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Exposure to Idealized Media Images and Preventive Effects of Awareness Intervention Material for Young Men

Sat, May 27, 11:00 to 12:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo 204B


Research on the effects of idealized media images has consistently shown that exposure to such images is linked to negative outcomes, such as body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and even tendencies for disordered eating: Adolescents use idealized media images as a beauty standard to compare themselves against, ignoring that these images are often digitally modified and thus not realistic portrayals of beauty. Consequently, several studies have shown positive effects of debunking the artificial nature of beauty images through awareness intervention material, but only for young women. In the present study, we examined whether beneficial effects of awareness material could also be observed for young men. In line with existing research, we found that watching an awareness intervention video on the artificial nature of beauty advertisements had positive effects on young males’ self-esteem. In addition, analysis revealed that this effect was mediated by perceived attainability of idealized beauty images.