Labelling fashion magazine advertisements: Effectiveness of different label formats on social comparison and body dissatisfaction
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The experiment investigated the impact on women’s body dissatisfaction of different forms of label added to fashion magazine advertisements. Participants were 340 female undergraduate students who viewed 15 fashion advertisements containing a thin and attractive model. They were randomly allocated to one of five label conditions: no label, generic disclaimer label (indicating image had been digitally altered), consequence label (indicating that viewing images might make women feel bad about themselves), informational label (indicating the model in the advertisement was underweight), or a graphic label (picture of a paint brush). Although exposure to the fashion advertisements resulted in increased body dissatisfaction, there was no significant effect of label type on body dissatisfaction; no form of label demonstrated any ameliorating effect. In addition, the consequence and informational labels resulted in increased perceived realism and state appearance comparison. Yet more extensive research is required before the effective implementation of any form of label.