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Reducing the Impact of Media Images on Women At Risk For Body Image Disturbance: Three Targeted Interventions

Recent research has shown that exposure to the ideal thin standard of female beauty commonly presented in advertising and the broader media contributes to body image disturbance among women. Researchers have proposed that social comparison processes underlie this phenomenon; women may routinely compare their bodies with images of feminine beauty contained in the media and consequently become less satisfied with their own bodies. This study reports the evaluation of three interventions that were designed to prevent women from experiencing body image disturbance when exposed to media images by interrupting the social comparison process. Experimental data suggest that all three interventions (a) decreased the likelihood of female participants comparing their bodies with media images, and (b) prevented media-induced body image disturbance. The content of the interventions, and implications for the treatment and prevention of body image disturbance and eating disorders are discussed.

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