Young Japanese women's social comparison of body size and adornments with television celebrities

Taniguchi, Emiko
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2012]
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This study aimed to examine Japanese female college students' dissatisfaction with physical appearance, including body size and adornments (e.g., hairstyle, clothes and bags), from the perspective of social comparison. Previous research showed young females compared their bodies with media figures, which can be detrimental to their body image. In addition to body size, young females may compare their adornments with those of media figures, which may have negative consequences. This study, therefore, was designed to explore young females' adornment dissatisfaction through the lens of social comparison. Moreover, extant research has examined how perceived attainability (i.e., how confident one is in attaining the compared dimension) influences comparison outcomes. Because a sense of attainability of thinness/adornment may play an important role in psychological and behavioral outcomes following the comparisons, this study aimed to investigate this aspect. Three hundred and sixty nine Japanese female college students participated in the self-report survey, which assessed the amount of television exposure, perception of thinness/adornment attainability, body/adornment dissatisfaction, self-esteem, weight/adornment control practices, and appearance-related comparison tendencies. The findings were mostly consistent with the hypotheses: (a) television viewing were not related to body/adornment dissatisfaction; (b) perceived attainability of thinness was positively related to self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and weight control behaviors; (c) a perception of adornment attainability was positively related to adornment dissatisfaction, self-esteem, and adornment control behaviors; and (d) appearance-based comparison orientation was positively related with body/adornment dissatisfaction.
M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Social comparison, body dissatisfaction, adornment, television
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Theses for the degree of Master of Arts (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Communicology.
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