Article

How do body-dissatisfied and body-satisfied males and females judge the size of thin female celebrities?

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This study investigated males' and females' judgments of the actual size of thin female celebrities and their attitudes toward size for a female, depending on their current body satisfaction or body dissatisfaction. In this study, 118 undergraduate Sydney University students (64 female, 54 male) were separated into body-satisfied and body-dissatisfied groups as a result of their scores on the Body Esteem Scale. Participants were presented with one accurate and six distorted photographs of five thin female celebrities, making the celebrity appear thinner or heavier than actuality. Participants chose what image they thought was the actual size of each female celebrity and which they thought was the ideal size for a female. Body-dissatisfied individuals judged the actual size of thin female celebrities thinner than actuality and chose an ideal size that was thinner than the celebrity's real size. Body-satisfied individuals were accurate in their judgments of the actual size of female celebrities and chose ideals that were larger than the celebrity's real size. Misperceptions of media images appear to result from prior body dissatisfaction. Importantly, body-dissatisfied males misperceive female bodies and view a thin body size as ideal for females, implicating the need to target both body-dissatisfied males and females in future interventions.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... As intensas alterações biológicas e a instabilidade psicossocial decorrentes da adolescência e início da juventude associadas às mudanças referentes ao ingresso no meio universitário 10-15 -como novas relações sociais, maior independência da família e adoção de novos comportamentos 16,17 -torna os estudantes vulneráveis às pressões exercidas pela sociedade quanto aos aspectos corporais 10,11,13,[18][19][20] . Tipicamente, às mulheres é imposto um padrão de beleza fortemente associado ao ideal de magreza 5,6,9,[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32] e aos homens, à muscularidade [23][24][25]27,30,[33][34][35][36][37] . ...
... As intensas alterações biológicas e a instabilidade psicossocial decorrentes da adolescência e início da juventude associadas às mudanças referentes ao ingresso no meio universitário 10-15 -como novas relações sociais, maior independência da família e adoção de novos comportamentos 16,17 -torna os estudantes vulneráveis às pressões exercidas pela sociedade quanto aos aspectos corporais 10,11,13,[18][19][20] . Tipicamente, às mulheres é imposto um padrão de beleza fortemente associado ao ideal de magreza 5,6,9,[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32] e aos homens, à muscularidade [23][24][25]27,30,[33][34][35][36][37] . ...
... Em relação à influência da mídia e exposição aos padrões de beleza, observou-se que, para universitárias australianas, o maior tempo gasto no Facebook foi positivamente correlacionado com a insatisfação e comparação corporal 88 , e que houve relação positiva entre maior tempo de uso da rede social e preocupações com a IC (frequência de comparação corporal com amigos, familiares e celebridades) 39 . Também na Austrália a insatisfação corporal influenciou a percepção que os universitários de ambos os sexos tinham sobre as celebridades, ao julgarem-nas mais magras do que realmente são 25 . Nos EUA a insatisfação de IC foi maior para as universitárias expostas às imagens de mulheres magras do que as expostas às imagens de mulheres com maior peso e do que os controles 43 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Objetivo Caracterizar a insatisfação corporal entre estudantes universitários. Métodos Revisão integrativa da literatura nas bases de dados PubMed, Lilacs, Bireme, portal SciELO e banco de teses com descritores indexados com os critérios de inclusão: população exclusivamente universitária, apresentação de dados referentes à frequência/prevalência da insatisfação corporal e/ou a caracterização de fatores relacionados. Resultados Foram selecionados 76 estudos (40 nacionais e 36 internacionais). A amplitude de insatisfação de imagem corporal em ambos os sexos foi de 8,3% a 87% nos estudos nacionais, e de 5,2% a 85,5% nos internacionais, avaliados, principalmente, por meio de escalas de silhuetas e/ou questionários (como o Body Shape Questionnaire, o Eating Disorder Inventory, e o Body-Self Relations Questionnaire Appearance Scales). Os fatores como exposição à mídia e redes sociais, o período menstrual e a baixa autoestima foram relacionados à insatisfação corporal. Conclusão A insatisfação corporal é um fenômeno comum entre os universitários, mas apresentando grande amplitude dependendo do sexo, instrumento, método e objetivo do estudo. Padronização na avaliação do construto é necessária para melhor compressão e discussão do problema.
... This scale was reported to have excellent reliability (alpha = .90) among anorexia nervosa patients [48] and has been used to identify eating disturbances in non-clinical samples [49]. Item scores were summed for an overall test score, ranging from 0 to 78. ...
... Item scores were summed for an overall test score, ranging from 0 to 78. Using recommendations for non-clinical samples [49], those who receive a score of 20+ are considered high risk of having an ED. For this study, the scale showed good reliability (Cronbach's alpha = .870). ...
... The extent of Facebook use and ED risk was assessed. Participants scoring higher than or equal to 20 on the EAT-26 were considered at high risk, and those less than 20, at low risk for an ED [49]. The average extent of Facebook use was 21.54 h per week (SD = 16.715) for those in the high-risk group and 14.91 h per week (SD = 11.606) for those in the low-risk group. ...
Article
Full-text available
Appearance comparison has consistently been shown to engender body image dissatisfaction. To date, most studies have demonstrated this relationship between appearance comparison and body image dissatisfaction in the context of conventional media images depicting the thin-ideal. Social comparison theory posits that people are more likely to compare themselves to similar others. Since social media forums such as Facebook involve one's peers, the current study aimed to determine whether the relationship between appearance comparison and body image dissatisfaction would be stronger for those exposed to social media images, compared to conventional media images. A sample of 193 female first year university students were randomly allocated to view a series of either Facebook or conventional media thin-ideal images. Participants completed questionnaires assessing pre- and post- image exposure measures of thin-ideal internalisation, appearance comparison, self-esteem, Facebook use and eating disorder risk. Type of exposure was not found to moderate the relationship between appearance comparison and changes in body image dissatisfaction. When analysed according to exposure type, appearance comparison only significantly predicted body image dissatisfaction change for those exposed to Facebook, but not conventional media. Facebook use was found to predict higher baseline body image dissatisfaction and was associated with higher eating disorder risk. The findings suggest the importance of extending the body image dissatisfaction literature by taking into account emerging social media formats. It is recommended that interventions for body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders consider appearance comparison processes elicited by thin-ideal content on social media forums, such as Facebook, in addition to conventional media.
... Several studies have exposed women to images of different sizes of celebrities and examined the effect on body image and on participant perception of weight. Both King et al. (2000) and Willinge et al. (2006) found that women high on body shape concern judged the celebrity image (which was edited to appear larger or smaller in weight) as thinner than actuality, while women unconcerned about body shape judge the celebrity's size accurately. In addition, Willinge et al. (2006) also determined that body-satisfied women chose an ideal body size (the ideal size for a female) that was larger than the celebrity's real size, while body dissatisfied women chose an ideal body size that was thinner than the celebrity's real size. ...
... Both King et al. (2000) and Willinge et al. (2006) found that women high on body shape concern judged the celebrity image (which was edited to appear larger or smaller in weight) as thinner than actuality, while women unconcerned about body shape judge the celebrity's size accurately. In addition, Willinge et al. (2006) also determined that body-satisfied women chose an ideal body size (the ideal size for a female) that was larger than the celebrity's real size, while body dissatisfied women chose an ideal body size that was thinner than the celebrity's real size. Lastly, a study by Khaled et al. (2018) exposed Arab women to unedited images of thin (e.g. ...
Article
Celebrities are well-known individuals who receive extensive public and media attention. There is an increasing body of research on the effect of celebrities on body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Yet, there has been no synthesis of the research findings. A systematic search for research articles on celebrities and body image or eating disorders resulted in 36 studies meeting inclusion criteria. Overall, the qualitative, correlational, big data, and experimental methodologies used in these studies demonstrated that exposure to celebrity images, appearance comparison, and celebrity worship are associated with maladaptive consequences for individuals’ body image.
... Genetic, biological, developmental, social, familial and psychological risk factors play a role in the development of eating disorders (Striegel-Moore & Bulik, 2007). The emergence of eating disorders in non-Western societies as well as Western societies, may be related to the exposure of media which encourages and glamourizes thinness (Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002;Willinge, Touyz, & Charles, 2006). Furthermore, several studies have shown that both ethnic and cultural differences influence the way a person perceives his/her body image and ideal body weight. ...
... It is argued that the underlying motivation for consuming food may primarily be satisfying hunger cues or may be responses to emotional, social, or environmental prompts. (S.R. Hawks, Merrill, Gast, & Hawks, 2004;Willinge et al., 2006). ...
Article
This study aimed to examine the cross-sectional relationship between Ramadan fasting as a spiritual factor with prolonged hunger and disordered eating behaviors. The study was conducted in June 2016 (11th–29th days of Ramadan) and consisted of 238 fasting and 49 non-fasting adolescents. Risk of disordered eating was evaluated using the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) and Three Factor Eating Questionnaire-R18 (TFEQ-R18). Body image dissatisfaction was rated with Stunkard’s Figure Rating Scale (FRS). Nutritional status was assessed using a 24-hour dietary recall. There was no significant difference between energy intake, EAT-26 and TFEQ-R18 scores (except the emotional eating sub-scores) between the groups. FRS revealed that the comparisons of their “ideal” and self were not significantly different between the groups whereas the gap between the figures they think healthy and closest to self was significantly higher amongst non-fasting adolescents. Two-hundred and two (97.5%) adolescents reported fasting for religious purposes whereas only 8 (3.4%) for losing weight. The EAT-26 total scores were in the pathological range in 39 (16.8%) adolescents who fasted for religious purposes. This study suggests that motivation of adolescents to fast during Ramadan was due to spiritual decisions rather than weight control or other factors and Ramadan fasting was not correlated with disordered eating behaviors or body image dissatisfaction.
... Genetic, biological, developmental, social, familial and psychological risk factors play a role in the development of eating disorders (Striegel-Moore & Bulik, 2007). The emergence of eating disorders in non-Western societies as well as Western societies, may be related to the exposure of media which encourages and glamourizes thinness (Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002;Willinge, Touyz, & Charles, 2006). Furthermore, several studies have shown that both ethnic and cultural differences influence the way a person perceives his/her body image and ideal body weight. ...
... It is argued that the underlying motivation for consuming food may primarily be satisfying hunger cues or may be responses to emotional, social, or environmental prompts. (S.R. Hawks, Merrill, Gast, & Hawks, 2004;Willinge et al., 2006). ...
... For instance, people who are content with their own body size are more accurate at assessing the body size of celebrities. 81 When people are unhappy with their own figures and physiques, they criticize male celebrities for being "overweight" and ridicule female public figures for being "underweight". 82 Because of such human tendencies to see the bodies of others inaccurately, we cannot put much faith in the media's portrayal of Jackson's leanness as it appears to have sexist, perhaps racist, and deeply personal implications. ...
Book
A pharmacologist walks you through the science underlying the tragic death of Michael Jackson, focusing on the specific pharmacology of every drug documented to be found at the death scene or historically prescribed to Jackson for his personal use. This highly detailed and well-researched analysis offers an easy-to-read explanation drugs Jackson was reported to have used and why, each drug’s mechanism of action and potential toxicity, and a thorough scientific discussion of the drug that caused his premature death. Blending pop culture, forensic autopsy data, police reports and trial transcripts with the fascinating science of pharmacology, this book entertains and informs the reader with precision and unflinching accuracy.
... According to their BMI, Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie can be considered underweight. Indeed, their visibly thin bodies have often been subject of debate in women's magazines (Willinge et al. 2006). Nicole Kidman, who had the lowest BMI, was exclusively named in the Tehran sample, and more often than the other stars. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study compares the dieting habits and eating disorder symptoms of Iranian women living in Tehran with those residing in the Netherlands and assesses the current state of eating disorders in Tehran through interviews with psychiatrists. Fifty-nine Iranian women living in Tehran and forty Iranian women living in the Netherlands filled out a questionnaire including the Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26), the Sick, Control, One stone, Fat and Food (SCOFF) questionnaire, their actual and desired weight and their ideal figure. No significant differences were found between groups on EAT-26 or SCOFF scores, the level of weight satisfaction, or the perceived ideal figure. The dieting of the Dutch sample was significantly more related to self-esteem and perfectionism. The Tehran sample included more women with a low BMI (below 18), high EAT-26 scores (>20) and high SCOFF scores (>2). The psychiatrists interviewed in Tehran reported an increase in the prevalence of eating disorders. Iranian women in Tehran seem to be at an equal or even higher risk of developing an eating disorder than Iranian women in the Netherlands.
... While this may be due to higher levels of discontent with appearance in general, it may also indicate that eating disordered females' appearance schemas activated by the media may assume thin ideal status as they are based on media that contains a preponderance of appearance-and thinness-focused information. As such, females with eating disorders may attribute greater attractiveness to any portrayal made by the media or any portrayal approximating the ideal (Trampe et al., 2007;Wasilenko, Kulik, & Wanic, 2007;Willinge, Touyz & Charles, 2006). ...
... Interaction with a thin peer is also sufficient to reduce short-term body satisfaction (Krones, Stice, Batres, & Orjada, 2005). Research has also demonstrated that women rate celebrities as more attractive when they are digitally altered to look underweight, particularly if their body satisfaction is already low (Willinge, Touyz, & Charles, 2006). This effect is not limited to adults: five to eight year old girls express more body dissatisfaction and nominate a thinner ideal after playing with Barbie dolls (Dittmar, Halliwell, & Ive, 2006). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Across the developed world, rates of disordered eating are increasing. Formal eating disorders, unhealthy dieting and obesity have all been escalating over the last forty years. Various theoretical models have been proposed to explain this increase. Sociocultural models have drawn attention to features of the social environment, such as the cultural value placed on thinness for women (causing body dissatisfaction, and subsequently, weight-loss attempts), or the hyperavailability of energy dense foods and energy-saving technologies (causing obesity). Individualistic models have identified a variety of genetic and personality factors, such as perfectionism, low self-esteem and thin-ideal internalisation, that increase vulnerability to disordered eating. However, these two approaches to disordered eating are currently a) incompatible, and b) unable to account for the evidence of social influence in eating behaviour. In this thesis, I propose a social identity analysis of disordered eating behaviour. This conceptualisation is able to parsimoniously incorporate previous findings by attending to the mechanism through which sociocultural phenomena are represented psychologically (via self-categorisation). Across 10 studies and 5 empirical chapters, evidence is presented for this social identity analysis. Firstly, a Dieting Intentions Scale is developed and validated in four studies, such that future dieting behaviour may be adequately measured as a dependent variable in the research. Secondly, two experiments demonstrate that the perception of shared psychological group membership is a necessary condition for social influence in eating behaviour. Thirdly, three studies show that the predictors of dieting intentions are context-dependent, and are determined by an individual’s salient self-categorisations. Fourthly and finally, one experiment tests the applicability of the social identity analysis of social influence in a clinical population. The thesis has implications for social-psychological theory, in extending and testing the social identity approach, particularly in the health domain. However, it has greater implications for clinical-psychological theory, in questioning the biomedical model of eating pathology and suggesting new strategies for modifying and preventing disordered eating behaviour. Overall, this thesis provides a strong case for the relevance of the social identity approach to health generally, and eating behaviour in particular.
... The Western society has influenced and urged a stringent body size ideal during the last decades. Women need to strive for an ultra-thin body, while men are forced to attain a V-shaped and muscular body (Willinge, Touyz, & Charles, 2006). In addition, idealized female media models often are underweight (Dittmar, 2007), while male models show an unattainable muscularity (Barlett, Vowels, & Saucier, 2008). ...
Article
This study examined the effects of media images of models performing a difficult body movement on young, healthy female's body-self unity experience. According to van der Heij (2007), body-self unity consists of alienation and harmony of the body and self. Female participants ( N = 44) were randomly selected into three group conditions. In the first two conditions, they were exposed to several media images of models performing a difficult Yoga body movement and either answered statements about the body functionality or the attractiveness of the model. The last condition was a control group in which respondents were shown images of accessories and answered statements about the usefulness of these accessories. Using the Body Experience Questionnaire as an indicator of body-self unity, women who were exposed to the media images of models showed significantly greater discrepancies between themselves and their bodies as indicated by body-self alienation. However, no differences between the groups were found on body-self harmony. These results suggest that exposure to cert ain media images can have negative influences on individual's experience of body-self unity, in particular body-self alienation.
Article
Full-text available
Body dissatisfaction and problematic eating behaviors are common among emerging adults in college, especially in the Westernized world, suggesting a need for a better understanding of predictors and potential buffers of such negative outcomes. Also, findings from the relative impact of emotion regulation abilities on body image and eating behaviors have been mixed. Thus, the present study investigated the interplay among negative body image cognitions (e.g., thoughts and feelings of dissatisfaction) and maladaptive eating/dieting behaviors, global stress, perceived social support, and two types of emotion regulation abilities (amplification and reduction) in a sample of 95 emerging adults (mean age 18.9-years). Results indicated that negative body image cognitions and maladaptive eating behaviors correlated significantly with perceived ability to regulate negative affect by reducing emotions, but not with emotion regulation amplification abilities. Also, perceived global stress correlated significantly with EMOTION REGULATION AND BODY IMAGE 194 negative body image cognitions and problematic eating behaviors. In contrast, the relationship between body image variables and perceived social support was not significant. Finally, regression analyses indicated that emotion regulation reduction abilities predicted emerging adults' negative cognitions pertaining to their body/weight, but not their maladaptive eating behaviors, beyond perceived stress. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of local culture on body image and eating distress in a sample of urban Bulgarian women. Specifically, we focused on two affiliated factors unique to the Bulgarian context: faith and traditional fasting. Findings revealed that women could be divided into two groups who behaved differently based on the severity of their eating disorder symptomatology. For women with higher EAT-40 scores (i.e., vulnerable women), faith seemed to have harmful effects, perhaps by virtue of motivating or reinforcing asceticism and dietary restraint. For these women fasting was likely but one strategy for weight management and the achievement of a desired thin figure consistent with the socio-cultural models. In contrast, among women with lower EAT-40 scores, faith seemed to have a protective effect against excessive dieting. These women were more likely to use fasting in the way intended by religious scripture, for faith-related reasons that have nothing to do with body image. This study contributes to the literature by emphasizing the importance of culturally unique factors that may be implicated in the relationship between body dissatisfaction and overt eating distress in the trans-cultural context. When expanded, this research can be of use in helping formulate custom interventions and public health policies aimed at preventing such conditions in Bulgaria and possibly in similar post-communist cultures.
Article
Full-text available
Despite the popular belief that the thinstandard of female attractiveness currently presented inthe media is a primary contributor to the high level ofconcern with body weight among women, experimental studies have not shown that exposure to mediaimages increases women's weight concern. Threeexperiments are reported demonstrating that exposure tomedia images does often result in increased weightconcern among women, but that body dissatisfaction, astable personality characteristic, is a moderator ofvulnerability to this effect. Although most womenreported higher weight concern when exposed to media vs. neutral images, women with low initial bodydissatisfaction did not. In addition, this researchsuggests that negative effects on weight concern mayresult from even passive exposure to media images, but that exposure to realistic attractivenessis less likely to cause increased weight concern. Theethnicity of the participants in these studies reflectedthat of the local population, with over 90% white. The nonwhite participants primarily belonged toone of the following groups; Asian, Pacific Islander,Latino.
Article
Full-text available
Mass media are believed to be a pervasive force in shaping physical appearance ideals and have been shown, to negatively impact females' body image. Little research has attended to the effects of media exposure on males' body image. The current experiment exposed 158 males to television advertisements containing either ideal male images or neutral images that were inserted between segments of a television program. Participants were blocked on dispositional body image and attitudes toward appearance variables to assess for moderating effects. Results indicated that participants exposed to ideal image advertisements became significantly more depressed and had higher levels of muscle dissatisfaction than those exposed to neutral ads. Inconsistent with past research, no dispositional effects were noted that would suggest the influence of schematicity on mood and body image changes.
Article
Full-text available
An increasing number of studies shows that exposure to thin ideal bodies in the me- dia has negative effects on young women's body images, at least in the short-term. However, this research has (a) consistently confounded the effects of thinness and attractiveness, and (b) not investigated the potential use of alternative images in ad- vertising that do not decrease women's body esteem. This study examines the im- pact of three types of advertisements—featuring thin models, average-size models, or no models—on adult women's body-focused anxiety, and on advertising effec- tiveness. As expected, exposure to thin models resulted in greater body-focused anxiety among women who internalize the thin ideal than exposure to average-size models or no models. Yet, advertisements were equally effective, regardless of the model's size. This implies that advertisers can successfully use larger, but attrac- tive, models and perhaps avoid increasing body-focused anxiety in a large proportion of women. Levels of concern and public debate about whether the use of very thin models in the media has a detrimental effect on women are increasing. For example, the government in the UK held a body image summit in June 2000 to discuss the need for policies regarding such media images, and the Medical Association concluded "the media play a significant role in the aetiology of eating disorders" (BMA, 2000). Psychological research has an important role in addressing two ques- tions that are crucial to this debate. Is it true that displaying very thin
Article
Full-text available
Examined the relationship between college women's media use and 2 sets of variables (disordered-eating symptomatology and a set of related variables, including body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness) and assessed the relationship between college men's media use and their endorsement of thinness for themselves and for women. 232 female and 190 male undergraduates were surveyed. It was expected that consumption of thinness-depicting and thinness-promoting (TDP) media would be related to disordered eating and thinness endorsement, with the social learning process of modeling accounting for the relationships. For women, media use predicted disordered-eating symptomatology, drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, and ineffectiveness. For men, media use predicted endorsement of personal thinness and dieting and select attitudes in favor of thinness and dieting for women. Magazine reading was a more consistent predictor than TV viewing. Several relationships remained significant when interest in fitness and dieting as media topics was partialled out of the analyses. Exposure to TDP media appears to be associated with a subsequent increase in eating disorder symptomatology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
The relationships of body satisfaction, self-esteem, dieting, and exercise were studied in 92 men and women. Men and women did not differ in degree of body dissatisfaction as assessed by three different measures. However, on the direction of body dissatisfaction, men were as likely to want to be heavier as thinner, whereas virtually no women wished to be heavier. Although overall body esteem was correlated with self-esteem for both men and women, measures of weight dissatisfaction were not associated with self-esteem for women. The normative nature of weight dissatisfaction for women today may serve to buffer its effects on self-esteem. Women reported exercising for weight control more than men, and exercising for weight control was associated with disregulated eating.
Article
Full-text available
Norms and reliability and validity data are presented for an objectively scored Body Esteem Scale. Factor analysis of the scale revealed that body esteem is a multidimensional construct which differs for males and females. For males, the body esteem dimensions dealt with physical attractiveness, upper body strength, and physical condition. For females, the dimensions dealt with sexual attractiveness, weight concern, and physical condition. The three aspects of males' body esteem were more highly intercorrelated than those of the females, indicating a greater degree of body esteem differentiation for females than for males.
Article
Full-text available
Synopsis Psychometric and clinical correlates of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) are described for a large sample of female anorexia nervosa ( N = 160) and female comparison ( N = 140) subjects. An abbreviated 26-item version of the EAT (EAT-26) is proposed, based on a factor analysis of the original scale (EAT-40). The EAT-26 is highly correlated with the EAT-40 ( r = 0·98) and three factors form subscales which are meaningfully related to bulimia, weight, body-image variables and psychological symptoms. Whereas there are no differces between bulimic and restricter anorexia nervosa patients on the total EAT-26 and EAT-40 scores, these groups do indicate significant differences on EAT-26 fractors. Norms for the anorexia nervosa and female comparison subjects are presented for the EAT-26, EAT-40 and the EAT-26 factors. It is concluded that the EAT-26 is a reliable, valid and economical instrument which may be useful as an objective measure of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa.
Article
Full-text available
The effect of experimental manipulations of the thin beauty ideal, as portrayed in the mass media, on female body image was evaluated using meta-analysis. Data from 25 studies (43 effect sizes) were used to examine the main effect of mass media images of the slender ideal, as well as the moderating effects of pre-existing body image problems, the age of the participants, the number of stimulus presentations, and the type of research design. Body image was significantly more negative after viewing thin media images than after viewing images of either average size models, plus size models, or inanimate objects. This effect was stronger for between-subjects designs, participants less than 19 years of age, and for participants who are vulnerable to activation of a thinness schema. Results support the sociocultural perspective that mass media promulgate a slender ideal that elicits body dissatisfaction. Implications for prevention and research on social comparison processes are considered.
Article
Three hundred twenty-seven undergraduatemostlyEuropean American women and men were surveyed totest whether feminist theoryabout how women come to viewtheir bodies as objects to be watched (Objectified Body Consciousness or OBC) can be useful inexplaining gender differences in body esteem. The OBCscales (McKinley & Hyde, 1996) were demonstrated tobe distinct dimensions with acceptable reliabilities for men. Relationships between bodysurveillance, body shame, and body esteem were strongerfor women than for men. Women had higher surveillance,body shame, and actual/ideal weight discrepancy, andlower body esteem than did men. Multiple regressionanalysis found that gender differences in body esteemwere no longer significant when OBC was entered into theequation, supporting feminist theory about women's body experience.
Article
Few studies have empirically investigated the role of the mass media in the etiology of eating disorders. This study investigates the reported awareness of media body ideals among a group of eating disorder patients and a community sample, together with the reported influence of these ideals on subjects' body shape- and weight-related attitudes and behaviors. Patients with eating disorders were significantly more likely than controls to report being influenced by the body ideals presented in the media. Our findings suggest that treatment programs for eating disorders may need to address directly the images and ideals presented in the media.
Article
Thisstudy aimed to investigate the role of social comparison processes in women's responses to images of thin-idealize d female beauty. A sample of 126 women viewed magazine advertisements containing full-body, body part, or product im- ages. Instructional set was also manipulated with three levels: control, appearance focus, and social comparison. Mood and body dissatisfaction were measured im- mediately before and after advertisement viewing, while state weight anxiety and the amount of appearance comparison engaged in were measured only after the advertisements. It was found that exposure to either body part or full body images led to increased negative mood and body dissatisfaction, while the amount of com- parison processing was affected by both image type and instructional set. Impor- tantly, regression analyses showed that the effects of image type on mood and body dissatisfaction were mediated by the amount of social comparison reported. It was concluded that the processing in which women engage in response to media images is an important contributor to negative effects. Sociocultural theory provides the most strongly supported theoretical account of the high levels of body image disturbance, body dissatisfac- tion, and disordered eating experienced by many women in Western so- cieties (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-Dunn, 1999). This model maintains that current societal standards for beauty inordinately emphasize the desirability of thinness, and thinness at a level impossible for many women to achieve by healthy means. In fact, the gap between the average woman's body size and the ideal is now larger than ever be-
Article
Sociocultural pressure on women to be thin has been blamed for the development of eating disorders. Despite decades of research, however, it is still not clear why a few women exposed to these pressures develop eating disorders, but most women in the society do not. The media are often blamed for spreading the message that women must be thin, and for making women feel badly about themselves. This view seems overly simplistic, however, ignoring the fact that women voluntarily expose themselves to thin media images, that such exposure can actually be pleasurable, and that most women exposed to this message do not develop eating disorders. The sociocultural model of eating disorders needs further study and refinement, and the studies in this special issue represent steps in that process.
Article
Although laboratory experiments indicate that brief exposure to thin models leads to acute body dissatisfaction and negative affect in women, research has not tested whether longer term exposure results in lasting effects. Accordingly, we randomly assigned 219 adolescent girls to a 15-month fashion magazine subscription or a no-subscription condition and followed them over time. Despite evidence that the experimental manipulation successfully increased exposure to the fashion magazine and the ample statistical power, there were no main effects of long-term exposure to thin images on thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, dieting, negative affect, or bulimic symptoms. However, there was evidence that vulnerable adolescents, characterized by initial elevations in perceived pressure to be thin and body dissatisfaction and deficits in social support, were adversely affected by exposure to these images. Results suggest that exposure to thin-ideal images has lasting negative effects for vulnerable youth.
Article
Body image issues are at the core of major eating disorders. They are also important phenomena in and of themselves. Kevin Thompson and his colleagues provide an overview of a wide variety of body image issues, ranging from reconstructive surgery to eating disorders. The book will be a valuable resource for even the most established researchers in the field, as it is filled with data, information about assessment tools, and a thorough treatment of virtually all major theoretical perspectives on the development of body image and their implications for treatment and prevention. At the same time, the authors' decision to include numerous experiential anecdotes makes the book easily accessible to those just entering the field who are trying to understand the nature of these phenomena. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Both boys and girls are exposed repeatedly to thin-ideal images in the media, that is, images of unrealistically thin and attractive women. As yet, however, little research has examined the impact of these images on boys. In the present study we investigated the effect of exposure to televised thin-ideal images on boys' attitudes toward girls. The participants were 354 boys aged 13–15 years, who viewed either 20 commercials that epitomized the thin-ideal for women or 20 commercials that contained no such images. They then rated the importance of 10 characteristics, including slimness and physical attractiveness, in their choice of partner or girlfriend. Appearance schematicity, a trait measure of the extent of investment in appearance as the basis for self-evaluation, was also assessed. It was found that schematicity was positively related to boys' importance ratings of attractiveness, slimness, athletic ability, muscularity, and popularity in a girlfriend. Further, boys who scored medium (but not high or low) on appearance schematicity were influenced by the commercials. These findings suggest that the media may have an indirect impact on girls' body image through influence on boys' expectations and evaluations of girls' appearance.
Article
Particular strategies of media advocacy can help people contest the dominant body images of fashion advertisements and reframe them to include a broader array of "normal" images. A study with an intervention group (n = 60) and a comparison group (n = 45) of undergraduate college students was conducted to investigate whether analyzing and reframing fashion advertisements changed the students' attitudes and behaviors regarding their own body images. Results from the posttest showed a significant change in beliefs among those in the intervention group but no significant change in behaviors. The comparison group showed no significant change in beliefs or behaviors. Posttest results from the women in the intervention group (n = 44) indicated a significant change in the study participants' beliefs that adult models in advertisements have an ideal body size and shape and that the participants' decisions about dieting or exercising should be based more on looks rather than on health status.
Article
Research suggests that media exposure causes some women to feel heightened dissatisfaction with their body shape. This study attempts to determine which women are effected as such, by investigating how women feel about their own bodies and how this effects their perceptions of female celebrities in the media. Undergraduate females (n = 116) were shown one accurate and six distorted photographs of thin and heavy female celebrities. Each distorted photograph made the celebrity appear thinner or heavier than actuality. Participants chose which photograph portrayed each celebrity's true body shape. Body shape concerns were measured by the Body Shape Questionnaire. Women concerned about their body shape judged thin celebrities as thinner than actuality, whereas unconcerned women judged them accurately. Both groups judged heavy celebrities as heavier than actuality. Results suggest certain women are effected by media exposure due to their own perception of females in the media. Prevention strategies, and the media's role in body dissatisfaction and dieting disorders, are discussed.
Article
Researchers have expended significant effort trying to delineate determinants of body image disturbance in young women, in part because of the potential of body image disturbance to precipitate eating disordered behavior. In this research we demonstrate that the extent of the discrepancy women perceive between their own attractiveness and body shape and images representative of ideal feminine attractiveness presented in advertising and the broader media (i.e., self-media ideal discrepancy) predicts how concerned they are with their weight (a measure of body image disturbance). Perhaps more importantly, we also show that perceived self-media ideal discrepancy is a construct independent of global self-esteem. Specifically, our results demonstrate that perceived self-media ideal discrepancy is related to women's weight concern even when self-esteem is statistically controlled. Implications for theory and clinical intervention are discussed.
Article
Due to its role in the development and maintenance of eating disorders, body image perceptions and dissatisfaction continue to be an important area of study. Perceptions of attractive body images held by members of the opposite sex are an important determinant of body image satisfaction among both men and women. This research shows that men are accurate in their perceptions of what women find attractive among men, but women believe men want women to be thinner than men actually report. Furthermore, this inaccurate perception is associated with eating disorder symptomatology. The role of contingent self-worth was also assessed. Results indicate that individuals whose self-worth is more contingent on appearance-related standards experience more negative consequences than those who misperceive what the opposite sex finds attractive, but whose self-worth is less contingent on appearance. Implications for intervention are discussed.
Article
This article reviews theory and research pertaining to prevention of negative body image and eating disorders. Research derived from the social cognitive model (SCM) and non-specific vulnerability-stressor (NSVS) model indicates that sustained prevention effects for attitudes and behaviors are possible, but not easy to achieve or explain. These limitations are considered in the context of promising research derived from a third model, critical social perspectives (CSP). We conclude that (1) research on practice should aim beyond the examination of efficacy in order to clarify the active ingredients contributing to prevention; and (2) research informed by each of the divergent perspectives can be used to enrich theory and practice in the field of eating disorders prevention.
The Eating Atti-tudes Test: psychometric features and clinical correlates
  • Garner Dm
  • Olmstead Mp
  • Y Bohr
  • Pe
Garner DM, Olmstead MP, Bohr Y, Garfinkel PE. The Eating Atti-tudes Test: psychometric features and clinical correlates. Psy-chol Med 1982;12:871–878.
The use of interactive media to prevent eating disorders Eating disorders: new directions for research and practice
  • Taylor Cb
  • Winzelberg Aj
  • Celio
  • R Striegel-Moore
  • L Smolak
Taylor CB, Winzelberg AJ, Celio AA. The use of interactive media to prevent eating disorders. In: Striegel-Moore R, Smolak L, edi-tors. Eating disorders: new directions for research and practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001, p. 255–269.
The treatment of body image disturbances Body image, eating disorders and obe-sity: an integrative guide for assessment and treatment
  • Tf Cash
Cash TF. The treatment of body image disturbances. In: Thompson JK, editor. Body image, eating disorders and obe-sity: an integrative guide for assessment and treatment. Wash-ington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1996, p. 83– 107.
  • Taylor
  • King