How the exposure to idealized advertisement affect young women's self-esteem and body satisfaction: testing for the influence of lifestyle
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Eating disorders and low self-esteem among young women is a growing concern in today’s society. Due to this growing concern, this subject has been given a lot of attention both in media and through academic research during recent years. One area that has been highly criticized and examined is the idealized ideals often presented in media and advertisement today. These ideals can, according to literature, harm young women due to social comparison with these idealized images. According to previous research, this social comparison can have a negative effect on both self-esteem and body satisfaction. Research also show that continued exposure to such ideals can lead to internalization of thin and beauty ideals, which in turn is proven to be a strong predictor for these images negative affect on self-esteem and body satisfaction. Because of these findings and the critique of these ideals in media, this is an important subject to study both because of the ethical concerns with continuing to reinforce these ideals in advertisement, and from a society’s perspective in order to learn who might need extra protection in order to not be harmed by these ideals. Therefore, this study will firstly examine if we can see a negative effect on high school student’s self-esteem and body satisfaction, after being exposed to idealized images (in our case thin-models). Our study will also examine, in a second part, if we can see, depending on the lifestyle of the students, if some girls are more vulnerable than others to the exposure of idealized images. The second part of the study will contribute with information of which young women that need extra protection and attention to not develop low self-esteem due to the pressure of living up to the ideals.
The method of our study is mostly of a deductive nature since this is an extensively researched topic, where pre-established methods and theories can be found. However, as the second part of the study has not been previous research this part will use a combination of deductive and inductive strategy. To collect the primary data an experimental design is used, with pre-established measurements for self-esteem and body satisfaction. Moreover, statements regarding the participant’s lifestyle are constructed with the help of AIOs lifestyle questionnaire as an inspiration. The experiment processes consists of two steps. First, the participants are exposed to two images, either thin-model images, normal sized woman images, or control images (which is images without any persons in it). After the exposure, the participants are asked to answer the questionnaire consisting of the self-esteem measurement, the body satisfaction measurement, and the lifestyle statements. The first part of our study did not show any sign of the thin-model image having any effect on the participant’s self-esteem or body satisfaction. However, we found a significant difference between the girls of 15-17 years old and those who were 18-20 years old self-esteem and body satisfaction means. Where the girls 15-17 scored significantly lower in both. Our conclusion of these findings is that there still is a high internalization of unhealthy thin and beauty ideals especially among the younger girls. Therefore, idealized media still is harmful for these girls since they are reinforcing and contributing to these ideals in society. For the second part of the study, we found a significant difference between the Party lifestyle group and the Sport lifestyle group’s self-esteem, where the Party Lifestyle group had a significantly lower self-esteem than the Sport lifestyle group. Further, we could also see a connection throw-out all of our results between self-esteem and body satisfaction, where those who scored low in self-esteem most often also scored low in body satisfaction and the other way around. This finding showed us that those with a party lifestyle are more vulnerable to idealized media exposure in that way that they are more likely to internalize unhealthy beauty and thin ideals.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 60 p.
Self-esteem, body satisfaction, social comparison, internalization of thin ideals, media influence, lifestyle, young female
Självförtroende, kroppsuppfattning, internalisering, medias påverkan, livsstil, unga kvinnor
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-26783ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20150046OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-26783DiVA: diva2:814612
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration