Examining How Female Bodies in Advertising Impact Women's Body Esteem and Their Attitudes Toward Brand

Open Access
Park, Joo Hee
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Michel M Haigh, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Susan Mary Strohm, Honors Advisor
  • Advertising
  • Aerie
  • Victoria's Secret
  • Body Image
  • Body Esteem
  • Brand Attitude
  • Purchase Intent
Since the 1950s, beauty norms represented in advertising have become thinner, contributing to increased numbers of women turning to extreme measures to attain idealized beauty standards. In response, consumers have called for organizations to highlight natural beauty in their advertising. This study explores the phenomenon by examining women’s body esteem, attitudes toward organizations and their purchase intent immediately following exposure to two different types of advertisements, one containing idealized female bodies and the other containing more natural female bodies. A survey using the pre- and post-test design was created and distributed to women over the age of 18 in the U.S. Results indicate participants’ attitude toward Aerie significantly increased after being exposed to its advertisement containing a positive message about natural beauty and appreciation for all body types.