The effect of exposure to thin models and digital modification disclaimers on women's body satisfaction

Nurit Tal‐Or, Ayellet Pelled, Nehama Lewis
Published Online:
19 Feb 2019

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This study tests the effectiveness of public health initiatives aimed at reducing the adverse effects of exposure to thin images in advertising on women's body satisfaction. Using an online experiment with 195 Israeli adult women, we test the effects of message factors that are expected to influence body satisfaction—the model's body size, and the presence and size of disclaimers. Compared with advertisements featuring a thin model, exposure to an average sized model was indirectly and positively associated with body size satisfaction, through the perception of the model's body size. However, exposure to disclaimers regarding digital modification of the model did not influence body satisfaction. Moreover, irrespective of whether they were exposed to a disclaimer or not, most participants who viewed ads featuring thin models thought that the image had been digitally modified. The results call for further research on the effectiveness of disclaimer labels for promoting body satisfaction.

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