An Investigation of the Role of Male Body Image in Advertising (Abstract)
Originally published May 3, 2018
By: Ashley Clancy, Dianne Lepatan, Sarah Rozmiarek, Timothy Hennick
The purpose of this research project is to examine male body image in advertising to college students. Typically, the female form is used in branding and advertising. These images are often highly manipulated and there has been a growing push for positive body image. There seems to be less attention on male body image, particularly in advertising.
Originally, the group wanted to examine the effects of individuals being exposed to highly edited and manipulated photos in everyday advertisements; specifically online. While the female form is often used to entice customers, the over exposure to “perfect” bodies has been shown to cause depression and anxiety. We knew there was more research on the female body and wanted to see if males had the same feelings of depression or anxiety when looking at “perfect” male forms.
This topic is important as it affects nearly 50% of the population. Increasing pressure is placed on young adults with the exposure of social media. Unobtainable body images created with Photoshop are used to entice customers. Since depression and anxiety can be caused by a multitude of outside factors, we wanted to limit our scope and investigate the attractiveness of brands based off their selected male model/image.
It is meaningful to determine what body image people respond to most for advertising and branding purposes. On top of this, there has been push to stop the use of Photoshop on models. We hope to determine if the “perfect” body image is not the “ideal” body image.
The study will be comprised of an online survey with a series of images that will be randomly presented to participants. These images will compare brands with different models and participants will be asked to rate the images based off likeliness to purchase a particular product.