecure about their bodies. In other words, the insecurity and low self-esteem issues my husband raised could well be the result, not the cause of the problem. We aren't taking about a few ads here, we're taking about thousands upon thousands of hours of ads telling us, and our daughters, that we are just not the norm.
Anyway, his point was made. Advertisers use what successfully sells the products of the companies they're representing.
Solution...make their ad campaigns unsuccessful. Vote with your purchases.