A Content Analysis of Model Body Types in Magazine Advertisements: Ethnic and Income Differences
Research has begun to focus on advertising and its effects on women and their body image. These effects come in the form of social comparison theory, Americans intense preoccupation with weight and increasing statistics of eating disorders among women. In addition, there is an overwhelming drive for thinness in American women today. In many previous studies body image perception has been closely linked to content in advertisements. The purpose of this study was to compare the differences of model body types in magazines using two variables: ethnicity and income. Both variables were explored in conjunction with eating disorders to see how they had impacted body image in the past. Four magazines were chosen: two Black magazines (Essence and Ebony) and two white magazines (Cosmopolitan and W). Fifty-two advertisements were chosen from the four magazines to be divided and placed into seven surveys. Data was collected from the survey responses on body image and demographic questions. The results of separate tests supported the hypothesized difference in ethnicity. However, the t-tests did not support the hypothesized difference in income. Results indicated a significant difference in the heavier weight of models used in Black magazines versus non-Black magazines but no difference in the thinness of models in magazines aimed at high income groups versus moderately high income groups. The results are discussed based on exploring the limitations of the research for both variables examined, questions raised throughout the study and future directions for the research.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Business Administration
Business Administration -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Business Administration
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Raia, Kristin, "A Content Analysis of Model Body Types in Magazine Advertisements: Ethnic and Income Differences" (2004). HIM 1990-2015. 513.