Plus Models=Low Self Esteem? BULL!!

A New Arizona State University study declares the use of full-figured models have a  negative effect on society.

Read on from, The Cut :

Plus-size Models in Ads May Just Make Women Feel Bad About Themselves

Though the fashion industry keeps saying curves are “in,” it may be unwise for many brands to cast plus-size models in ads, according to a new Arizona State University study. Plus-size models are unlikely to sway targeted consumers to buy certain products, since they may just make them feel bad about themselves, researchers say.

“We believe it is unlikely that many brands will gain market share by using heavy models in their ads,” said Naomi Mandel, marketing associate professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. “We found that overweight consumers demonstrated lower self-esteem — and therefore probably less enthusiasm about buying products — after exposure to any size models in ads (versus ads with no models). Also, normal-weight consumers experienced lower self-esteem after exposure to moderately heavy models, such as those in Dove soap’s ‘Real Women’ campaign, than after exposure to moderately thin models.”

Researchers asked women with low, normal, and high body-mass indexes how they felt after viewing ads with skinny, normal, and plus-size models. Skinny women with low BMI felt good after looking at ads with all kinds of models, since they identified with the thin ones and felt different from the heavier ones. Heavy women with high BMI felt big in comparison to the idealized skinny models, and identified with the bigger ones. Average-size women felt skinny and good when faced with skinny models, but heavy and bad when faced with bigger models.

Plus-size models could help, the researchers note, in ads for certain things, such as weight-loss supplements and gyms — by making women feel bad enough about themselves that they decide to spend money on those things.

When will they GET it? I’d love to hear your thoughts…how do plus models in ads make you feel?



5 Responses to “Plus Models=Low Self Esteem? BULL!!”

  1. ummm … i personally love seeing the plus size girls , and not just the 12’s but the 18’s like myself. Just like Beverly Johnson did for women of color in the 60’s/70’s, people respond well to the familiar. If the average American woman is a size 14, why not use that buxom babe to move product.

  2. p.s., Miss MiaAMber , it would be oooh so lovely if you could check out that email i sent you about the book i’m working on .. Alooooot To Love: A plus size girls guide to Fashion and self esteem” .. its a work in progress and your input would mean the world to my project !

  3. I saw this, and my mouth dropped to the floor. I posted about it on my site to let my girls know about this mess. Too much.

  4. really???? i mean really????
    thats insane.
    thanks 4 posting miss mia!!


    Of course a skinny woman can not relate to a plus model selling her a product. the product is not for that customer. I do not believe the average women feels bad seeing a plus size model in a fashion ad . I think they feel better about themselves. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Just remember the average size of a american woman is a size 14. so when the average size woman sees a plus model in a ad with amazing charisma, style and confidence she will buy that product because she can relate to the plus body type.

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