Thin Media Images Decrease Women’s Body Satisfaction: Comparisons Between Veiled Muslim Women, Christian Women and Atheist Women Regarding Trait and State Body Image

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Title: Thin Media Images Decrease Women’s Body Satisfaction: Comparisons Between Veiled Muslim Women, Christian Women and Atheist Women Regarding Trait and State Body Image
Authors: Wilhelm, Leonie
Hartmann, Andrea S.
Becker, Julia C.
Kisi, Melahat
Waldorf, Manuel
Vocks, Silja
ORCID of the author: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6251-3763
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2456-1174
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7366-679X
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8498-9466
Abstract: Research in diverse populations has often found that thin media images negatively affect women’s state body image, with many women reporting lower body satisfaction after exposure to pictures of thin models than before exposure. However, there is evidence that theistic affirmations might buffer against the negative effect of media on body image. Furthermore, religiosity and the Islamic body covering are discussed as protective factors against a negative trait body image. However, there is no experimental research on veiled Muslim women’s state body image. Therefore, the current study experimentally investigated whether the body satisfaction of veiled Muslim women (n = 66) decreased after exposure to thin media images compared to pictures of furniture as a control condition. Christian women (n = 90) and atheist women (n = 74) were included as control groups, and participants were randomly assigned to the two conditions. Prior to the experimental session, participants’ trait body image was assessed using an online questionnaire comprising questions about body satisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, pressure to be thin, and physical appearance comparisons. It was found that veiled Muslim women had a more positive trait body image than did Christian women and atheist women. Accordingly, veiled Muslim women reported lower levels of thin-ideal internalization, pressure to be thin, and physical appearance comparisons than did Christian women and atheist women. The experimental findings showed that body satisfaction decreased in the experimental condition and not in the control condition, but no significant differences in pre-post changes emerged between the three groups. As the pre-post changes in body satisfaction did not differ between the three groups, veiling might not buffer against the negative effect of thin media images on state body image. Nevertheless, given the more positive trait body image of veiled Muslim women compared to Christian and atheist women, veiling might positively influence body image in the longer term. However, as additional analyses including unveiled Muslim women did not reveal differences between veiled and unveiled Muslim women, future studies should test the assumption that affiliation to Islam might be more decisive for a positive trait body image than veiling.
Citations: Front. Psychol. 10:1074
URL: https://repositorium.ub.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-201907171824
Subject Keywords: state body image; trait body image; thin media images; veiling; religiosity; Muslim women
Issue Date: 10-May-2019
License name: Attribution 4.0 International
License url: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Type of publication: Einzelbeitrag in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift [article]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - Hochschulschriften

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