Magazine Ads and Body Dissatisfaction

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
January/February 2001 Volume 12, Number 1
©2001 Gürze Books

Drs. Robyn L. Williams and J. Kevin Thompson at the University of South Florida evaluated the effects of advertising on body image by having 138 female undergraduates view a 5-minute slide presentation with 1 of 4 magazine ads: a 2-page ad with an attractive model on one page endorsing a beauty product, the same ad but only with the beauty product, an ad with an attractive model demonstrating a household product, and a neutral ad showing a household product alone. The women who viewed ads with the models reported greater degrees of body dissatisfaction, lower levels of physical fitness, higher levels of overall appearance dissatisfaction, depression, and anger.

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