Over the past decade, there has been an increase in academic research on media and its influences on body satisfaction. To date, the majority of body image literature focuses on low body satisfaction. While low body satisfaction leads to negative outcomes, high body satisfaction leads to a host of positive outcomes. Further, in a non-academic domain, it would seem that even some media icons are starting to take part in the effort to try to promote positive appearance messages. Singers like Christina Aguilera, Colbie Caillat, and Alessia Cara have begun writing songs like Beautiful, Try, and Scars To Your Beautiful to combat the rampant standard of the thin ideal. The current study consists of an experiment to examine the effects of positive or negative appearance music lyrics and their influence on body related outcomes (body satisfaction measured implicitly through an IAT, self-reports of body satisfaction, and observed body surveillance) in emerging adult women while moderating by adherence to sociocultural attitudes of media ideals. Results revealed that participants who listened to the positive lyrics reported significantly better body satisfaction as compared to those who listened to the negative lyrics. However, those who listened to positive lyrics did not report significantly better body satisfaction compared to those in the neutral condition and those in the neutral condition did not differ significantly from those in the negative condition. Due to preconceived schema regarding how participants already felt about their appearance, perhaps they were primed to hear lyrics confirming their appearance fears (or soothing them), but failed to attend to lyrics "unappearance" related (the neutral lyrics). Therefore, when asked about their body satisfaction, their responses reflected what they attended to, namely, either the positive or negative lyrics, not the neutral lyrics.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Davis, Emilie Jill, "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An Experimental Study Examining the Relationship Between Music Lyrics and Body Satisfaction in Emerging Adult Women" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 6514.
body image, music, media, female, schema, emerging adulthood, young adulthood