Exposure to thin-ideal media has adverse effects on the body satisfaction of women with higher levels of body image disturbance. In a study involving 109 UCLA female undergraduates, we examined the effectiveness of an intervention that was based on downward social comparison theory and the selection of alternative comparison dimensions. All participants had higher levels of body dissatisfaction and viewed pictures of fashion models; the intervention group compared downward with the models on non-appearance dimensions in writing, whereas the control group described the models in writing. We hypothesized that the intervention group would experience more positive shifts in body and weight satisfaction, anxiety about appearance, and desire to lose weight than would the control group. The results supported our hypotheses.
- Body dissatisfaction
- Social comparison