Women's Exposure to Thin and Beautiful Media Images

This article is being summarized by Ashley Reeber.

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The researchers in this study took 123 young college women, and evaluated the extent to which they internalized the effect the media has on their perception of their own body image. They also evaluated the treatments and preventions of the media having such an effect on these women.
“Participants were 123 white female students at Old Dominion University. They were between 18 and 29 years old and volunteers for the study in exchange for extra credit in psychology courses.” (76) These women were all white because the slides shown contained white females. Each slide was shown for 15 seconds, and was followed by a blank slide for an additional 15 seconds to allow time to respond.

The women were also required to take a test where they rated their own self image: “This study used the Internalization–General sub scale, which assesses the extent to which one idealizes (‘‘I would like to look like . . .’’) and compares oneself (‘‘I compare my appearance . . .’’) to movie stars, television, and magazine models. Based on median-split from a local sample of 284 college women, participants were classified as ‘‘high internalization’’ and ‘‘low internalization’’ (LI) individuals (76).The women chosen for these experiments were randomly assigned to different groups, so it would cut down on the influences a peer setting. “The study’s results indicate that even a five minute exposure to thin-and-beautiful media images results in a more negative body image state than does exposure to images of neutral objects, particularly among young women with high media-ideal internalization levels and social comparison tendencies” (78).