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The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction

Body Image 10(2013)509–514

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The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction

The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction

Body

Image

j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e :w w w.e l s e v i e r.c o m /l o c a t e /b o d y i m a g

e

The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction:Does body appreciation protect women from negative effects?

The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction

Emma Halliwell ?

Centre for Appearance Research,Department of Psychology,University of the West of England,Frenchay,Coldharbour Lane,Bristol,BS169QY,UK

a r t i c l e i n f o Article history:

Received 13December 2012

Received in revised form 16July 2013Accepted 17July 2013Keywords:

Positive body image Body appreciation Media

Body dissatisfaction Women

Experimental

a b s t r a c t

This article examines whether positive body image can protect women from negative media exposure effects.University women (N =112)were randomly allocated to view advertisements featuring ultra-thin models or control images.Women who reported high levels of body appreciation did not report negative media exposure effects.Furthermore,the protective role of body appreciation was also evident among women known to be vulnerable to media exposure.Women high on thin-ideal internalization and low on body appreciation reported appearance-discrepancies that were more salient and larger when they viewed models compared to the control group.However,women high on thin-ideal internalization and also high on body appreciation rated appearance-discrepancies as less important and no difference in size than the control group.The results support the notion that positive body image protects women from negative environmental appearance messages and suggests that promoting positive body image may be an effective intervention strategy.

?2013Elsevier Ltd.All rights reserved.

Introduction

Recently,body image researchers have paid increasing atten-tion to the experience of positive body image.This attention has been prompted by a desire to expand our understanding of body image beyond the prevention of distress and to foster the promo-tion of body appreciation (Tylka,2011).As a consequence,there has been a ?urry of research activity around positive body image.Positive body image is conceptualized as an overarching way of experiencing the body that encompasses love and respect (Wood-Barcalow,Tylka &Augustus-Horvath,2010),and this construct has been operationalized in research as body appreciation (Avalos,Tylka,&Wood-Barcalow,2005).

The Body Appreciation Scale (Avalos et al.,2005)taps into four essential qualities of positive body image:holding positive eval-uations of the body,body acceptance,respecting and attending to bodily needs,and protecting the body by rejecting unrealistic appearance ideals.Body appreciation is not simply the experience of body satisfaction,rather it is a way of valuing one’s body and orientating cognitive processing to protect and promote a positive view of the body.The conceptual distinction between body appre-ciation and body dissatisfaction has been supported empirically (Avalos et al.,2005).Positive body image incorporates a protec-tive processing style;therefore,it is expected that women with

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positive body image avoid in?uences that have a potentially detri-mental impact.Consistent with this assertion,there is correlational evidence that body appreciation is associated with low levels of consumption of appearance focused media (Swami,Hadji-Michael,&Furnham,2008)and is negatively correlated with internalization of sociocultural ideals (Tylka &Kroon Van Diest,2013).Moreover,qualitative evidence suggests that adolescent girls with positive body image are highly critical of unrealistic appearance ideals in the media (Holmqvist &Frisén,2012).However,to date,no experi-mental research has examined the claim that women with positive body image are protected from negative environmental messages around appearance.

One of the most potent sources of sociocultural messages about appearance is the media.Meta-analyses con?rm that exposure to thin bodies idealized in the media has a small to moderate neg-ative effect on body-and weight-dissatisfaction,negative affect,internalization of the thin-ideal,and eating behavior among ado-lescent girls and young adult women (Grabe,Ward,&Hyde,2008;Groesz,Levine,&Murnen,2002;Want,2009).In addition,indi-vidual studies suggest that this negative exposure effect is also experienced by women in later adulthood,and by girls as young as ?ve (Dittmar,Halliwell,&Ive,2006;Dittmar &Howard,2004;Halliwell &Dittmar,2004).A number of individual difference fac-tors have been shown to moderate these media exposure effects.Two meta-analyses have found that women who report body sat-isfaction and who have not internalized the thin beauty ideal are protected from media exposure effects (Groesz et al.,2002;Want,2009).Although body appreciation is related to body satisfaction

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510 E.Halliwell/Body Image10(2013)509–514

and thin-ideal internalization,it is a conceptually and empirically distinct construct(Tylka,2011).Therefore,it represents an addi-tional potential protective factor against negative media exposure effects.

As well as moderating media exposure effects,thin-ideal inter-nalization is a key risk factor for the development of negative body image and disordered eating(Stice,Ng,&Shaw2010;Thompson& Stice,2001).Although all women will be aware that cultural ideals of attractiveness value thinness for women,not all women buy into this dominant ideal.Thin-ideal internalization refers to the extent that someone incorporates sociocultural ideals for women’s beauty into their own personal ideals and values(Thompson,Heinberg, Altabe,&Tantleff-Dunn,1999).In prospective studies,thin-ideal internalization predicts negative body image and disordered eat-ing,yet not all women who internalize the thin-ideal develop eating disorders(Stice et al.,2010).Women who buy into sociocultural ideals of attractiveness but who also accept their bodies despite not matching this ideal and view their bodies with respect and love maybe less likely to experience the negative consequences of thin-ideal internalization.Research has not yet examined the inter-action between body appreciation and known risk factors for body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.

The current study examines whether body appreciation protects women from negative media exposure effects.In addition,it exa-mines the interaction between positive body image and thin-ideal internalization.Women who are high on thin-ideal internalization are known to be vulnerable to negative exposure effects.One key feature of body appreciation is processing sociocultural messages about appearance in a self-protective way.Therefore,high levels of body appreciation may change the way women process images of idealized female models and may protect women who internalize the thin-ideal from experiencing negative effects of viewing media images.

Consistent with previous research?ndings,it is hypothesized that thin-ideal internalization will increase women’s vulnerability to media exposure.Speci?cally,women who are high on thin-ideal internalization will report more negative state body image after viewing models than control images.For women low on thin-ideal internalization,there will be no difference between conditions on outcome variables.

It is hypothesized that body appreciation will protect women from media exposure effects.For women with high levels of body appreciation,there will be no difference in measures of state body image after viewing images of idealized models or control images. In contrast,women low on body appreciation will report more negative state body image after viewing model images than after control images.

Furthermore,it is hypothesized that the protective nature of body appreciation will also be evident among women who inter-nalize the thin-ideal.For women high on thin-ideal internalization and also high on body appreciation,there will be no difference between state body image after viewing models or control images. Yet,women high on thin-ideal internalization but low on body appreciation will report more negative state body image after view-ing models than control images.

Method

Participants

Female psychology students(N=130)enrolled in a large uni-versity in the United Kingdom were recruited to take part in a study on“Attitudes to Advertising”in return for course credits. Complete data were obtained for112women;49women in the control condition and63in the model condition.The majority of participants(87%)were White,their mean age was20.04years (SD=2.61,range=18–39),and their mean BMI was22.33(SD=2.99, range=14.90–34.80).

Advertising Images

There were?ve print advertisements in each condition.The adverts in the model condition were selected from popular women’s magazines and showed full body shots of thin mod-els advertising perfume,clothes,and a soft drink.In the control condition,product-only advertisements for makeup,perfume,and handbags were selected from popular women’s magazines. Measures

Positive body image.The Body Appreciation Scale(Avalos et al.,2005)was used to assess positive body image.Participants responded to13items on a5-point scale ranging from never(1)to always(5).The scale has a unidimensional structure and demon-strated evidence of reliability(internal consistency and3-week test–retest)and construct validity for women(Avalos et al.,2005). Cronbach’s alpha for the current sample was.92.

Thin-ideal internalization.The internalization subscale of the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire (SATAQ-3:Thompson,van den Berg,Roehrig,Guarda,&Heinberg, 2004)was administered.Respondents indicated their agreement with nine statements on a5-point Likert-type scale,ranging from de?nitely disagree(1)to de?nitely agree(5).Construct validity and internal consistency reliability of this measure have been demon-strated for women(Thompson et al.,2004).Cronbach’s alpha for the current sample was.90.

State body image.State body image was measured unobtru-sively through ratings of appearance self-discrepancies.The state version of the Self-Discrepancy Index(state-SDI;Dittmar,Beattie, &Friese,1996;Halliwell&Dittmar,2006)was used.The measure asks participants to complete?ve sentences of the format,“I.... but I would like...,”describing aspects of themselves that they would ideally like to change right now.They then rate each self-discrepancy statement in terms of magnitude,ranging from a little different(1)to extremely different(6)and salience,ranging from a little important(1)to extremely important(6).

Self-discrepancies are then coded into a category of interest(e.g., appearance-related self-discrepancies).The extent and salience of self-discrepancies were measured separately because they can be independent of each other.For instance,there may be a large discrepancy between a person wanting to be“thin”rather than “overweight”,but it may not be important to them.Therefore,for each appearance-discrepancy two scores were calculated.The size of the state appearance-discrepancies is calculated from the sum of all the size ratings assigned to discrepancies coded as appearance-related.The salience of appearance-discrepancies is the sum of the importance rating assigned to discrepancies coded as appearance-related.The measure is additive because respondents had the opportunity to write about anything concerning themselves,list-ing more appearance-related aspects is an indication of larger and more salient discrepancies.The possible range of both the size and salience rating are0–30.Zero means the person did not list any self-discrepancies relating to appearance.Thirty means that all?ve of their listed self-discrepancies were related to appearance and had magnitude or importance ratings of6.

The self-statements were coded as appearance-related discrep-ancies if they explicitly referred to appearance(e.g.,my weight,my boobs),as opposed to other aspects of the self(e.g.,my?nances,

E.Halliwell/Body Image10(2013)509–514511

Table1

Pre-exposure BMI,age,thin-ideal internalization,and body appreciation by condition.

Measure Model,M(SD)Control,M(SD)t-value df p-value

BMI22.03(2.92)22.40(3.48)0.60107.55

Age19.94(1.62)20.18(3.46)0.78106.44

Thin-ideal internalization 3.36(0.73) 3.13(0.72)?1.76113.08

Body appreciation 3.17(0.67) 3.24(0.70)0.64106.64

Note:N=112;n model condition=63,n control condition=49.

my love life).Two coders independently coded the data,and there was100%agreement between the coders.

The SDI has good convergent validity with other measures of women’s and men’s body image and criterion-related validity with eating behaviors(Halliwell&Dittmar,2006).The state-SDI is also appropriate for assessing media exposure effects among under-graduate women and men(e.g.,Dittmar&Halliwell,2007;Dittmar, Halliwell,&Stirling,2009).

Advertising evaluation.To support the cover story,women were asked to rate their impression of the advert,their impression of the brand,and how much they liked the advert.

Procedure

The study was approved by the University’s Ethics Committee.It was advertised as a study investigating women’s attitudes towards advertising and personality factors in?uencing adverting effective-ness.On agreeing to take part,women were randomly allocated to a condition via a computer generated randomization table.Partic-ipants were then sent a link to an online questionnaire in which they were asked to complete at their convenience.They were told that personality,mood,and thoughts about oneself in?uence pre-ferences for advertising and that the online questionnaire included questions relating to these factors.They completed measures of body appreciation and thin-ideal internalization as well as?ller items about personality and consumer attitudes to disguise the true focus of the study.Women also reported their age,height, weight and ethnicity.One week later participants attended a lab session.Initially,65women were randomly assigned to each condi-tion.However,18of these women did not attend the experimental session due to illness,transport problems,and an unplanned uni-versity closure which reduced the sample size to112.Women were tested individually.They rated the advertisements at their own pace and then completed the appearance-discrepancy measure.At the end of the experiment,women were asked to state the pur-pose of the study in their own words in order to check that they had believed the cover story.All of the women were na?ve to the actual aims of the research.The participants were thanked and, when data collection was complete,they were emailed a written debrief describing the true aims of the study.They were also given the opportunity to retract their data from the study.None of the participants asked for their responses to be removed.

A post-test only design was chosen to avoid setting up demand characteristics.Some researchers have successfully used Visual Analogue Scales(VAS)in pre-and post-test designs(e.g.,Birkeland et al.,2005),and VAS scales are well suited to repeated measure-ment designs.However,when using more detailed measures of body image,repeated measurement is likely to make the aims of the study apparent e.g.,participants may be able to remember,and reproduce,their pre-test responses or shape their answers accord-ing to what they think the experimenter wants to?nd(Thompson, 2004).Thus,when participants suspect the true purpose of media exposure studies,the identi?cation of adverse effects is more likely (Mills,Polivy,Herman,&Tiggemann,2002).Mills et al.(2002)sug-gested that,ideally,body image measures should be presented as part of a separate study to eliminate demand characteristics.How-ever,the naivety check in the present research con?rmed that the use of an unobtrusive measure of appearance concerns combined with the post-only design did not set up demand characteristics.

Results

t-tests,reported in Table1,revealed that there was no signi?cant difference in BMI,age,thin-ideal internalization,or body apprecia-tion between women assigned to each condition,assuring that the randomization was effective in creating equal groups.Body appre-ciation and thin-ideal internalization were moderately correlated, r=?.36,p<.001,supporting the notion that they are independent factors.High and low groups on thin-ideal internalization and body appreciation were created using a median split on each variable, the median for thin-ideal internalization was3.5and the median for body appreciation was3.27.

Appearance-discrepancy Size

A2(condition)×2(level of thin-ideal internalization)×2(level of body appreciation)ANOVA was used to examine whether thin-ideal internalization and body appreciation,independently or in combination,moderated the impact of media exposure on appearance-discrepancy size.There was no statistically signi?cant main effect of media exposure on appearance-discrepancy size, F(1,104)=0.98,partialá2=.01,p=.33.Surprisingly,neither level of thin-ideal internalization,F(1,104)=0.81,partialá2=.01,p=.37, nor level of body appreciation,F(1,104)=1.43,partialá2=.01, p=.23,had a signi?cant main effect on appearance-discrepancy size.

Consistent with previous research,there was a signi?cant interaction between exposure and thin-ideal internalization,F(1, 104)=3.93,partialá2=.04,p=.05.Among women low on thin-ideal internalization,there was no signi?cant difference in the size of appearance-discrepancies reported in the control condition (M=5.97,SD=4.30)and the model condition(M=5.48,SD=3.82), F(1,52)=.49,partialá2=.01,p=.49,d=0.12.However,women high on thin-ideal internalization reported larger appearance-discrepancies if they had viewed models(M=8.06,SD=4.42) compared to those who had viewed control images(M=5.50, SD=3.33),F(1,52)=4.40,partialá2=.08,p=.04,d=?0.65.

Body appreciation did not moderate the effect of media expo-sure,as there was no signi?cant interaction between media exposure and level of body appreciation,F(1,104)=1.37,partial á2=.01,p=.24.The interaction effect between thin-ideal inter-nalization and body appreciation approached signi?cance,F(1, 104)=3.72,partialá2=.04,p=.06.Central to the current research question,the3-way interaction between condition,level of thin-ideal internalization and level of body appreciation was signi?cant, F(1,104)=11.66,partialá2=.10,p=.001.This?nding suggests that the moderating role of body appreciation on media exposure differs for women depending on their level of thin-ideal internalization.

To interrogate the3-way interaction,analysis was run separately for women according to their level of thin-ideal inter-nalization.The means and SD s for appearance-discrepancy size are

512 E.Halliwell /Body Image 10(2013)509–514

Table 2

Mean appearance-discrepancy size and salience scores in each condition by level of thin-ideal internalization and level of body appreciation.

The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction

Model,M (SD )

Control,M (SD )

Appearance-discrepancy size High TII High BA 6.29(3.79)7.50(3.34)

Low BA 9.18(4.51) 3.50(1.84)Low TII High BA 5.24(4.12) 4.29(3.47)Low BA 5.90(3.41)8.33(4.35)

Appearance-discrepancy salience High TII High BA 6.29(3.14)9.10(3.18)Low BA 10.05(4.78) 4.20(1.87)Low TII High BA 4.65(4.05) 4.88(4.33)Low BA 6.60(4.43)

7.08(4.03)

Note :TII,thin-ideal internalization;BA,body appreciation.

reported in Table 2.In the low thin-ideal internalization group,there was no interaction between media exposure and level of body appreciation,F (1,52)=2.53,partial á2=.05,p =.12.In the high thin-ideal internalization group,the interaction between media exposure and level of body appreciation was signi?cant,F (1,52)=10.47,partial á2=.17,p =.01.This interaction is displayed in Fig.1.Women who were high on thin-ideal internalization and low on body appreciation who viewed models reported larger appearance-discrepancies compared to women who viewed control images,F (1,22)=14.55,p =.001,partial á2=.33,d =1.65.However,there was no signi?cant media exposure effect among women high on thin-ideal internalization and high on body appre-ciation,F (1,22)=0.66,p =.42,partial á2=.03,d =?0.34.

In sum,these ?ndings indicate that the size of appearance-discrepancies was only impacted by media exposure for some women.Speci?cally,the size of appearance-discrepancies was not impacted by media exposure for women who are low on thin-ideal internalization or for women who are high on thin-ideal internal-ization but are also high on body appreciation.However,viewing models was associated with larger appearance-discrepancies when women were high on thin-ideal internalization but low on body appreciation.

Appearance-discrepancy Salience

The same analysis was run on appearance-discrepancy salience.Again,there was no statistically signi?cant main effect of media exposure on appearance-discrepancy salience,F (1,104)=0.55,partial á2=.01,p =.46.There was a main effect of

thin-ideal

The impact of thin idealized media images on body satisfaction

24681012Model

Control

Low body apprecia?on High body apprecia?on

Fig.1.Appearance-discrepancy size scores for women high in thin-ideal internal-ization by condition and level of body

appreciation.

2

468

1012Model

Control

Low body apprecia?on High body apprecia?on

Fig.2.Appearance-discrepancy salience scores for women high in thin-ideal inter-nalization by condition and level of body appreciation.

internalization,F (1,104)=4.21,partial á2=.04,p =.04,but there was no main effect of body appreciation,F (1,104)=0.93,partial á2=.01,p =.34.In this case,there was no signi?cant interaction between exposure and thin-ideal internalization,F (1,104)=1.44,partial á2=.01,p =.23.Instead,there was a signi?cant interac-tion between media exposure and level of body appreciation,F (1,104)=7.23,partial á2=.07,p =.01.For women high on body appreciation,there was no signi?cant difference in the salience of appearance-discrepancies reported by women who had viewed models (M =5.39,SD =3.70)and women who had viewed control images (M =6.44,SD =4.40),F (1,56)=0.99,par-tial á2=.02,p =.32,d =0.26.In contrast,women who were low on body appreciation and viewed models reported more salient appearance-discrepancies (M =8.97,SD =4.88)than women low on body appreciation who viewed control images (M =5.77,SD =3.49),F (1,52)=6.98,partial á2=.12,p =.01,d =?0.75.

The interaction effect between level of thin-ideal internalization and level of body appreciation was not signi?cant,F (1,104)=2.86,partial á2=.03,p =.09.Similar to the ?ndings with appearance-discrepancy size,the 3-way interaction between condition,level of thin-ideal internalization,and level of body appreciation was signi?cant,F (1,104)=8.11,partial á2=.07,p =.001.

Analysis was run separately for women according to their level of thin-ideal internalization.The means and SD s for appearance-discrepancy salience are reported in Table 2.The interaction between media exposure and level of body appreciation was not signi?cant among women low on thin-ideal internalization,F (1,52)=0.01,partial á2=.00,p =.92.However,the interaction was signi?cant among women high on thin-ideal internalization,F (1,52)=16.85,partial á2=.25,p =.001.This interaction is shown in Fig.2.Women high on thin-ideal internalization but low on body appreciation reported more salient appearance-discrepancies in the model condition than in the control condition,F (1,30)=13.80,partial á2=.32,p =.001,d =1.61.Interestingly,women high on thin-ideal internalization and also high on body appreciation reported less salient appearance-discrepancies when they viewed models than when they viewed control images,F (1,22)=4.63,partial á2=.17,p =.04,d =?0.89.

These ?ndings indicate that viewing media models,compared to control images,did not signi?cantly impact on the salience of appearance-discrepancies among women low on thin-ideal inter-nalization.The combination of high thin-ideal internalization and low body appreciation was associated with negative media expo-sure effects because viewing models was associated with more salient appearance-discrepancies than viewing control images.In contrast,when high thin-ideal internalization was coupled with high body appreciation viewing models was associated with less

E.Halliwell/Body Image10(2013)509–514513

salient appearance-discrepancies compared to viewing control images.

Discussion

This study provides preliminary evidence to suggest that body appreciation protects women from negative media exposure effects.Moreover,this protection is evident among women who internalize the thin-ideal and are known to be vulnerable to body image disturbance.

The?ndings replicate previous research demonstrating that women who strongly internalize the thin-ideal report larger appearance-discrepancies after viewing thin models than control images.Interestingly,exposure to media models did not impact the salience of appearance-discrepancies among this group of women. This suggests that women who internalize the thin-ideal feel more dissatis?ed with their appearance after viewing models,but that they do not place increased importance on this appearance dissat-isfaction.

The?ndings relating to the moderating role of body apprecia-tion are novel and incremental to the body image literature.For women low on body appreciation,viewing models,compared to viewing control images,did not impact on the size of appearance-discrepancies but it did make appearance-discrepancies more salient.Interestingly,body appreciation also moderated the effects of media exposure among thin-ideal internalizing women.Pre-vious research has demonstrated,and this study con?rms,that women who internalize the thin-ideal are vulnerable to negative exposure effects.When women were high on thin-ideal internaliza-tion and low on body appreciation,viewing models was associated with larger and more salient appearance-discrepancies compared to the control group.However,when women high on thin-ideal internalization were also high on body appreciation,the negative exposure effects on appearance-discrepancy size disappeared and on appearance-discrepancy salience were reversed.This group of women reported less salient appearance-discrepancies after view-ing models compared to the control group.This suggests that women who buy into the thin-ideal but who also appreciate their bodies downplay the importance of appearance-discrepancies after viewing images of media models.

The inclusion of measures assessing both the size and the salience of appearance dissatisfaction has proved useful in this research.Findings relating to the extent of appearance dissatis-faction,as assessed through the size of appearance-discrepancies, replicate?ndings of previous research on media exposure.The moderating impact of internalization was only seen on this mea-sure of state body image.In contrast,body appreciation moderated the impact of media exposure on the importance women place on appearance-discrepancies.The results suggest that when women low on body appreciation view ultra-thin models they place greater importance on their appearance dissatisfaction.The role of body appreciation is particularly interesting when it is considered in combination with thin-ideal internalization,and it is striking that even when women buy into dominant appearance ideals,body appreciation seems to protect them from exposure to these ideals.

The?ndings are consistent with the conceptualization of posi-tive body image(i.e.,body appreciation)as guiding self-protective cognitive processing of media images to minimize the impact of environmental messages about appearance.Indeed,women who internalize the thin-ideal but who also appreciate their bodies place less importance on appearance-discrepancies after viewing models than control images.This may provide insight into one of the pro-tective psychological mechanisms used by women with positive body image.When confronted with idealized and arti?cial media images of female beauty,women with positive body image may actively downplay the importance of appearance relative to func-tional aspects of their bodies or other aspects of their self-identity. It would be informative for future research to examine salience rat-ing for other self-domains.In addition,the lack of exposure effects on appearance-discrepancy size for women high in both thin-ideal internalization and body appreciation suggests that these women are avoiding,or undoing,evaluative appearance comparisons with media models.It would also be informative to develop methods to directly assess women’s processing of ultra-thin media images.

Limitations

The sample size of the current study was relatively small and consisted of mainly White,young,undergraduate women.Clearly, these results also need replication with a larger more diverse sam-ple.In the current study,different products were used in the control condition and the model condition.Only women in the control con-dition saw advertisements for make-up and a handbag and only women in the model condition viewed advertisements for clothes and a soft drink.It is possible that the products may have had an impact on self-discrepancies.This is less concerning because pre-vious research has demonstrated that while women’s body image is strongly affected by the presence of models in advertising,it is not affected by viewing appearance-related products compared to household-related products(Birkeland et al.,2005).However, future research should match the products shown in each condi-tion.

Implications for Clinical Practice

Research has established a number of individual differences variables that make women vulnerable to negative societal mes-sages around appearance.The current?ndings add support to the theory that positive body image protects women from exter-nal appearance pressures.There is evidence that media literacy interventions that give women and girls information about the arti?cial nature of media images can prevent negative media expo-sure effects(Halliwell,Easun,&Harcourt,2011;Posavac,Posavac,& Weigel,2001;Yamamiya,Cash,Melnyk,Posavac,&Posavac,2005). The results of this study suggest that promoting body acceptance, a central aspect of body appreciation,should also protect women from negative societal messages about appearance.

In support of this assertion,body acceptance activities have been identi?ed as an effective component of interventions for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating(Stice,Shaw,&Marti,2007). Furthermore,a body image intervention incorporating body accep-tance has been shown to increase girls’resilience to thin-idealized media(Halliwell&Diedrichs,2013).To date,body image inter-ventions have been designed to target negative body image,and their effectiveness is measured through their impact on nega-tive body image.However,it may be that existing programs are also promoting positive body image and that this is strengthen-ing their impact.It would be useful to include measures of body appreciation in intervention evaluations to assess this question.In addition,the growing evidence that positive body image is central to psychological health suggests that interventions should specif-ically target body appreciation.Therapeutic techniques such as mindfulness that focus on self-acceptance and promoting psycho-logical well-being more broadly have been tailored to promote body appreciation(Stewart,2004).Mindfulness interventions have not yet been evaluated in relation to positive body image.There is emerging evidence that mindfulness can reduce negative body image and problematic eating behaviors(e.g.,Alberts,Thewissen, &Raes,2012).Future research should address whether mindful-ness techniques present a useful addition to existing body image interventions.

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