The Effects of Thin and Heavy Media Images on Overweight and Underweight Consumers

We examine how advertisements containing thin and/or heavy models influence the self-esteem of overweight and underweight consumers. Our findings in three studies suggest that when exposed to either thin or heavy models, underweight consumers' self-esteem shifts upward and overweight consumers' self-esteem shifts downward, due to differences in comparative processes. Our results suggest that underweight consumers exhibit higher self-esteem after exposure to any models because they feel similar to thin standards and dissimilar to heavy standards, while overweight consumers show lower self-esteem after exposure to any models because they feel similar to heavy standards and dissimilar to thin standards.



Citation:

Dirk Smeesters, Thomas Mussweiler, and Naomi Mandel (2008) ,"The Effects of Thin and Heavy Media Images on Overweight and Underweight Consumers", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 205-208.

Authors

Dirk Smeesters, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Thomas Mussweiler, University of Cologne, Germany
Naomi Mandel, Arizona State University



Volume

NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008



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