Introduction: There is a lack of information about the impact of media on body image, self-esteem and distorted eating behaviours in females. There is also limited literature on the positive effects of media on these variables as well. In this study these effects were examined in female college students studying in Cyprus.
Method: A sample of female students who were studying in various Universities in Cyprus (N=380) were randomly exposed to one of three advertisement conditions featuring either thin models, average size models or beauty products with no models. Participants completed pre and post exposure validated measures of body image, self-esteem, eating attitudes and sociocultural attitudes towards appearance ideals.
Results: Women rated averaged-size models featured in advertisements equally as positive as advertisements featuring thin models. Exposure to advertisements of female university students in Cyprus to advertisements of average-size models resulted in higher body image satisfaction, as well as increased self-esteem, less distorted eating attitudes and less sociocultural attitudes towards appearance ideals in comparison to female students who were exposed to advertisements of thin models and no models at all. Results did not support the hypothesis that for women, who internalize beauty ideals, exposure to average-size models, would be associated with significantly more positive body image state, increased self-esteem and decreased disordered eating behaviours, in comparison to exposure of thin models or no models at all. Results also suggest that body image significantly predicts self-esteem and eating attitudes.
Conclusion: The proposed research sheds light on how the media impact women’s body image, self-esteem and eating behaviours and provides the much-needed knowledge and background for
psychologists and society in general working in the preventative and treatment care of distorted eating, self-esteem and body image related issues.
The Effects of Media on Female College-Age Students’ Body-Image, Self-Esteem and Eating Behaviors in Cyprus
- PhD thesis
- Psychology -- Social science