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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

Jane Ogden, Lauren Smith, Helen Nolan, Rachel Moroney and Hannah Lynch

Media images of unrealistic beauty have been identified as a determinant of women's body dissatisfaction. This experimental study aims to explore whether the negative…

Abstract

Purpose

Media images of unrealistic beauty have been identified as a determinant of women's body dissatisfaction. This experimental study aims to explore whether the negative impact of such images could be reduced by a one‐time educational intervention consisting of a presentation and discussion, teaching women to be critical of media images.

Design/methodology/approach

Female psychology students (n=176) from a university in the UK were randomly assigned to the control or intervention group and completed measures of body dissatisfaction after being challenged by images of the perfect female body. Follow up data were collected four weeks later.

Findings

The results suggested that the intervention had no immediate buffering effect on body dissatisfaction but participants in the intervention group showed a long‐term improvement for confidence, attractiveness and body‐parts dissatisfaction.

Practical implications

This one‐time intervention could be used to protect young women against the detrimental impact of media images in the longer term.

Originality/value

This study provides an evidence base for the use of an educational intervention for young people in schools and colleges.

Details

Health Education, vol. 111 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

Francesco Bimbo, Alessandro Bonanno, Hans Van Trijp and Rosaria Viscecchia

Psychological factors, such as body image dissatisfaction and the negative feelings associated with it may be related to the adoption of unhealthy eating behaviours. Also…

Abstract

Purpose

Psychological factors, such as body image dissatisfaction and the negative feelings associated with it may be related to the adoption of unhealthy eating behaviours. Also, body image dissatisfaction may lower the likelihood of engaging in long-term healthy eating habits and in the level of attention paid to the quality of the food consumed. As a result, body image may be related to consumers’ choice to purchase and consume health-enhancing food products. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot study of a small sample of Italian yogurt consumers was employed to explore if there is a relationship between respondents’ level of body image dissatisfaction and the number of health-enhancing yogurt choices. The data were collected by means of a virtual-shelf technique and were analysed using a negative binomial regression.

Findings

Results indicate that body image dissatisfaction is inversely related to the number of yogurt packages with health-enhancing features chosen from the virtual shelf. Also, respondents who read the nutrition label and those with more knowledge regarding leading functional yogurt brands, selected a higher number of functional yogurts from the virtual shelf compared, especially among women.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that body image dissatisfaction is inversely related to the number of yogurt packages with health-enhancing features chosen from the virtual shelf. Also, respondents who read the nutrition label and those with more knowledge regarding leading health-enhancing yogurt brands selected a higher number of health-enhancing yogurts options from the virtual shelf compared to others, especially among women.

Originality/value

The relationship between body image dissatisfaction and health-enhancing food choices has not been investigated in the consumer science and marketing literature. Additionally, this is one of the few papers that use a virtual shelf as a data-collection method.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2008

Jane Ogden and Faye Sherwood

This experimental study seeks to explore the impact of media images on women's body dissatisfaction and to assess whether this impact could be reduced by an educational…

Abstract

Purpose

This experimental study seeks to explore the impact of media images on women's body dissatisfaction and to assess whether this impact could be reduced by an educational intervention describing the power of air‐brushing.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved a 2×2 factorial design with two conditions: picture (thin vs fatter) and air‐brushing intervention (present vs absent). A total of 200 women completed measures of body dissatisfaction before and after viewing the experimental information.

Findings

The results showed that women felt consistently more dissatisfied with their bodies after viewing thin pictures and more satisfied after viewing fatter pictures. In addition, the air‐brushing intervention reduced the detrimental effect of viewing the thinner pictures but had no effect on the benefits of viewing the fatter pictures.

Originality/value

Media images may have a role to play in body dissatisfaction in women. But a simple intervention focusing on air‐brushing can facilitate a more critical perspective and thus provide a buffer against the influence of media images.

Details

Health Education, vol. 108 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 22 January 2018

Atefeh Yazdanparast and Nancy Spears

This study aims to investigate how comparing physical aspects of the self to fashion models in mass-mediated images result in body dissatisfaction and what mechanisms…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how comparing physical aspects of the self to fashion models in mass-mediated images result in body dissatisfaction and what mechanisms could be used to interrupt the potentially harmful emotional and motivational outcomes of such evaluations.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experimental design studies are conducted in which objective self-awareness (OSA; self-focus) is manipulated. In the first study, participants are assigned to control vs relevant vs irrelevant standards of appearance, and in the second study, all participants receive relevant standards of appearance and are randomly primed to experience pride or shame.

Findings

Focusing on the physical aspect of the self (i.e. state of OSA) and having access to relevant standards of appearance such as viewing images of beautiful fashion models (vs irrelevant standards of appearance such as images of plants) initiate the process of self-standard evaluation that may lead to body image state dissatisfaction (BISDS). Negative emotions mediate the relationship between BISDS and motivations to pursue cosmetic procedures. Pride and shame are two important self-conscious emotions that differently influence these relationships.

Originality/value

The present research identifies how pride could act as a self-affirming factor to intervene the undesirable outcomes of body image dissatisfaction and discourage unnecessary cosmetic procedures. Pride diminishes the motivation to undergo cosmetic procedures by shifting the focus from pursuing unachievable standards of appearance to pride-inducing achievements and self-affirming positive qualities. Shame, however, keeps individuals focused on discrepancies and lowers their ability to think of substitute goals, resulting in enhanced motivations for cosmetic procedures.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2007

Helen Borland and Selina Akram

Most fashion advertising in the UK uses and targets young, slim women (and/or men). The purpose of this paper research is to ask whether this approach is relevant and…

Abstract

Purpose

Most fashion advertising in the UK uses and targets young, slim women (and/or men). The purpose of this paper research is to ask whether this approach is relevant and appropriate to older women, who make up a large and growing segment of the market, and who generally have more disposable income to spend on clothes.

Design/methodology/approach

Adapted qualitative techniques were used to examine two groups of women, one younger and one older. The Contour Drawing Rating Scale was used to examine the women's self‐image and the ideal size they perceived models should be. Triadic Sorting with laddering interviews revealed how the women perceived some recent adverts.

Findings

Although the older women, on the whole, were larger than the younger women, they displayed a greater level of satisfaction and contentment with their body's size and appearance. Both groups felt that fashion models should be larger than they are currently and the older women, in particular, felt that the advert using “normal‐sized” women was the most effective in selling product.

Practical implications

Directed towards the creators of fashion advertising and fashion retailers, this research was one of the first attempts to uncover how older women view fashion advertising. It reveals that while older women do not necessarily expect to see women of their own age in adverts they do require that the models are more reflective of “normal‐sized” women going about “normal” activities. In short, to interest them in the products being sold, they need advertising to be relevant to their everyday lives, without being condescending or resorting to escapism.

Originality/value

This paper represents one of the first research studies in the UK to explore older “normal” women and their perceptions of bodyimage related to fashion advertising. It also uses specifically adapted qualitative methods to achieve its purpose.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Amrita Ghai, Irena Milosevic, Michele Laliberte, Valerie H. Taylor and Randi E. McCabe

The purpose of this paper is to assess multidimensional body image concerns in a sample of obese women seeking bariatric surgery at an outpatient hospital clinic in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess multidimensional body image concerns in a sample of obese women seeking bariatric surgery at an outpatient hospital clinic in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of obese adult women seeking bariatric surgery at an outpatient medical clinic in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (n=148) completed various self-report measures of body image concerns, including body image dysphoria, body image quality of life, body image investment, and appearance satisfaction. Participant scores were compared to normative data. Correlations between body image concern measures and body mass index (BMI) were examined.

Findings

Participants endorsed more body image dysphoria, more negative body image quality of life, and less appearance satisfaction than normative samples. BMI was not correlated with body image concern scores.

Practical implications

Interventions aimed at reducing body image disturbance in obese women should target multiple components of body image concern. Decisions about who should receive interventions should not be based on BMI status.

Originality/value

The majority of research on body image concerns focuses exclusively on evaluative constructs such as body image dissatisfaction. The current study examined affective, cognitive, and behavioural body image constructs. A better understanding of the multidimensional nature of body image concerns in obese women seeking bariatric surgery informs the development of effective, targeted interventions.

Details

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0980

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Anna Watson, Natascha Katharina Lecki and Mohamed Lebcir

– This paper aims to investigate the role of body size on female consumers’ fashion brand image perceptions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the role of body size on female consumers’ fashion brand image perceptions.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental design was used whereby the model’s body size in a fictitious advert was digitally manipulated to create four advertising images with an underweight, slender, average and obese model size (all other factors remained constant). Through an intercept survey of German female consumers, respondents were exposed to one of the four images, and asked questions pertaining to their brand image perceptions.

Findings

The findings suggest that for older consumers, model body size has no significant impact on their brand image perceptions. For younger consumers (18-25), there was some limited evidence of how a positive brand image affects when a slender model size is used, but there was no evidence that underweight models have a more positive impact on brand image.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was restricted to a single German city (Berlin) with a relatively small sample and, therefore, the generalisability of the findings may be limited. It would be interesting to repeat the study in different cultural contexts. Whilst this paper focussed on potential differences in perceptions between different age groups, future studies could consider other factors, such as fashion involvement or consumer personality on the impact of body size on brand image.

Practical implications

Given the potential link to low self-esteem and eating disorders, it is recommended that fashion brands cease using clinically underweight models. Brands targeting older consumers may benefit from using larger models.

Originality/value

There is limited research to date that looks at the role of body size on brand image, and this is one of the first studies to consider all non-product-related brand image associations, and how perceptions may differ between different age groups, with many previous studies relying on student samples.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Sara Emma Rieke, Deborah Clay Fowler, Hyo Jung Chang and Natalia Velikova

The purpose of this paper is to determine which factors impact body image satisfaction of Generation Y college age and young professional females born between the years of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine which factors impact body image satisfaction of Generation Y college age and young professional females born between the years of 1980 and 1993, age 20-33 years in the State of Texas.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey created in Qualtrics was e-mailed to recruit research participants. Quantitative data were collected and analyzed in IBM SPSS Statistics 21. Exploratory factor analysis, reliability, computing variable mean, and linear multiple regression were performed. The variables explored were divided and grouped into major factors.

Findings

Millennial females are influenced by their own personal preferences, morals and beliefs, and certain occasions, seasons, climate, and the weather. These factors significantly influence body image satisfaction. The model developed in this study provides researchers with a new perspective on body image satisfaction and purchase intent. This study extends the theory of reasoned action by identifying specific factors which influence body image satisfaction which leads to the final purchase decision.

Research limitations/implications

Because of this method of data collection the study might not be generalizable to the entire Millennial population. The sample is a small representative sample in the population with only Millennial females’ ages 20-33 years in the State of Texas. Although the study focussed on a single state, the state is an extremely large state encompassing 36 percent of the USA population. Additionally, race/ethnic diversity was also a limitation, as the majority of the sample was Caucasian. Thus, a larger and more diverse sample of age, race/ethnicity, and residence could be added for more generalizable results.

Practical implications

The findings of this study enable retailers to understand how body image can impact the customers perceptions of their stores and their employees. Marketers and retailers should focus on marketing to Millennial females through more personal approach targeting what is appropriate for the consumers size body type labeled clothing size and certain occasions.

Social implications

Confidence in decision making while purchasing apparel is an important aspect of shopping. Further research could benefit from focussing on determining the confidence drivers and their origins.

Originality/value

This study enhances literature by providing a glimpse into the minds of Generation Y female consumers’ body image satisfaction and the factors driving them to purchase apparel.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2010

William Jones and John Morgan

Eating disorders have long been perceived to occur primarily in women; few disorders in general medicine or psychiatry exhibit such a skew in gender distribution. Men and…

Abstract

Eating disorders have long been perceived to occur primarily in women; few disorders in general medicine or psychiatry exhibit such a skew in gender distribution. Men and women with eating disorders share common risk factors and exhibit some overlap in clinical presentation, but important differences do exist. Determining which factors best explain these differences remain uncertain. Furthermore, despite a marked increase in the incidence of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in women over the last 50 years, the awareness of eating disorders in men remains low. This is in spite of the fact that men represent 10‐20% of cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa and up to 40% of cases of binge eating disorder. Similarly, recent research has focused on the assumption and stereotype that eating disorders in men are associated with homosexuality, when male body image objectification and body dissatisfaction are also widespread in younger heterosexual men who are being increasingly confronted with the same impossible body image ideals that already challenge women and gay men. The stigma of being a man with an eating disorder continues, and we persist in attempting to fit men with eating disorders into a theoretical and clinical framework largely focused on the physical, psychological, and emotional development of women. This article reviews the literature on eating disorders in men and explores the factors that may explain this gender discrepancy.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Magdalena Kolka and Julie Abayomi

Current western society promotes a strong desirability to be thin. The majority of young females are unhappy with their body shape and wish to be thinner. This can lead to…

Abstract

Purpose

Current western society promotes a strong desirability to be thin. The majority of young females are unhappy with their body shape and wish to be thinner. This can lead to many health problems such as addictive exercising, depression and disordered eating. It is also established that certain groups tend to be more prone to body image dissatisfaction (BID) than others. The purpose of this paper is to determine if there was a high prevalence of BID and/or disordered eating among students studying a food‐related degree course.

Design/methodology/approach

Students were recruited via e‐mail. Subjects were weighed, measured and BMI calculated. A software package Anamorphic Micro was used to measure BID and a validated questionnaire “BITE” assessed for disordered eating.

Findings

Nutrition students had a low mean BMI of 21.8 kg/m2. Despite this, the majority (90 per cent) were dissatisfied with their body; with 83 per cent wishing to be thinner and 60 per cent overestimating their body size. The BITE questionnaire revealed that 30 per cent scored for disordered eating and 10 per cent scored for Bulimia Nervosa.

Originality/value

This paper confirms that students studying food‐related degree courses are at greater risk of developing eating disorders.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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