Effects of Slim and Heavy Advertising Models on Appearance, Self-Esteem and Product Evaluations

  • Verena Hüttl
  • Heribert Gierl
Part of the European Advertising Academy book series (EAA)


There is no doubt that thinness is a determinant of physical attractiveness of individuals in Western societies. However, in the recent past, a debate existed about whether very slim models should be depicted in magazines and used in advertisements. Researchers articulated concerns about negative effects resulting from a slim-is-beautiful stereotype that could have been learnt if slim models are depicted in the context of beauty and life-style products. These negative effects exist if young average-sized females are dissatisfied with their figure and thus take unhealthy measures to approach to a very low body weight. Grove et al. (2003) even postulated that a slim figure is one aspect for women to define their value. Empirical literature provides support to the hypothesis that extremely slim advertising models reduce young females’ appearance self-esteem. Moreover, this phenomenon is often associated with eating disorders.


Product Category Purchase Intention Model Size Physical Attractiveness Mobile Telephony 
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Copyright information

© Gabler Verlag | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Verena Hüttl
    • 1
  • Heribert Gierl
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AugsburgGermany
  2. 2.University of AugsburgGermany

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