Does size matter? The impact of model's body size on advertising effectiveness and women's body-focused anxiety and advertising effectiveness

Halliwell, Emma and Dittmar, Helga (2004) Does size matter? The impact of model's body size on advertising effectiveness and women's body-focused anxiety and advertising effectiveness. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23 (1). pp. 104-122. ISSN 0736-7236

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Abstract

An increasing number of studies shows that exposure to thin ideal bodies in the media 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 advertising that do not decrease women's body esteem. This study examines the impact of three types of advertisements—featuring thin models, average-size models, or no models—on adult women's body-focused anxiety, and on advertising effectiveness. 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 attractive, models and perhaps avoid increasing body-focused anxiety in a large proportion of women.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: supervised first author
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Helga Dittmar
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:39
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2017 10:04
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13757
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