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Effect of Thin vs. Plus-Size Models: A Comparison of Body Image Ideals by Gender
Unformatted Document Text:  Ideal Body Image, 10 In recent years, communication scholars have focused on the body image effects of the media. Botta’s (1999) study highlights social comparison processes while watching television as a critical explanatory variable of body dissatisfaction. The first hypothesis for this study is derived from this finding. H1: Among female participants, when social comparisons strategies are evoked, exposure to thin models will evoke a thinner ideal and exposure to plus-size models will evoke a heavier ideal. Moreover, the results from Botta (1999) support the hypothesis that those with vulnerabilities are affected more by media exposure. This finding was also supported by David and Johnson (1998), who found that women with high physique anxiety was more willing to concede to a significant media effect on self and others. H2: Women with preexisting vulnerabilities, such as low self-esteem, high physique anxiety, or high body mass index are more likely to be influenced by media images than those will low vulnerabilities. Other studies focus on the relationship between media consumption and eating disorder symptoms (Harrison, 2000; Harrison & Cantor, 1997). Employing detailed measures of media use, these studies provide insights into how consumption of various genres of magazines and television alter body image factors. One of the notable findings from these studies is the significant correlation between media exposure and body dissatisfaction among males. By extending this finding, we predicted that exposure to different female body types (thin vs. plus) would have an effect on men’s perceptions of ideal female form, which was the basis for the next hypothesis.

Authors: Prabu, David., Liu, Kaiya. and Cortese, Juliann.
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Ideal Body Image, 10
In recent years, communication scholars have focused on the body image effects
of the media. Botta’s (1999) study highlights social comparison processes while watching
television as a critical explanatory variable of body dissatisfaction. The first hypothesis
for this study is derived from this finding.
H1: Among female participants, when social comparisons strategies are evoked,
exposure to thin models will evoke a thinner ideal and exposure to plus-size models will
evoke a heavier ideal.
Moreover, the results from Botta (1999) support the hypothesis that those with
vulnerabilities are affected more by media exposure. This finding was also supported by
David and Johnson (1998), who found that women with high physique anxiety was more
willing to concede to a significant media effect on self and others.
H2: Women with preexisting vulnerabilities, such as low self-esteem, high
physique anxiety, or high body mass index are more likely to be influenced by media
images than those will low vulnerabilities.
Other studies focus on the relationship between media consumption and eating
disorder symptoms (Harrison, 2000; Harrison & Cantor, 1997). Employing detailed
measures of media use, these studies provide insights into how consumption of various
genres of magazines and television alter body image factors. One of the notable findings
from these studies is the significant correlation between media exposure and body
dissatisfaction among males. By extending this finding, we predicted that exposure to
different female body types (thin vs. plus) would have an effect on men’s perceptions of
ideal female form, which was the basis for the next hypothesis.


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