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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, 20 significant. However, the interaction between Ideal Body Image and Gender yielded some insights. First, although the effects of thin vs. plus-size models did not have a greater effect on women that it did on men, in both conditions women settled for a thinner ideal than men. Second, women’s ratings of the ideal body that men preferred were significantly thinner (thin-models M = 2.4, plus-models = 31.) than the ideal body preferences indicated by men (thin-models 3.1, plus-models M = 3.5). Differences between men and women in both conditions were significant at p < .001. In contrast, men’s projection of the ideal body type preferred by women was not significantly different from the actual ratings provided by women. Despite these differences in judgments of self and social norms, there was no evidence that the effect of the experimental manipulation was greater on personal norms than on social norms. Hence, H5 was not supported. Discussion In this study, we were able to demonstrate that exposure to a few fashion models could have a significant effect on body image ideals. Perception of the body image ideal was thinner for those who saw thin models in comparison to those who saw plus-size models. This pattern was significant for both men and women. Some significant gender differences in perceptions of the female ideal were observed. In both the thin and plus-models conditions, women’s ratings of the ideal was thinner than men’s ratings. Moreover, women overestimated men’s preference for thinness, but men’s estimates of women’s preference for thinness were not significantly different from women’s own estimates. See Table 2.

Authors: Prabu, David., Liu, Kaiya. and Cortese, Juliann.
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Ideal Body Image, 20
significant. However, the interaction between Ideal Body Image and Gender yielded
some insights. First, although the effects of thin vs. plus-size models did not have a
greater effect on women that it did on men, in both conditions women settled for a
thinner ideal than men. Second, women’s ratings of the ideal body that men preferred
were significantly thinner (thin-models M = 2.4, plus-models = 31.) than the ideal body
preferences indicated by men (thin-models 3.1, plus-models M = 3.5). Differences
between men and women in both conditions were significant at p < .001. In contrast,
men’s projection of the ideal body type preferred by women was not significantly
different from the actual ratings provided by women. Despite these differences in
judgments of self and social norms, there was no evidence that the effect of the
experimental manipulation was greater on personal norms than on social norms. Hence,
H5 was not supported.
Discussion
In this study, we were able to demonstrate that exposure to a few fashion models
could have a significant effect on body image ideals. Perception of the body image ideal
was thinner for those who saw thin models in comparison to those who saw plus-size
models. This pattern was significant for both men and women.
Some significant gender differences in perceptions of the female ideal were
observed. In both the thin and plus-models conditions, women’s ratings of the ideal was
thinner than men’s ratings. Moreover, women overestimated men’s preference for
thinness, but men’s estimates of women’s preference for thinness were not significantly
different from women’s own estimates. See Table 2.


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