The Impact of Exposure to the Thin-Ideal Media Image on Women


thin-ideal body image, eating disorder, self-esteem, body satisfaction, women


The purpose of this study was to experimentally examine the effects of exposure to the thin-ideal body image on women’s affect, self- esteem, body satisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, and level of internalization of the thin-ideal. College women (N = 145) were randomly exposed to photographs from popular magazines containing either thin-ideal images or neutral images. Exposure to thin-ideal magazine images increased body dissatisfaction, negative mood states, and eating disorder symptoms and decreased self-esteem, although it did not cause more internalization of the thin-ideal. Exposure to thin-ideal media images may contribute to the development of eating disorders by causing body dissatisfaction, negative moods, low self-esteem, and eating disorders symptoms among women.

Original Publication Citation

Hawkins, N., Richards, P. S., & Granley, H. M., & Stein, D. (2004). The impact of exposure to the thin-ideal media image on women. Eating Disorders: Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 12, 35-50.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Eating Disorders




David O. McKay School of Education


Counseling Psychology and Special Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor