WEIGHT STIGMA AND MEDIA: AN EXAMINATION OF THE EFFECT OF ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS ON WEIGHT STIGMA, INTERNALIZED WEIGHT BIAS, BODY IMAGE, SELF-ESTEEM, AND AFFECT
The terms weight stigma and weight bias have been used interchangeably to refer to the negative beliefs, attitudes, and stereotypes about someone due to their weight status, and these beliefs may be internalized when directed toward the self. Weight bias and internalized weight bias (IWB) have significant negative social, physical, and mental health consequences, which have prompted the call for weight bias reduction interventions. The media is a significant perpetrator of weight stigma, but recent Aerie and Dove campaigns have been making an effort to promote body acceptance and deemphasize the thin ideal. The current study's objectives were to 1) examine the influence of these campaigns on changes in weight bias and IWB in order to evaluate their potential as tools for weight bias and IWB reduction, and 2) measure the campaigns' effects on body image, self-esteem, and affect to determine whether they have their intended positive effect on their targeted female audience. While global measures of weight bias and IWB were unchanged by the campaigns, specific reactions to the videos showed promise for the positive effects of the Aerie Real and Dove Real Beauty campaigns on women. Women who viewed these campaigns demonstrated improved self-esteem and increased positive affect. Further, women found the campaigns to have positive, uplifting, and empowering messages. Future research is needed to replicate the current findings. Additionally, future studies may consider print forms of body positive campaigns or an increased level of exposure to the campaigns in order to see change on more stable constructs such as weight bias, IWB, and body image. The Aerie Real and Dove Real Beauty campaigns positively influenced self-esteem and mood and are potential tools for weight bias reduction with further study. The current study should be considered a catalyst for a "fresh wave" of research on real-world interventions that may improve anti-fat attitudes in our society.
Selensky, Jennifer. (July 2019). WEIGHT STIGMA AND MEDIA: AN EXAMINATION OF THE EFFECT OF ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS ON WEIGHT STIGMA, INTERNALIZED WEIGHT BIAS, BODY IMAGE, SELF-ESTEEM, AND AFFECT (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7417.)
Selensky, Jennifer. WEIGHT STIGMA AND MEDIA: AN EXAMINATION OF THE EFFECT OF ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS ON WEIGHT STIGMA, INTERNALIZED WEIGHT BIAS, BODY IMAGE, SELF-ESTEEM, AND AFFECT. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, July 2019. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7417. February 23, 2020.
Selensky, Jennifer, “WEIGHT STIGMA AND MEDIA: AN EXAMINATION OF THE EFFECT OF ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS ON WEIGHT STIGMA, INTERNALIZED WEIGHT BIAS, BODY IMAGE, SELF-ESTEEM, AND AFFECT” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, July 2019).
Selensky, Jennifer. WEIGHT STIGMA AND MEDIA: AN EXAMINATION OF THE EFFECT OF ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS ON WEIGHT STIGMA, INTERNALIZED WEIGHT BIAS, BODY IMAGE, SELF-ESTEEM, AND AFFECT [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; July 2019.
East Carolina University
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