Paper in International Journal of Eating Disorders
  • Willinge, A., Touyz, S., Charles, M. (2006). How do body-dissatisfied and body-satisfied males and females judge the size of thin female celebrities?. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 39, 576-582.


    This study investigated males' and females' judgments of the actual size of thin female celebrities and their attitudes toward size for a female, depending on their current body satisfaction or body dissatisfaction.


    In this study, 118 undergraduate Sydney University students (64 female, 54 male) were separated into body-satisfied and body-dissatisfied groups as a result of their scores on the Body Esteem Scale. Participants were presented with one accurate and six distorted photographs of five thin female celebrities, making the celebrity appear thinner or heavier than actuality. Participants chose what image they thought was the actual size of each female celebrity and which they thought was the ideal size for a female.


    Body-dissatisfied individuals judged the actual size of thin female celebrities thinner than actuality and chose an ideal size that was thinner than the celebrity's real size. Body-satisfied individuals were accurate in their judgments of the actual size of female celebrities and chose ideals that were larger than the celebrity's real size.


    Misperceptions of media images appear to result from prior body dissatisfaction. Importantly, body-dissatisfied males misperceive female bodies and view a thin body size as ideal for females, implicating the need to target both body-dissatisfied males and females in future interventions.