The Effect of Functionality- and Aesthetic-Focused Images on Australian Women’s Body Satisfaction

The Effect of Functionality- and Aesthetic-Focused Images on Australian Women’s Body Satisfaction Negative effects of viewing images of thin and attractive models have been well documented. However, these models are typically presented in an objectified, passive form with a focus on the aesthetic qualities of the body. Little is known about women’s responses to models presented in an active form, with a focus on athleticism and performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test body conceptualization theory by exposing women to models presented with a focus on the body-as-object (BAO), the body-as-process (BAP), or images of scenery, and to examine whether a desire to achieve an athletic body interacted with these effects. A convenience sample of 160 women was recruited from the general public, gyms, and university in a regional Australian area. Participants completed pre- and post-test measures of state mood, fitness and body satisfaction as well as a trait measure of athletic internalization. Results showed that exposure to either BAP or BAO images produced similar negative outcomes compared to exposure to scenery. Thus, emphasis on performance cues still elicits negative self-evaluations. However, differences between women high and low on athletic internalization were primarily found in response to the BAO images. That is, women who desired an athletic physique reported greater depression, anger and feelings of fatness after viewing the posed models compared to women who expressed less desire for an athletic body shape. Further research is needed around the ways in which athletic images and athletic internalization can be used to foster a more positive body image. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

The Effect of Functionality- and Aesthetic-Focused Images on Australian Women’s Body Satisfaction

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-014-0440-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Negative effects of viewing images of thin and attractive models have been well documented. However, these models are typically presented in an objectified, passive form with a focus on the aesthetic qualities of the body. Little is known about women’s responses to models presented in an active form, with a focus on athleticism and performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test body conceptualization theory by exposing women to models presented with a focus on the body-as-object (BAO), the body-as-process (BAP), or images of scenery, and to examine whether a desire to achieve an athletic body interacted with these effects. A convenience sample of 160 women was recruited from the general public, gyms, and university in a regional Australian area. Participants completed pre- and post-test measures of state mood, fitness and body satisfaction as well as a trait measure of athletic internalization. Results showed that exposure to either BAP or BAO images produced similar negative outcomes compared to exposure to scenery. Thus, emphasis on performance cues still elicits negative self-evaluations. However, differences between women high and low on athletic internalization were primarily found in response to the BAO images. That is, women who desired an athletic physique reported greater depression, anger and feelings of fatness after viewing the posed models compared to women who expressed less desire for an athletic body shape. Further research is needed around the ways in which athletic images and athletic internalization can be used to foster a more positive body image.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 18, 2014

References

  • Embodied image: Gender differences in functional and aesthetic body image among Australian adolescents
    Abbott, BD; Barber, BL
  • Differences in functional and aesthetic body image between sedentary girls and girls involved in sports and physical activity: Does sport type make a difference?
    Abbott, BD; Barber, BL

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