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Effects of Ideal Body Images--Translatable Across Gender and Culture?
Unformatted Document Text:  6 et al., 1986). Compared to the thin-ideal models, many girls and young women are dissatisfied with their body sizes and are at risk of engaging in dangerous dieting in order to achieve the thinness portrayed by the mass media. It is clear that mass media not only promote thinness in terms of body image, it also present models who possess well proportioned body figure, which most people rarely have. These highly attractive beauties also have caused some unintended effects on body images. For example, exposure to these beautiful models potentially lowers viewers’ body-esteem (Martin & Gentry, 1997; Kowner & Ogawa, 1993; Richins, 1991). Given the considerable variance explained by body-esteem in self-esteem, some studies included self-esteem as one of the dependent variables (Grogan et al., 1996; Kowner & Ogawa, 1993). Empirical evidence from these studies supported the detrimental effects of extreme beauty on self-esteem. It should be pointed out that most existing research focuses on female body image and its effect on female viewers, and few of them turn their attention to males. Recently, some researchers (Pope et al., 1997) found that body problem also occurs to men, although body image determinants are somewhat different in terms of gender. Besides weight, for instance, males are also concerned about their height and masculinity. Considering the many supermen images presented in the media, many boys expressed dissatisfaction with their bodies (Cohane & Pope, 2001). Few studies, however, have focused on males’ response to ideals models. The present study tries to add knowledge in this neglected field.

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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et al., 1986). Compared to the thin-ideal models, many girls and young women are
dissatisfied with their body sizes and are at risk of engaging in dangerous dieting in order
to achieve the thinness portrayed by the mass media.
It is clear that mass media not only promote thinness in terms of body image, it
also present models who possess well proportioned body figure, which most people
rarely have. These highly attractive beauties also have caused some unintended effects on
body images. For example, exposure to these beautiful models potentially lowers
viewers’ body-esteem (Martin & Gentry, 1997; Kowner & Ogawa, 1993; Richins, 1991).
Given the considerable variance explained by body-esteem in self-esteem, some studies
included self-esteem as one of the dependent variables (Grogan et al., 1996; Kowner &
Ogawa, 1993). Empirical evidence from these studies supported the detrimental effects of
extreme beauty on self-esteem.
It should be pointed out that most existing research focuses on female body image
and its effect on female viewers, and few of them turn their attention to males. Recently,
some researchers (Pope et al., 1997) found that body problem also occurs to men,
although body image determinants are somewhat different in terms of gender. Besides
weight, for instance, males are also concerned about their height and masculinity.
Considering the many supermen images presented in the media, many boys expressed
dissatisfaction with their bodies (Cohane & Pope, 2001). Few studies, however, have
focused on males’ response to ideals models. The present study tries to add knowledge in
this neglected field.


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