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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, 14 undergraduate students sorted these ads into three categories: underweight, average, and overweight. Average ratings were computed and ads rank ordered. Models in the top and bottom of this rank ordered list were chosen to represent thin and plus-size models. Despite the label, plus-size models were of average weight and matched the average woman. They are called plus-size because these ads were found in plus-size magazines and catalogs. Measures Self-esteem. Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem (RSE) scale was used to assess self- esteem (Rosenberg, 1965). The RSE is a 10-item Likert scale. Respondents indicate their agreement with each item on a 4-point scale (4 = Strongly Agree, 3 = Agree, 2 = Disagree, and 1 = Strongly Disagree). Physique Anxiety. The Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS) is a 12-item measure used to examine anxiety that stems from evaluation of the respondent’s body, particularly in social contexts (Hart, Leary, & Rejeski, 1989). Respondents report the degree to which each statement is characteristic or true of them. Response options range from (5) “Extremely” to (1) “Not at All.” Body Image Assessment. For assessing the ideal and actual body shapes, we used a scale designed by Stunkard, Sorensen, and Schulsinger (1983), which has been validated by Thompson and Altabe (1990). This scale uses nine line drawings to depict women’s body shapes that range from thin to obese. Evaluation of Ads. Model portrayed in ads were rated on thinness, attractiveness, and weight. These evaluations were obtained twice -- relative to the average model and relative to the average woman. Thinness was rated on a 11-point scale, where “0 =

Authors: Prabu, David., Liu, Kaiya. and Cortese, Juliann.
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Ideal Body Image, 14
undergraduate students sorted these ads into three categories: underweight, average, and
overweight. Average ratings were computed and ads rank ordered. Models in the top and
bottom of this rank ordered list were chosen to represent thin and plus-size models.
Despite the label, plus-size models were of average weight and matched the average
woman. They are called plus-size because these ads were found in plus-size magazines
and catalogs.
Measures
Self-esteem. Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem (RSE) scale was used to assess self-
esteem (Rosenberg, 1965). The RSE is a 10-item Likert scale. Respondents indicate their
agreement with each item on a 4-point scale (4 = Strongly Agree, 3 = Agree, 2 =
Disagree, and 1 = Strongly Disagree).
Physique
Anxiety. The Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS) is a 12-item
measure used to examine anxiety that stems from evaluation of the respondent’s body,
particularly in social contexts (Hart, Leary, & Rejeski, 1989). Respondents report the
degree to which each statement is characteristic or true of them. Response options range
from (5) “Extremely” to (1) “Not at All.”
Body Image Assessment. For assessing the ideal and actual body shapes, we used
a scale designed by Stunkard, Sorensen, and Schulsinger (1983), which has been
validated by Thompson and Altabe (1990). This scale uses nine line drawings to depict
women’s body shapes that range from thin to obese.
Evaluation of Ads. Model portrayed in ads were rated on thinness, attractiveness,
and weight. These evaluations were obtained twice -- relative to the average model and
relative to the average woman. Thinness was rated on a 11-point scale, where “0 =


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