Women's Exposure to Thin-and-Beautiful Media Images: Body Image Effects of Media-Ideal Internalization and Impact-Reduction Interventions

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.
Body image (Impact Factor: 2.19). 04/2005; 2(1):74-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2004.11.001
Source: PubMed


Exposure to media images of thin-and-beautiful women negatively affects the body image and mood states of young women. However, not all women are equally susceptible to these effects. The present experimental investigation with 123 young college women evaluated the moderating effects of the extent of internalization of media ideals. It also examined the preventative impact of two brief interventions (i.e., media literacy information with and without a dissonance-induction procedure). Results indicated that relative to a control group, the exposure to thin-and-beautiful media images adversely influenced the state body image of participants with high internalization levels. Media-literacy psychoeducation prior to the media exposure prevented this adverse effect. Adding a pre-exposure dissonance-induction procedure did not significantly enhance the preventative effects relative to psychoeducation alone. These results and their implications for the treatment and prevention of body image disturbances are discussed in the context of the empirical literature on the media's effects on body image.

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    • "According to Garner (1996), body image concerns are not restricted to women. It has been estimated that approximately one third of men are dissatisfied with their body size or shape and that men experience binge eating disorder more commonly than they do with anorexia nervosa (Yamamiya et al., 2005). "

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    • "), a comparatively small body of research has examined interventions that can be used to prevent such media effects from materializing (for an overview, see Levine and Murnen 2009). Most studies have analyzed the effect of media literacy programs in reducing body dissatisfaction and eating disorders (Halliwell et al. 2010; Irving and Berel 2001; Wade et al. 2003; Wilksch 2010; Yamamiya et al. 2005), "
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    • "Media both influences and reinforces prevailing social norms, beliefs, and attitudes about appearance, and the effects of media exposure on body image have been well documented [59-61]. More specifically, findings from meta-analyses indicate that even brief exposure to media that portrays the thin-ideal of beauty [61] increases body dissatisfaction, which, as noted above, is a potent a risk factor for EDs and depression. "
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