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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, 12 Even though a number of studies have shown that exposure to the thin ideal creates body image dissatisfaction (e.g., Botta, 1999; Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Heinberg & Thompson, 1995; Stice & Shaw, 1994), the perceptual alteration of the thin ideal has not been studied extensively, with a few exceptions (e.g., Myers & Biocca, 1992; Lavine, Sweeney, & Wagner, 1999). In their study, Lavine, Sweeney and Wagner (1999) examined the effects of approximately 10 minutes of exposure to sexist ads (ads featuring attractive male and female bodies) and nonsexist ads. They found that after this brief exposure women who saw the sexist ads rated their actual body size as larger in comparison to the women in the control condition. In contrast, men who saw the sexist ads rated their bodies as thinner in comparison to men in the control condition. Effects of exposure to the sexist ads also moved the self-perceived ideal, but did not have a significant impact on women’s perception of social norms. For the actual and ideal judgments, effects on women were greater than the effect on men. For judgment of social norms, effect on men was significant, although no significant difference was observed for women. These findings form the basis for the rest of the hypotheses. H4: The effect of exposure to thin and plus-size models will have a greater effect on women compared to men. H5: Effect of exposure on personal norms of ideal body shape will be greater than the effect on social norms of ideal body shape. H6: For women, exposure to thin and plus-size models will result in a shift between pre- and post-evaluations of actual body shape. Hypothesis 6 is essentially an interaction between pre-post evaluations and model type. The direction of the interaction, however, is not clear. Exposure to thin models

Authors: Prabu, David., Liu, Kaiya. and Cortese, Juliann.
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Ideal Body Image, 12
Even though a number of studies have shown that exposure to the thin ideal
creates body image dissatisfaction (e.g., Botta, 1999; Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Heinberg
& Thompson, 1995; Stice & Shaw, 1994), the perceptual alteration of the thin ideal has
not been studied extensively, with a few exceptions (e.g., Myers & Biocca, 1992; Lavine,
Sweeney, & Wagner, 1999). In their study, Lavine, Sweeney and Wagner (1999)
examined the effects of approximately 10 minutes of exposure to sexist ads (ads featuring
attractive male and female bodies) and nonsexist ads. They found that after this brief
exposure women who saw the sexist ads rated their actual body size as larger in
comparison to the women in the control condition. In contrast, men who saw the sexist
ads rated their bodies as thinner in comparison to men in the control condition. Effects of
exposure to the sexist ads also moved the self-perceived ideal, but did not have a
significant impact on women’s perception of social norms. For the actual and ideal
judgments, effects on women were greater than the effect on men. For judgment of social
norms, effect on men was significant, although no significant difference was observed for
women. These findings form the basis for the rest of the hypotheses.
H4: The effect of exposure to thin and plus-size models will have a greater effect
on women compared to men.
H5: Effect of exposure on personal norms of ideal body shape will be greater than
the effect on social norms of ideal body shape.
H6: For women, exposure to thin and plus-size models will result in a shift
between pre- and post-evaluations of actual body shape.
Hypothesis 6 is essentially an interaction between pre-post evaluations and model
type. The direction of the interaction, however, is not clear. Exposure to thin models


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