Studies of “media effects” on women’s appearance satisfaction have focused largely on images from fashion magazines and television commercials, and rarely on images from television programs. The present study reports on the effects of experimental exposure to a television situation-comedy depicting thin and highly physically-attractive characters on appearance satisfaction in Canadian undergraduate women (N = 76) from a large, ethnically-diverse, metropolitan area. The results demonstrate a detrimental effect on participants’ satisfaction with their overall appearance, as measured on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). This result is interpreted in line with social comparison theory. In addition, exposure to written intervention material, designed to remove the basis for social comparison with television images, was shown to be effective in mitigating this effect.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 7, 2008
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