Body Image in the Media: Does it Affect Women’s Self- Esteem?

Samantha Tobias


The average person is exposed to media images almost every day including models, fashion shows, makeup advertisements, and even weight loss advertisements. We predicted that exposure to thin female body images portrayed in the media would affect the way women think and feel about themselves; specifically, we predicted that women’s self-esteem would be negatively affected. In this study, 21 participants were randomly assigned to view photos of either ideal thin female body images or photos of neutral objects before completing a self-esteem questionnaire. Results did not support our hypothesis; women’s self-esteem was not affected by exposure to the images. Although our study did not find evidence to support our hypothesis, future studies should continue investigating how media exposure to ideal thin ideals might affect women’s self-esteem.

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