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1 THE ADVENT OF THE TONED BODY IDEAL: INCREASING MUSCULARITY IN IMAGES FOUND IN SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE By JENNIFER THOMSON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF TH E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Jennifer Thomson
3 This thesis is dedicated to my family Dad, Mom, Laurie and Danny without whom my life would not have meaning. You ha ve seen me at my highest and my lowest, going backwards and going forwards, and standing still not knowing what comes next. I could never have done this without you. Two roads dive rged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost (1874 1963)
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my parents, for all of the support they have given m e. I thank my husband, for being my rock. I especially thank Robyn Goodman and Jody Hedge for helping me survive the process and reach my goals.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 10 Body Dysmorphic Disorder ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 13 Signs and Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder ................................ ...................... 14 Development of Body Dysmorphic Disorder ................................ ................................ .. 15 Advent of the Toned Body Ideal ................................ ................................ ............................ 16 Social Cognitive Theory ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 19 Social Comparison Theory ................................ ................................ .............................. 22 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 24 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 26 Women and Muscularity ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 26 Men and Muscularity in the Media ................................ ................................ ......................... 28 Body Dysmorphic Disorder ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 2 9 Prevalence ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 30 Age and Gender ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 31 Muscle Dysmorphia ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 32 Media Images ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 34 Effects of the Media on Body Image among Women ................................ ..................... 37 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 39 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 42 Content Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 42 Hypotheses ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 45 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 46 Sampling Frame ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 46 Sample Design ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 47 Unit of Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 47 Reliability and Validity ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 50
6 4 FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 53 General Information ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 53 Hypotheses ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 53 Muscular Ideal ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 53 Abs ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 55 Arms ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 56 Legs ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 58 Muscular Images ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 59 Advertisements vs. Editorial Images ................................ ................................ ............... 61 5 SUMMARY AND CONCL USIONS ................................ ................................ ..................... 62 The Advent of the Toned Body Ideal ................................ ................................ ..................... 65 Research Contributions for Mass Communications ................................ ............................... 67 Research Limitations and Opportunities for Future Research ................................ ................ 69 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 72 APPENDIX A MAG AZINE ISSUES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 74 B MUSCULARITY SCALE ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 75 C CODING RULES ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 76 6 D CODING SHEET ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 77 7 REFERENCE LIST ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 78 8 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 83 3
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Changes in l evels of o verall m uscularity. ................................ ................................ .......... 54 4 2 Changes in l evels of m uscularity ................................ ................................ ....................... 54 4 3 Scheffe t est for o verall m uscularity ................................ ................................ ................... 55 4 4 Changes in a bdominal m uscularity. ................................ ................................ ................... 56 4 5 Changes in l evels of a bdominal m uscularity ................................ ................................ ..... 56 4 6 Changes in o verall a rm m uscularity. ................................ ................................ ................. 57 4 7 Changes in l evels of a rm m uscularity ................................ ................................ ................ 57 4 8 Scheffe t est for a rm m uscularity ................................ ................................ ........................ 58 4 9 Changes in o verall leg m uscularity ................................ ................................ .................... 59 4 10 Changes in l evels of l eg m uscularity. ................................ ................................ ................ 59 4 11 Number of codable images p er y ear. ................................ ................................ ................. 60 A 1 Magazin e I ssues 7 4
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 The total number of instances each year (each year containing two issues of Seventeen ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 60 B 1 Muscularity S ca le ... 75 D 1 Coding Sheet ... 77
9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication THE ADVENT OF THE TONED BODY IDEAL: INCREASING MUSCULARITY IN IMAGES FOUND IN SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE By Jennifer Thomson December 20 11 Chair: Robyn Goodman Major : Mass Communication There is no question that an abundance of literature exists on the thinning of images presented to adolescent women by the media. Studies have even been conducted on the ideal male body presented by the media, and how disproportionate both these ideals are in comparison to the average American. However, recent studies show that women also desire muscle tone, in addition to b eing thin. Many media outlets have also focused heavily on the importance of exercise and physical fitness over the past few decades. If, as many researchers argue, the media plays such a huge role in adolescent female body image, it may be possible for the media to persuade adolescent females that muscle definition, in addition to thinness, is necessary to achieve the ideal form. This study examined the images presented to female adolescent readers of the longest running teen magazine still in publicatio n, Seventee n, from 1975 to 2000. The researcher used a nine point scale to determine the level of muscularity in each image. Each female figure was looked at as an overall picture, in addition to arms, legs, abdominals and butt. The researcher concluded that although the overall appearance of the female body slightly increased in muscularity, the change was not consistent enough across all areas of the body.
10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION (Bordo 1993, pp. 190 191) Over the past 25 years, dissatisfaction with appearance has become a national obsession (Seid 1989). According to a Psychology Today Body Image Survey (Garner 1997), 56% of women report being dissatisfied with their overall appearance. This number has increased over the past 25 years, according to the same surv ey conducted in 1972 (25%) and 1985 (38% ). Many researchers talk about appearance concern as primarily a weight concern. But weight is no longer the only factor, as it has been throughout history. Women in the 1997 surve y reported dissatisfaction not only with weight, but also specific areas of the body as well, and this body dissatisfaction is increasin g. Fifty eight percent of women in 1997 reported being dissatisfied with mus cle tone, compared to 30% in 1972 and 45% in 1985. Sixty percent of women were dissatisfied with their hips an d upper thighs, while 71% of women were dissatisfied with their abdo men. There are several possible reasons for this increase in dissatisfaction, including family dynamics, psychological make up, and the most recent primary target, the media. en they were younger, 23% o f women cited the media as a major influence, including movies, television, and magazines. seven per cent of women compared themselves to m agazine models, while 28% body shapes. Twenty nine percent of women reported that very thin or muscular models made them feel insecure abou t their weight, while 30% reported tha t these same models made them
11 want to lose weight. Twenty two percent said that very thin or muscular models made them feel angry or resentful. These figures more than doubled when the study focused is on women who report being extremely dissatisfied wit h their appearance (Garner 1997). This study but have muscle tone. This thesis will attempt to establish a link between the media (magazines, specifically) and body dysmorphic disorder by looking at changes in media images of women over the last 25 years. More specifically, this thesis will focus on adolescent girls and the messages they are receiving from teen magazines. It is important to note that this muscle d issatisfaction does not necessarily lead to danger if it exists alone. It is also important to note that muscularity is not necessarily a self destructive goal, as this thesis may seem to suggest. Society has been inundated with media messages about the long term benefits of general physical exercise since the 1970s (Seid 1989). Trudeau, Espindola, Laurencelle, Dulac, Rajic, and Shephard (2000) studied 546 elementary school students, assigning half to one hour per day of physical education taught by a li censed professional, and the other half taught by their homeroom teacher. Twenty years later, although no significant difference in physical activity levels were found between the experimental group and the control group (Trudeau et al. 2000), other impor tant differences were noted. Participants in the experimental groups viewed themselves as healthier than the others and viewed exercise as a more positive activity than did the control group participants. And for those who would argue that physical educa tion takes away from academic education, is important to note that those in the experimental group performed better in their academic classes than those in the control group (Trudeau et al. 2000).
12 Faigenbaum (2001) makes a similar argument, stating that a regular strength training profile (p. 24). Faigenbaum stresses that with children and adolescents, proper training is crucial. Nutritional guidelines must als o be followed in order to reap all of these benefits. And there are psychosocial benefits as well. Children and adolescents participating in a strength training program may demonstrate similar characteristics to those playing team sports, which can help develop mental discipline and improve self efficacy and self esteem (Faigenbaum 2001). (Faigenbaum 2001 p. 27). However, when the rampant growth of body dissatisfaction among females in recent decades is combined with an increase in muscular images, the perfect body only becomes harder to obtain, and the risks females take to get interview with CNN Morning News correspondent Daryn Kagan, international supermodel Tyra ulite and the stretch marks and all that. I just think that as a training may be a very beneficial part of any exercise program for adolescents, the media may be focusing on the wrong motivators. Faigenbaum (2001) stresses the importance of focusing on adolescents about strength training and general exercise. But the media are focusing more on
13 images of bodies that are, more often th an note, unattainable. Rather than promote strength training and building muscle tone the healthy and positive way, the media seem to present the average adolescent body as slim and perfectly toned (Bordo 1993). They do not, however, provide enough infor mation for the average adolescent to understand the benefits, or to start a healthy program for all the right reasons. This thesis will focus on media images alone and attempt to show that the ideal body image in adolescent magazines is, indeed, becoming m ore muscular. Because studies have shown that thinning magazine images may encourage the development of anorexia or bulimia in young females ( Harrison & Cantor 1997; Silverstein, Perdue, Peterson & Kelly 1986; Stice, Schupak Neuberg, Shaw & Stein 1994; Po savac, Posavac & Posavac 1998; Botta 2003), it is important to look at other disorders that more muscular images may lead to, in order to demonstrate the potential dangers of the ideal body. Body Dysmorphic Disorder One of these dangers is Body Dysmorphi c Disorder, a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an abnormal fixation with a perceived flaw in physical appearance. As evidenced by the aforementioned survey many women today wish they could change some particular part of their appearance (Garner 1997) But a woman with body dysmorphic disorder takes that dissatisfaction to the extreme, becoming obsessed with the perceived flaw in their appearance, sometimes to the point of being unable to function in a normal social environment. These perceived flaws, however, often are not noticeable to an objective observer (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe & Tantleff Dunn 1999). Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) causes the individual to go to great lengths to fix the flaw, which may include plastic surgery, excessive e xercise, and dieting. Psychological effects depend on the severity of the disorder but can include periods of depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts ( Carroll, Scahill & Phillips
14 2002 ). The disorder has been compared to other disorders, including hypochondriasis, social phobia, and obsessive compulsive disorder but is mainly associated with the distortion of body image. Body dysmorphic disorder was originally referred to as dysmorphophobia, which literally & Reite r clinical mental health settings, reported rates of BDD in individuals with Anxiety or Depressive Diso rders range from under 5% to approximately 40% Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disord ers 2000). The disorder first appeared in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) III 999, p.7). Signs and Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder Patients with BDD meet three general criteria, according to the American Psychiatric Association (2000). Most notably, patients show an extreme preoccupation with their perceived flaw, however ima gined. Second, this preoccupation causes impairment on a daily basis, whether at work or at home. The third criterion of body dysmorphic disorder is that the patient does not fit better under another mental disorder categorization. According to the Obs essive Compulsive Disorder Center of Los Angeles (1999), common targets of BDD include, but are not limited to, moles and freckles, acne, scars, facial and body hair, breasts, genitalia, and muscles. Patients with BDD may avoid mirrors completely or repet itively check themselves in them. The patient may constantly seek reassurance about their perceived flaw and avoid social situations if they feel their flaw will be noticed. A person with BDD may make several efforts to fix the flaw, including over exerc ising, extreme dieting, and surgery.
15 Development of Body Dysmorphic Disorder continuous course with few symptom 0). In adolescence, an imperfection can be magnified in the eyes of peers. This combination of (Rosen & Reiter 1996). The development of BDD is perpetuated by ot her experiences as well, including repeated criticism of appearance, physical or sexual abuse, illness or injury, or the failure to succeed in athletic activities (Rosen & Reiter 1996). There is no single clear reason for the development of the disorder, but research has noted several possible causes. Among these are genetic factors, psychological factors, familial factors, and socio cultural factors (Lask 2000). Although many medical practitioners are not familiar with the disorder, it is more common tha n most would believe and more serious (Rosen & Reiter 1996). Research has shown that the majority of society as a whole is not entirely happy with their weight and/or body shape, but a patient diagnosed with BDD actually becomes both mentally and socially disabled by their perceived defect (Rosen & Reiter 1996). As long as our culture portrays women as objects to be looked at and being thin, young and toned remains the status quo, many adolescent girls will continue to mistreat their bodies and strive fo magazine in 1792, society has communicated its ideals and standards to women through images, hus raising the standards for adolescent girls across the country. And in investigating how the media may be affecting body image among adolescent women, one must first address why the media would promote a thin, toned body. To do this, one must explore
16 Advent of the Toned Body Ideal Seid (1989) argues that the female body itself has not changed significantly over time shif Seid notes two major influences on these transformations: art and fashion. The 1960s began the height of the weight loss epidemic, when what nature gave you wa s 137). Diet foots were introduced on the market, along with e xercise experts on television, and also conducted studie s showing that 25 to 45% of adults were 20% overweight or more, creating a widespread panic. Studies c onducted by health examiners also showed that overweight 1989). But new health trends brought about a desire for new content. Soon, the media was focused on the body, and not on clothes. When bikinis were introduced in 1959, f ashion magazine Vogue country were assuring women that a thin, toned body was achievable by all. This message was and ultimately most damaging 1989). Young women were extremely vulnerable to these messages, growing up in a period where media influence was strong and conventional values were scorned.
17 From the 1960s health kick, the importance of exercise and a healthy diet was introduced. recommended daily caloric allowance were still gaining weight, and exercise was dubbed as the of exercise, and their number leapt from 27 between 1959 and 1961 to 57 between 1963 and 989) muscularity. Medical studies began to show that weigh was no longer important fat they had on their bodies was...leanness, soon to be called fitne ss, became the new ideal women not only had to be thin, but hav e visible muscle definition and no fat. Even Playboy, a magazine renowned for its curvaceous models, began to choose models that more closely resembled the new ideal (Seid 1989). No one seemed safe from the lust for the thin, toned physique. With the di (even the married ones) found that they had to attain this look to keep up with youthful competition everywhere. And as other ethnicities began appearing in fashion magazines, odels suddenly extended the culture of beauty and its body demands to women to The strong body was now revered among women. They were buying exercise equipment, joining aerobics classes, an d reading a giant influx of fitness magazines including New Body, Shape, Fit, Spring, and Self (Seid 1989). The 1980s took the fitness obsession to a whole new level. Exercise was no longer a fun activity, but a strenuous activity that brought with it ac hes
18 and pains. Visible muscles denoted vitality and longer life. Now, even children were expected to stay fit even the children depicted on cans of Campbell Soup got thinner in 1984 (Seid 1989). The muscled body was the new fitness chic, and the fashi on industry reveled in the marketing of t Championship was held in 1979. But most women did not strive for this extreme bulk. Instead, they wanted to be Jane Fonda (Seid 1989). Magazines Glamour Mademoiselle (Seid 1989). In 1985, Newsweek of t he 4.2 million users of Nautilus weight Seid 1989) The new muscular ideal seemed to be a relief to women everywhere. Women relished in the thought that they no longer had to be twigs, they could be big, but toned, and the media told them they could achieve that look. It seemed that freedom was finally within reach. But this was not the case. Instead, women were asked to scrutinize their bodies in even more detail to of nearly every layer of apidose ti ssue: she was skin and muscle, and her body was, ideally, The new muscular body represented more than just perfection for women, it was a form of freedom from tradition. Women embraced the new look in that it was aggressive rather than passive. Women were taking on the world in realms they had never experienced before. Women choice, more of them were entering the work force out of sh eer necessity. It was no longer about wanting to be strong, many women simply had to be (Seid 1989). The muscled body seemed almost androgynous and attempted to bridge the gap between male and female roles. But
19 although the muscled physique symbolized f reedom to many women, it did not make women free. underside. Women feel their bodies never quite measure up...The fitness craze had not freed them from concern about their phys ical appearance, nor from trying to live up to externally imposed standards, nor from their wars with their own bodies. It h (Seid 1989) The magazin es as well. And with the teen population expected to reach 34 million by 2010 (Merrill 1999), it is important to determine just how much (if at all) these publi cations influence young girls. Several researchers have cited two major theories in order to e xplain the effect of media images on adolescent body image: social cognitive theory and cultivation theory. Social Cognitive Theory environment...human nature is charact erized by a vast potentiality that can be fashioned by direct 61 62). Social cognitive theory would argue that magazine readers would acquire information on how to behave in certain situations from magazine cues. The theory developed from the idea 3). The act of imitation would involve a young girl seeing another female in a magazine drinking a diet drink in order to stay thin, and the young readers imitating the model by drinking the diet drinks as well. Identification would involve the young gir l wanting to look like the model in the magazine, and
20 then imitating the behavior (drinking the diet drink). Identification may have more lasting effects, and more significant than imitation (Baran 2003) Social cognitive theory argues that humans have sev eral innate characteristics that determine how environmental influences will affect them. People often use symbols to process personal and vicarious experiences into guidelines for future action, and for giving meaning to these experiences into guidelines for future action, and for giving meaning to these experiences (Bandura 1994). Humans also have the ability to self regulate, through either discrepancy reduction or discrepancy production (Bandura 1994). Discrepancy reduction would involve a person not icing a discrepancy between their performance and their performance standard and taking action to reduce that discrepancy. For example, if a young girl noticed that her thighs were larger than those of a magazine model (the performance standard), the girl would take action to make her thighs look similar to those of the model. Discrepancy production takes this idea to the next level, in which the person would actually create the discrepancy and aspire to eliminate it. For example, if that same young gir l reached her goal by having slim thighs, she would then set another goal for even slimmer thighs, with a strong sense of efficacy set higher goals for themselves also have the ability to self reflect, which involved distinguishing accurate thinking from faulty thinking. Social cognitive theory also takes into account personal factors specific to the reader. For example, if the litt le girl was experiencing body dissatisfaction before seeing a thin, toned model in a magazine, she would be more inclined to drink a diet drink if the model was drinking one in the magazine.
21 The theory also focuses on observational, or vicarious, learning, which is when the observation of a behavior is sufficient to learn that behavior (Bandura 1994). For example, if a young girl sees a woman in a magazine doing abdominal exercises to tone the area, and she does the same. Observational learning involved f our subfunctions: attentional processes, p.67 68). Representational pro cesses involve the retention of certain information, while behavioral production processes translate this information into actions (Bandura 1994). Lastly, motivational processes decide what will be performed and what will simply be learned and stored away For example, an adolescent girl may read a magazine, but she may only read the articles on dieting and exercise. That same girl may only remember a particular article on increasing muscle definition in the upper body, and she may decide that she only w ants to focus her attention on her triceps. All of this information may have been learned, but the young girl may or may not actually take action to strengthen her tricep muscles. Social cognitive theory also focuses on abstract modeling, which does not i nvolve the Seventeen magazine may read an article about a famous model lifting regimen and be motivated to duplicated it without even seeing it performed. By the same token, her mind what she believes is lifting regimen and use those
22 Modeling influences can also strengthen or weaken effects. Inhibitory effects occr when a teen seeing a model punished for a behavior is sufficient to reduce the likelihood that the observer will make that behavior (Bandura 1994). Disinhibitory effects occur when seeing a model rewarded for a prohibited or threatening behavior increases the likelihood that the observer would ma ke that behavior (Bandura 1994) If a behavior is learned but not performed simply stored away it can be brought to the surface again by social prompting. Social prompting would argue that the types of women qualities, from among many alternatives, are industry the world over. One single advertisement can convince a reader that by using a certain piece of exercise e quipment or by drinking a certain diet drink, the reader will perform better on types of vicarious outcomes, model characteristic, and modeling formats that are selected vary Social cognitive theory demonstrates a clear link between behavior and the media and can even be applied to many types of readers and viewers and many different si tuations. But the term effects of media exposure. And social cognitive theory focuses deeply on the individual viewer, rather than society as a whole. Social Comparison Theory Soci al comparison theory, first put under the umbrella of dissonance theory and then under attribution theory, has remained a dominant field of study in the topic of self evaluation. Festinger (1954) argues that people have a need to evaluate their opinions a nd abilities, and will do so with or without social standards. If objective criteria are not readily available, social
23 criteria will serve as a substitute. For example, if a teen flipping through a magazine knew the appropriate percentage of body fat for her age and height, she would use that as a guideline for her own body. However, when that standard is not readily available to her, she is more inclined to use the pictures in her magazine as a guideline. Festinger (1954) also argues that people are mor e likely to compare themselves with others when the opinion or ability is important, when the group they compare themselves to is important, or when the group they are comparing themselves to is similar. Upward social comparison occurs when people compare (Wood 1989). Most comparisons with media images are upward comparisons (Tiggemann & McGill 2004), and are often avoided due to their seemingly threatening nature. But upward comparisons are not always perceived as such an adolescent girl may use an upward comparison if she feels the goal is attainable, if she admires the person she is comparing herself to, or if she feels that she is arguably similar to the person (Collins 1996). An advertiser who us particular product. Downward social comparison is precisely the opposite, and occurs when own self esteem (Wood 1989). Downward comparisons are often made by those who are in a negative mood, thus lifting their spirits. Because both upward and downward social comparisons can cause both positive and negative outcomes, it can be assumed that t he outcome of the comparison is not dependent on the direction of the comparison (Suls, Martin & Wheeler 2002). Social comparison theory is based on the concept that when comparing oneself to a certain standard deemed superior, efforts will be made to redu ce any discrepancies in similarities if they are found (Festinger 1954). For example, an adolescent girl reading the latest issue of her
24 favorite magazine may notice that the model on a particular page has a muscularly toned upper body. If the adolescent girl does not have this muscular physique, Festinger (1954) argues that she would then feel compelled to work on a more muscularly toned upper body. Wood (1989) describes three major motivations for comparing oneself to a social standard: self evaluatio n, self enhancement, and self improvement. Self evaluation allows a person to learn how they measure up against others. Self enhancement occurs when a person focuses on a downward comparison in order to feel better about themselves. Self improvement inv olves an upward comparison, and occurs when a person is looking to mimic the behaviors of those who perform well. For example, an adolescent girl who desires a more muscularly defined abdominal region may tape pictures of models with nicely toned abs on their refrigerator door. The gap between the ideal body and the body of the average woman continues to grow larger (Spitzer, Henderson & Zivian 1999). Both social cognitive theory and social comparison theory seem to argue that if this discrepancy continu es to grow, adolescent girls will have to work that much harder, and go to much greater lengths, to reach the goals they believe to be attainable. These theories will help this researcher to relate to the problem of adolescent body t on it. Purpose of t he Study The purpose of this study is to determine whether there have been changes over the past 25 years in the muscularity of magazine models in publications targeted to adolescent girls. muscularity is also increasing, then society is raising the bar of perfection to an even higher level for young women, thus moving in the wrong direction to help young girls develop positive body image i n their formative years.
25 Specifically, this study examines the different distinct body types depicted in Seventeen magazine over the past 25 years (1975 2000).
26 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter reviews current literature pertaining to the potentia l relationship between body dysmorphic disorder and the media. It explores how age and gender factors can contribute to the likelihood of the onset of body dysmorphic disorder, and how prevalent body dysmorphic disorder is in specific populations. Muscle dysmorphia is also introduced as a subset of body dysmorphic disorder. This chapter explores changes in media images over time, and takes a closer look at literature on the thinning trend in many media outlets. Finally, this chapter introduces the possi ble trend of muscularity in media images across the board. Women and Muscularity Despite the abundance of research on thinning images in the media, there is limited research on the levels of muscularity evident in women in the media. However, the followin g studies bring to light the desire for women, just like men, to have a perfectly toned physique. Vartanian, Giant and Passino ( 2001) discovered that 56% of the women in their study wished to have more muscle tone. The 167 women in the study, who were stu dents at a large, Midwestern university, reported higher overall body dissatisfaction than the men in the same study, and only 22% appearance related media was the most important pred muscularity and fitness levels, but the men showed higher levels of these factors. McCabe, Ricciardelli and Finemore (2002) focus ed on younger participants and surveyed 1,185 adolescents in grades seven and nine. They found that girls were more likely to attempt to lose weight, while boys are more likely to attempt to build muscle tone. However, the study showed that by grade nine girls were feeling similar pressures to those directed at the boys by
27 the media. An increase in the desire to build muscle tone was predicted by popularity with the opposite sex among grade nine girls. Grade nine girls also felt a stronger increase in pressure from the media to alter exercise habits and lose weight (McCabe et al. 2002). Similar to the results found by Vartanian et al. (2001), the study ultimately concluded that adolescent girls are generally more dissatisfied with their bodies than ado lescent boys, and that the media does, in fact, play a role in this dissatisfaction (McCabe et al. 2002). There is also shapes. Furnham, Titman and Sleeman (1994) compared 60 women in London divided into four groups : bodybuilders, intense athletes, moderate athletes, and sedentary wome n. The goal of the study was potentially to identify an association between level of exercise intensity and body image and also between level of exe Subjects were asked to rate sketches of female figures ranging from extremely thin to extremely muscular. Results showed that both hypotheses were on target. Women who exercised rated muscula r shapes more positively than thin female shapes, while non exercisers rated thin female shapes more positively and muscular shapes more negatively (Furnham et al., 1994). Female bodybuilders rated the extremely muscular figures as more feminine and attra ctive than the others. All subjects rated the two thinnest female figures as not feminine and not attractive (Furnham et al., 1994). Grogan and Wainwright (1996) interviewed girls ages 8 to 13 about who their physical role models were and why. They ide ntified their ideal body types as similar to the women on They reported that they thought most magazine models were too thin. Girls from every age group in the study agreed that a toned body was ideal (Grogan & Wainwright, 1996). The 13
28 year olds expressed particular dissatisfaction with their lack of a toned body, especially in their mid sections: Adolescent Girl Adolescent Girl 4: Yeah, just got a bit of bulge on my tummy. (Grogan and Wainwright, 1996, p. 668) The girls did make it clear, however, that large muscles were not desirable. Because of the limited amount of rese arch on muscular trends in female media images, it is helpful to look at the research done on male images for possible ideas about how these images may affect young girls. Men and Muscularity in the Media Research conducted using male media images has f ound that the appearance of high muscle composition and low body fat is co mmon among male models (Law & La bre, 1997; Leit, from 1967 to 1997 in order to determine what changes, if any, had occurred in the male images presented. Researchers looked at GQ, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated and hypothesized that the images would become more lean, more muscular, and more V shaped over the 30 year time frame. Eight types of body composition were used to categorize the images, ranging from The 30 year range was divided into three groups. Results were congruent with the hypotheses presen from 9% during th e years 1967 1979, to 35% during the years 1991 1997 (Law & Labre, 2002). When the level of body fat in each image was considered, researchers found th at while the percentage of images depicting high body fat men remained low, the majority of images changed from medium body fat to low body fat from 1967 through the 1990s (Law & Labre, 2002).
29 Results showed that the ideal male image is changing to a more lean, more muscular body structure. A similar study looked solely at Playgirl magazine for changes in muscularity in male images. Leit, Pope, and Gray (2001) looked at centerfolds in the magazine over a 25 year period from 1973 to 1997. Researchers used the height and weight of each model, reported by the magazine, to calculate Body Mass Index and Fat Free Mass Index and visually conjectured as to what the percentage of body fat for each model might be. The study found that over the time muscularity increased while their body fat decreased almost identical results to the Law and Labre study (2001). McCreary and Sasse (2000) took a closer look at adolescent boys and girls and the drive for muscularity. Researchers hypothesized that yo ung boys would be just as motivated to be muscular as young girls are motivated to be thin. Almost 200 high school students were questioned on several factors, including drive for muscularity, exercise behaviors, self esteem, and drive for thinness. Resu lts showed that boys did, in fact, wish to be more muscular than their current body shape (McCreary & Sasse, 2000). This drive for muscularity was shown to be stronger among boys than among girls. Also, those who admitted to a strong drive for muscularit y acted accordingly, through increased weight training and strict dieting (McCreary & Sasse, 2000). This study demonstrates that young men are vulnerable to media messages about ideal body shape. Body Dysmorphic Disorder Body dysmorphic disorder was intro duced for the first time in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) III R. Those who are diagnosed with the disorder are so dissatisfied with a particular facet of their appearance that their overall well being is jeopardized. A person with body dysmorph ic disorder may go to great lengths to fix the perceived flaw, or may suffer from
30 severe depression or anxiety because of the perceived defect. There is a shortage of large scale research on the prevalence of the disorder (Sobanski & Schmidt, 2000), but r esearchers generally agree that it is quite common. Race has been found to contribute to the likelihood of the disorder developing. Mayville Katz, Gipson and Cabral (1999) measured levels of BDD in an ethnically diverse group of 566 public high school s tudents by creating a scale to evaluate the presence of the disorder. Male African Americans had the lowest scores, followed by female African Americans. The highest scores were found among female Asians. Prevalence The prevalence of body dysmorphic di sorder among women was researched by Otto, Wilhelm, Cohen and Harlow (2001). In areas around Boston, 976 women between the ages of 36 and 44 were chosen to participate in the study. Of the entire sample, onl y eight participants (.8% ) were found to have b ody dysmorphic disorder (Otto et al., 2001). The average age of onset was 20 years old. Body dysmorphic disorder was more common among those participants with a history of depression and among those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (Otto et al., 2001). Researchers suggested that the rate of prevalence may be higher in younger samples. They concluded that the occurrence of body dysmorphic disorder is more likely in a person who suffers from an anxiety disorder, and the disorder is most certainly chroni c if it appears in adolescence and continues through middle adulthood (Otto et al., 2001). A study conducted by Bohne, Wilhelm, Keuthen, Florin, Baer and Jenike (2002) looked at the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder in a group of 200 German college st udents. The majority of the students were female. Students completed a questionnaire regarding body image and related ideas. Results showed a prevalence rate of 5 .3 % compared to less than 1% in the study conducted by Otto, Wilhelm, Cohen and Harlow (20 01).
31 Age and G ender Prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder varies among different age groups and from men to women. Researchers Sobanski and Schmidt (2000) note that most cases of body dysmorphic disorder begin in adolescence. Therefore, child and ado lescent psychiatrists and psychologists should make a point to examine body dysmorphic disorder even closer, because adolescents are especially prone to sensitivity about their physical appearance. Researchers Perugi, A kiskal, Giannotti, Frare, Di Vaio a nd Cassano (1997) studied 58 BDD patients ages 16 localization of the (Perugi et al., 1997). Both male and fema le participants described the onset as occurring during adolescence. Men and women were found to be similar regarding factors involved in body dysmorphic disorder (age of onset, duration/course of illness, number of body parts of concern, impairment, seve rity, etc.), taking into consideration that among men, body dysmorphic disorder is generally pathological while with women, it is socially developed. Men and women did differ in the particular body parts perceived to be defective. The five areas showing the highest dissatisfaction among women were face, legs, breasts, acne and nose, while for men it was face, genitals, excessive body hair, nose and height (Perugi et al., 1997). A study conducted by Phillips and Diaz (1997) found very similar results. P hillips and Diaz involved more participants (188) and included a treatment variable. Results showed strong similarities between males and females with BDD in terms of demographic features and clinical characteristics, and in terms of associated disorders, treatment history, and response to treatment. The average age body dysmorphic disorder appears varies in studies but generally falls between ages 14 and 18 (Sobanski & Schmidt, 2000). Gender distribution is not consistent in
32 surveys some studies show that it is even (Phillips et al., 1997) and some show that most are female (Veale, Boocock, et al., 1996). In order to more closely examine the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder among adolescents, Mayville, Katz, Gipson and Cabral (1999) surveyed 5 66 public high school students nose, ears, skin, hair, but that adolescent girls are more prone to body dissatisfaction than adolescent boys. The risk for adolescent females w as calculated to be 64.7 % higher (Mayville et al., 1999). Resea rchers concluded that certain characteristics and backgrounds can lead to a higher risk of body dysmorphic disorder. Albertini and Phillips (1999) conducted one of the most extensive studies of body dysmorphic disorder among adolescents. Thirty three ado lescents with body dysmorphic disorder were analyzed and assessed in several different areas. Ninety one percent of the students studied were female, and the average age of participants was 14. Ninety seven percent of participants were white. Results sh owed that the most common concerns revolved around The majo rity of participants (68 % ) reported obsessing over their perceived defect three or more hours e ach day. A large majority of participants reported their perceived defect having a major effect on their social, academic, and romantic lives. Subjects also had a markedly high rate of suicide thoughts and suicide attempts due to BDD (Albertini & Phillip s, 1999). Muscle Dysmorphia If a toned image is becoming more prominent in adolescent magazines, as this study will attempt to demonstrate, it is important to focus on the particular subset of body dysmorphic
33 disorder that applies to muscularity and a ton ed physique. A more specific form of BDD, muscle dysmorphia, first appeared in studies involving male bodybuilders and eating disorders. An individual with muscle dysmorphia is extremely concerned with his or her muscularity, whether it is a lack of or a n overabundance (Chung, 2001). In past literature, most researchers have muscle dysmorphia would typically be a male who is preoccupied with the idea that he is not does not approach people to whom he has an attraction for fear of being rejected because of his o argues that body dysmorphic disorder, and muscle dysmorphia, are culturally bound. Chung points out that these disorders seem to have appeared right around the time that popular media began to focus on fitness and nutrition. Olivardia, Pope and Hudson (2000) studied 24 30 who [could] bench press their own body weight at least ten times but are still sometimes of 30 men was also recruited, and researchers measured subjects physiologically and psychologically. Results depicted the average onset of muscle dysmorphia in males to be at age 19. The majority of subjects claimed to spend over three hours each day worrying about their degree of muscu larity, with little or no control over their daily actions (exercise, nutrition, etc.). Most of the men in the study also attested to having another mood or anxiety disorder, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or an eating disorder. The study did not find evidence of a familial or
34 weightlifters do not exhibit elevated levels of psychopathology, whereas the subgroup with muscle dysmorphia exhibits p Researchers Furnham and Lim (1997) studied 80 British and Singaporean participants to determine what differences, if any, existed in how male and female body shapes are perceived when exercise is a fa ctor. Mean age of the participants was 21.38 years, and all were undergraduates at the University of London. Participants reported how often they exercised and rated six male and six female body shapes on five different attributes. Each body shape range d from very thin to very muscular. Results showed that Singaporean participants rated the muscular figures more positively than British participants. Female participants who exercised more than three times a week rated the muscular figures more positivel y than female participants who exercised less. Both cultural groups rated the male muscular figures more positively than the female muscular figures. They also rated the less muscular female figures more positively than the more muscular female figures, as hypothesized by the researchers. Because body dysmorphic disorder and muscle dysmorphia are becoming more prevalent among women across the country, it is important to look at possible causes and determine just how much of an effect they have. Looking at the trends in images presented by the media can help researchers to determine what role the media plays in the development of body dysmorphic disorder and muscle dysmorphia. Media Images The cover of Seventeen a Sleek and Toned Body! geared toward adolescents send the message that this type of body is achievable. Adolescent girls see the women in these magazines rewarded for thei r beauty, and begin to question if they,
35 too, would like to be rewarded. But these adolescent magazines neglect to tell teens the whole story. Silverstein, Perdue, Peterson, and Kelly (1986) suggested that three things need to be demonstrated in order to conclude that women portrayed in the media have set an ideal body standard : 1)That the media promote a slimmer, more weight conscious standard for women than for men; 2)that the standard of bodily attractiveness for women is slimmer now than it has been examples of the media (Silverstein et al., 1986). Through a series of four related studies, Silverstein et al. (1986) tested these possibilities. Study 1 completed a content analysis of televisi on characters. Silverstein et al. (1986) hypothesized that female television stars would be thinner than male television stars, making female television viewers more likely than male viewers to want to be thin. Forty television shows were selected, and c haracters from the shows were rated on a scale from 1 to 9, 1 being Results showed that 69.1% of female characters were rated as thin versus only 17.5% of male characters (Silverstein et al., 1986). Study 2 involved a similar co ntent analysis using articles and advertisements in popular in which wom en comprised at least 75% of readership ( Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook and Woma ) and four in which m en comprised at least 75% of readership ( Field and Stream, Playboy, Popular Mechanics and Sports Illustrated ). Researchers looked at advertisements and articles dealing with food, drink, cooking, body shape, size, and dieting. The results suggest that women do, in fact, receive more sociocultural cues to stay slim and in shape Silverstein et al., 1986).
36 th century portrayed in two popular magazines for women throughout the period. Bust to waist ratios in both magazines fell at a steady pace from 1901 to 1925, but by the late 1940s, the ratio began increasing again. This ratio, however, never reached what it was in 1901. But in 1949, the ratio decreased again, dropping as low as the 1920s level again in the 1960s. Study 4 analyzed the movies. Photographs of the most popular female stars of the big screen between 1932 and 1979 were rated. Silverstein et al. (1986) found significant differences between the 1960s and 1970s, and the 1940s and 1950s, and concluded that thoughts, desires, and self concepts, their role in promoting obsession with weight, chronic dieting, and eating disorders among women deserves not only further study, but also, perhaps, pressure for change (Silverstein et al., 1986, p. 532). Since this study was published, many other researchers joined the search for proof that the media does not present unrealistically thin images. Morris, Cooper and Cooper (1989) evaluated the changes in body type among models recruited by a specific agency from 1967 to 1987. Results showed that while average height and average bust size increased, hip measurements did not increase (Morris et al., 1989). Researchers concluded that a new, less curvaceous body was becoming more common in fashion. Wiseman, Gray, Mosim ann and Ahrens (1992) conducted a study as a follow up to a study conducted by Garner, Garfinkel, Schwartz and Thompson (1980). In both studies, body measurements and other demographics were obtained for Playboy centerfolds and for Miss America pageant co ( ) to determine if there had been an increase in the number of articles on exercise and dieting.
37 Garne r et al. (1980) studied the years 1959 to 1978, while Wiseman et al. (1992) followed up on that there was a steady decrease in body weight among Miss America pageants, and low body weight among Playboy centerfolds (Garner et al., 1980; Wiseman et al., 1992). Researchers ., 1992, p. 88). More recent studies have focused on Playboy centerfolds to monitor the trend towards a thin, toned body. Katzmarzyk and Davis (2001) looked at issues of Playbo y from 1978 to 1998, analyzing centerfold photographs in particular, to deter mine if any changes had occurred with respect to body weight and body shape. Ages, heights, weights and hip circumferences were retrieved from the magazine, and both Body Mass Index and Weight Height Ratio were calculated. Results showed an increase in t he numbe r of models more than 15% below their ideal body weight, up to 77.5% important to look at the effects these changes may have on society as a whole and adole scent girls in particular. It is important to focus on adolescent girls because adolescence has been shown to be the time of onset for most women with body dysmorphic disorder (Sobanski and Schmidt, 2000). Effe cts of the Media on Body Image a mong Women A plethora of research exists involving the relationships between the media and the thinning ideal among adolescent women. There have been many studies conducted using adults, and most of these studies found that media use predicted disordered eating sympto matology, drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, and ineffectiveness (Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Posavac, Posavac and Posavac, 1998). These studies also found that exposure to thin media images only
38 caused a decrease in body esteem among women who initia lly showed signs of body 1998, p. 195). The Harrison and Cantor s tudy (1997) showed magazine reading to have a stronger relationship with body dissatisfaction than television viewing. Botta (2003) looked at health/fitness magazines and found that reading these publications was an important factor in the likelihood of b ody image problems. Borzekowski, Robinson and Killen (2000) conducted a study of 837 adolescent girls. They looked at whether the frequent use of television, movies, music videos and video games would cause an increase in perceived importance of appeara nce and weight. Researchers surveyed ninth grade girls on typical media use, feelings on appearance, and weight concerns. More than one third of particpants had weight concern scores that were previously identified as high risk for the development of eat ing disorders (Borzekowski et al., 2000). However, no significant correlation between total media use and perceived importance of appearance was discovered. A small association between perceived importance of appearance and exposure to music videos was n oted (Borzekowski et al., 2000). Cusumano and Thompson (1999) researched 8 11 year old boys and girls on the possible correlation between media use and negative body image. Researchers surveyed 182 students in a Florida school on body image dissatisfactio n (specifically regarding certain areas of the body) and to what degree they felt the media had played a role in their feelings. Results showed that girls across every media measure had higher levels of body dissatisfaction and also higher levels of media influence. Results showed that media influence was a considerable predictor of body dissatisfaction for both men and women (Cusumano & Thompson, 1999). A large number of
39 mod els in ) (Cusumano & Thompson, 1999). Duke and Kreshel (1998) conducted individual interviews with ten adolescent girls ages 12 to 13 regarding the images of females prese nted in popular teen magazines. Their study self concepts. Researchers studied adolescent magazines to demonstrate that this socialization begins at a very early age. The young women were defined as regular readers of the most popular teen magazines, and each girl was asked to read an issue of her favorite magazine cover to cover before her interview. The study found that the idealized images in teen magazines co mpletely transfixed these girls and convinced them that they, too, could achieve this look with meticulous effort. The responses were markedly similar: we ask each ot them are, basically, have a p erfect figure. (Duke & Kreshel, 1998, p. 61) Limitations A significant amount of research has been conducted on the thinning of images in the media specifically, in media directed towards women. Adolescent women have been shown to be the most vulnerable to these often unrealistic messages, and these girls have plenty of mediums to choose from, many geared toward their precise demographic. Magazines such as Teen, YM and Seventeen have been targeting young women since their inception, and the images on th eir pages give young readers everywhere a body type to aspire to. But with the recent trends in fitness and exercise, the increase of muscular images in the media may raise the bar of perfection even higher for these young women.
40 There is limited resear ch on the possible increase in muscular images in the media. Many studies have been conducted documenting the thinning of images (Silverstein et al., 1986; Wiseman et al., 1992; Katzmarzyk & Davis, 2001), but these studies look at media geared towards an older population of women. If body dysmorphic disorder is said to develop in adolescence, then it is important to look at media geared toward the adolescent population. There are no studies that evaluate thinning trends in teen magazines. Another major limitation to studies involving Playboy or Playgirl is that the weights and heights of models are self reported. Therefore results could be skewed because models may report a lower weight. And no studies include muscle tone as a factor to evaluate. Bec fitness crusade is still going full include the desire to have a low level of body fat along with low body weight. Many studies are also not ethnically diverse (McCabe et al. 2002; Va rtanian et al. 2001; Furnham & Lim 1997; Harrison & Cantor 1997). This paints an inaccurate picture of what society perceives as the ideal body, and how this ideal body affects women across all cultures. Similarly, many studies do not differentiate betwe en images depicting women of different cultures. It would be a valuable addition to existing research to look at the difference between the body types of different ethnicities depicted in images. And many studies only focus on one medium (Andersen & DiDo menico 1992; Botta 2003), which also presents an inaccurate picture of what society is exposed to on a daily basis. Although the biggest limitation to research focusing on body dissatisfaction seems to be that no study can ever solidly prove that the med ia leads to body image disorders (e.g., eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder), it is still crucial to continue adding to the body of research in order to push for change in media content. T he current study extends the literature on the
41 specific mess ages the media is sending to adolescent women by focusing on the aspect of muscle tone, and whether or not the thin and toned image has increased in publications geared towards teen girls.
42 CHAPTER 3 METHODS This chapter will begin by evaluating the meth od of content analysis, including the necessary steps involved and general advantages and disadvantages of using this particular method. Predictions made by the researcher pertaining to the outcome of this study are discussed. This chapter will also desc ribe the sampling frame used in this study, as well as the specific coding rules set by the researcher, and the scale used to measure each image. Content Analysis This study used a content analysis of Seventeen systematic Donohew 1967, p. 2). Researchers utilizing content analysis as their chosen research method for a particular study are able to systematically analyze and make inferences about a given set of data. Krippendorff (1980, p. 52) describes the four basic steps of content analysis. The first step is data making, which involves unitization, sampling and recording. First, the topic being studied must be quantified into measurable units (unitizing). If the number of units seems too large, sampling a small portion of the units is necessary (sampling). Finally, the units must be coded into a form which can be analyzed (recording). These three parts of step one are intertwined, in that un itizing and recording may sometimes be combined, and in other cases, sampling may not be needed (Krippendorff, 1980, p. 54). The final three steps involve working with the data created in the first step. Step two, data reduction, is only necessary if math ematical efforts need to be tailored, or if irrelevant data needs to be eliminated. Step three involves developing analytical constructs, which operationalize
43 198 0, p. 99). The final step of content analysis involves identifying statistically significant patterns in the data. All four steps of content analysis must be replicable for future researchers (Krippendorff, 1980). Berelson (1952) discusses two separate t ypes of categories a researcher should use: substance categories and form categories. Substance categories include obvious divisions for example, substance categories for articles in a given teen magazine would include fashion, health, relationships, e tc. Form categories focus more intently on the angle the message takes. The categories decided upon by the researcher must also be exhaustive and mutually exclusive (Kaid & Wadsworth 1989). When the categories are exhaustive, no single piece of data wil l fall into more than one category. There are many benefits of content analysis, a major factor being that the method is unobtrusive compared to other research methods. For example, in an experiment, subjects may act differently knowing they are part of a study. Content analysis can also deal with large amounts of data, which is often necessary to produce a reliable study. In research studies, the research question(s) dictate the research method used. The research questions in this thesis dictate the use of content analysis because they focus on the potential changes in media images. In order to analyze potential changes in media images, media images must be reviewed. Content analysis allows the researcher to draw a representative sample, and to work wit h others while still d elivering accuracy of results. In this study, content analysis provided the researcher the opportunity to select a sample of 12 issues of Seventeen from 25 years of issues rather than coding 12 magazines per year over a 25 year perio d.
44 But the method of content analysis limits the researcher in that only recorded communication can be examined (Kaid & Wadsworth 1989). Only obvious, or manifest content, can be studied, and not latent or underlying meanings. The researcher was only int erested in manifest content, so although this is a weakness of content analysis, it was not important for this study. Another disadvantage when using content analysis as a method of research is that researchers may be so rigid in their category selection and descriptions that they may miss important inferences that could be made. The use of an extra coder in the present study helped to prevent rigidity in coding by discussing the coding scheme with the researcher before the study began, and in involving t he other coder when making the categories and descriptions. Kaid and Wadsworth (1989) also point out that it is nearly impossible to flawlessly execute all of the steps involved in content analysis. Representing the entire sample accurately can be diffic ult, and most researchers resort to simple convenience sampling (using whatever is most readily available to them). This study did not use a convenience sample the sample was chosen based on the issues the Cusumano and Thompson (1999) study recommended, and all recommended issues were found. And there is much disagreement about verifiable techniques for determining reliability and validity (Kaid & Wadsworth 1989). Conducting a content analysis also can be very time consuming for the researcher. The da ta collected may be hard to enter into a computer due to its inherently qualitative nature, and if the researcher tries to look further than obvious inferences, objectivity is compromised (Kaid & Wadsworth 1989). In this study, the researcher chose content analysis over other research methods for two reasons. First, c ontent analysis is the logical initial step in effects research, because in order to determine a possible effect, a possible cause must be found. If adolescent women are receiving messages fr om the media, among other sources, about how their bodies should look, then it is
45 important to analyze the content of the messages they are receiving. At the time of this study, no other study looked at the content of teen magazines to see if muscularity has become a part of the ideal image. Second, r ather than conducting an experiment and studying the reactions young women have t o these images, it is important as a first step to look at the consistency and content of these messages. Adolescent girls in an experimental situation may react a cert ain way to one particular toned female image. This study aims to discover whether or not this toned image is consistently being presented. Hypotheses When reviewing the literature on female images in the media, it becomes clear that a thin figure is the cultural standard (Wiseman et al. 1992; Katzmarzyk & Davis 2001; Garner et al. 1980; Silverstein et al. 1986) But, as Seid (1989) asks, what about muscularity? First, did this figure become more muscularly defin ed from 1975 to 2000? With the fitness trend steadily growing across the country (Seid 1989) many magazine articles are encouraging females to not only lose the fat, but add muscle as well. H1: Given the increasingly thinner images of women in media (W iseman et al. 1992; Katzmarzyk & Davis 2001; Garner et al. 1980; Silverstein et al. 1986) and the trend towards thinness and muscular ideal bodies (Bordo 1993), and given the trend towards more muscular male images (Law & Labre 2002), it is probable that t he ideal female figure has become more muscularly defined over time Second, were adolescent girls exposed to an increasing number of these muscular images from 1975 to 2000? H2: Given the trend toward a more muscular female body ideal (Bordo 1993), i t is likely that the number of muscular images increased from 1975 to 2000.
46 Overview Sampling Frame A content analysis of Seventeen magazine, a popular magazine targeting adolescent girls was conducted Seventeen was chosen because it is the leading mag azine for women 12 24, reaching 14.45 million readers each month ( www.hearstcorp.com ). One out of every two American teens 12 18 and one out of every five American young women 18 24 read the publication. For ado Seventeen has been a significant force for change creating www.hearstcorp.com ). In 2004, Seventeen celebrated its 60 th anniversary, which makes it appropriate to study the trends in provides the study with enough material to provide evidence of any changes that have occurred involving the female body ideal. Magazines were used over te levision or other forms of media for several different reasons. First, no one single television show exists that is targeted to adolescents and has been on the air for 25 years or more. Second, still images are much easier for researchers to analyze because moving images (i.e., television) may look different from one camera angle to another, causing possible disagreement among coders. Third, the Magazine Publishers of America report that not only do the top 25 magazines outperform the top 25 prime time TV shows in reaching teens 12 17, but also 29% of teens trust magazine adv ertising, compared to 22% for television (Magazine Pu blishers of America 2004). The starting year of 1975 was chosen because of the limited availability of magazines prior to 1975. If previous studies involving other forms of media have shown a trend towards thinner
47 female figures, it is reasonable to ass ume that a trend involving muscular images in magazines could be applied to all forms of media. Sample Design Magazines were purchased from various sellers on www.eBay.com Only hard copies of each issue were used fo r evaluation due to the lack of on line availability. Issues before a certain year also are often only available on microfilm, which can be very difficult to distinguish due to the poor quality of the photographs. The 25 year time frame was separated int o six five year increments, starting in 1975 (1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000). This separation was necessary to analyze trends in a reasonable amount of time. Two issues per year were analyzed for a total of 12 issues over the 25 year period. The re searcher followed Cusumano and these months depict models with the most skin revealed, therefore making it easier for the researcher to determine levels of muscularit y (Cusumano & Thompson 1997) When an issue was not available from these two months, an adjacent month was substituted. The final sample includes the following issues: June, July 1975 June, July 1980 April, May 1985 June, July 1990 June, July 1995 June July 2000 Unit of Analysis In any given study, the first task is to define the unit of analysis, or what will be observed in the study (Krippendorff 1980). In this study, each photo on each page represents a unit of analysis. Because pictures in adver tisements and pictures pertaining to articles are equally visible to the eye, and because previous studies have grouped articles and advertisements
48 together (Andersen & DiDomenico 1992; Botta 1993; Cusumano & Thompson 1999), both images in advertisements a nd images within articles are included. Because inserts are typically removed from the magazine, they were not included in this study. The total number of pages in each issue was calculated two ways. First, the last page number in the issue was recorded Second, the researcher manually counted the number of pages. Once the total number of pages in each issue was recorded, the total number of measurable female images was counted. An image was considered measurable if one or more of the following was vi sible: Arms Legs Abdominals Glutes If an image spread across more than one page, it was recorded as one image on the coding sheet, with both page numbers noted. Pictures of pictures, artwork, and images that were smaller than 2 inches by 2 inches were no t counted. This size limit was implemented because images smaller than this size made it difficult for the researcher to determine muscularity level. Covers insid 410 images acceptable for analysis. If more than one codable image appeared on the page, images were counted clockwise starting at the upper left hand corner of the page. Each image was coded as many times as it appeared, whether it appeared twice on one page or on two separate pages. In order to be coded for muscularity, the female images were required to be wearing form fitting clothing, or no clothing covering a particular area of the body, which allowed the researcher to make a more accurate comparison.
49 images in magazines. A priori coding was used, and images were analyzed ba sed on individual body parts and overall appearance in order to determine the level of muscularity displayed by each model. Coding categories (Appendix C) included the year and month the magazine was published, the page number on which the image was found on and the image number. The image number was determined by where it was located on the page coders began at the top left hand corner of each page and proceeded to count clockwise. Other coding categories included whether the image was color or black a nd white, the size of the image (coders measured the size of the model and not the size of the entire image), and the type of clothing worn by the model. Clothing was rated by the amount of coverage it provided the model. For example, an image considered uncovered showed the entire arm, the entire leg, and the abdominal area (ex: a bikini). An image considered slightly covered showed the entire arm and the entire leg, but no abdominals (ex: a tank top and shorts). An image considered moderately covere d showed only one area, either the full arm or full leg, and no abdominals (ex: a tank top and jeans). A fully covered image showed partial arm, partial leg, and no abdominals (ex: a t shirt with sleeves and jeans). The level of muscularity was then ra ted on the same scale used by Furnham et al. (1994), a scale from 1 9 with 9 being the most muscular. The scale used for analysis of images was the same used in a study conducted by Furnham, Titman and Sleeman (1994). Nine figures ranging from extremely a norexic to extremely muscular were used in order to categorize each image in Seventeen regarding the level of muscularity. This muscularity rating scale appears in Appendix B. The closest representation of the scale was chosen for each image. Individual body parts were rated on muscularity, along
50 with the overall image. Abdominal definition in the torso, definition in the arms and legs, and overall visible muscle definition were criteria looked for. A complete listing of rules for coding in this study can be found in Appendix C, and the coding sheet in Appendix D. When discussing hypotheses in research, it is important to define both the dependent and independent variables in the study. The independent variable is controlled by the researcher. Change s in the dependent variable depend on changes in the independent variable. In this study, the independent variable is the year in which each magazine was published. The dependent variable in this study is the level of muscularity in each model, which the researcher hypothesized would be dependent on what the year of that issues is. Internal consistency of the scale was measured using Cron the most common reliability tests used in current research (Morgan 2004). In most studie s, alpha should be .70 or higher (Streiner 2003). In this study, a=.69 and standardized item alpha was .72. When the Abs category was removed, a=.85. Reliability and Validity Establishing reliability and validity is a crucial part of any legitimate study When a study is repeated and produces similar results, reliability is established. Content analyses are reliable because the data set does not change from trial to trial. A study must be replicable in order to be considered reliable, and is valid if a nd only if the research is measuring precisely what the researchers set out to measure. In this study, the researcher set out to measure the possible increase in muscular images in publications targeting adolescent females. Analyzing Seventeen over a 25 year period makes the study valid in that Seventeen is the most widely read teen publication. Only analyzing issues from the summer months (April, May, June and July) makes
51 the study valid because during the summer months, it is common to see more of each body exposed. Inter 1967, p. 68). To e stablish reliability, 25% of the sample was randomly selected for coding by both the researcher and an assistant. The equation presented by Holsti (1969) was used to determine reliability: C. R. = N/1+[(N 1)(average agreement)], where N equals the number of category assignments bot h coders agree on, and the denominator of the equation equals the total number of category assignments made by both coders. Twenty percent of the sample was selected to be double coded for reliability purposes. Three issues were randomly chosen to be do uble coded: June 1975 and June 1980. In each issue, the first 75 pages were double coded. Because coding took place over the course of one day only, and because only one magazine title was used ( Seventeen ), one pre test was deemed sufficient by the rese archer. Data were recorded on sheets pre designed by the researcher (Appendix D). The pretest revealed the following agreement between the researcher and the additional coder: Number of total pages: 100% Number of Codable Images: 83% Category a greem en t: 59% Because agreement on category assignment was less than the minimum acceptability for proof of coder reliability (80% ), the researcher reviewed images previously disagreed upon with the additional coder. It became clear that the disagreement stem med from the point of focus in the eye of the coder. While the researcher focused on appearance of muscle definition in a
52 particular area of the body, the additional coder had focused on the level of fat in that area. The researcher then reviewed the sca le again (Appendix B), and it was agreed upon that the first three images on the scale would be viewed not as thin, but as lacking muscularity. The second pre test resulted in the following levels of agreement: Number of total pages: 100% Number of Coda ble Images: 83% Category agree ment: 83 % Once an acceptable level of agreement was reached, the researcher completed the rest of the coding alone. To analyze the data, the researcher used SPSS, a statistical software program that is commonly used in the social sciences to analyze data. More specifically, the researcher used a one way ANOVA. ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) is used when there is only one independent variable involved (Leech, Barrett & Morgan 2005). When analyzing data, the null hypothesis s tates that all population means will be equal, while the alternative hypothesis states that one mean will be different (Leech, Barrett & Morgan 2005). If the one way ANOVA showed significance in the relationship, the researcher conducted a Scheffe test. The Scheffe test helps the researcher to figure out where the difference in the means lie, without simply stating that a difference exists (Leech, Barrett & Morgan 2005). A Scheffe test is necessary only if the one way ANOVA is significant. This study us ed a significance level of .05, which means that the researcher is confident that 95% of the data falls within two standard deviations from the mean (Morgan 2004).
53 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS General Information The researcher coded 12 magazines with an average of 177 pages per issue. Of the 409 codable images analyz ed, 15% c ame from 1975 issues, 16% from 1980, 16 % from 1985, 11 % from 1990, 16 % from 1995, and 26 % from 2000. The increase in percentages occurred most likely because models in later years were show ing more of their bodies than models in earlier years. Only 5% of the images were coded as black and white, 95 % color. Clothing type was broken down into four categories: fully covered, moderately covered, slightly covered and uncovered. Sixteen percent of images were rated a s moderately covered, 21% were rated as uncover ed, and the majority (63% ) was rated as slightly covered. The lack of fully covered images (0% The data we re analyzed by year, with each year including two issues from that year. Because of the small amount of codable images for the glutes category (16 out of 409 overall codable images), the glutes category was eliminated from the analysis. Hypotheses Muscu lar Ideal The first hypothesis stated that the ideal female figure has become more muscularly defined in the past 25 years, and the research found this to be true [F=9.455, df=5, p<.05]. When the data was examined by year, a trend emerged toward musculari ty. The overall mean grew 84% from 3.07 in 1975 to 3.91 in the year 2000, while the maximum rating grew from 6 to 8 (Table 4. 1 ).
54 Table 4 1 Changes in Levels of Overall Muscularity. Year N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Min Max 1975 61 3.07 .892 .114 1 6 1980 57 2.91 1.074 .142 1 6 1985 52 3.60 .995 .138 2 5 1990 32 3.72 1.023 .181 2 6 1995 46 3.33 .845 .125 2 6 2000 95 3.91 1.149 .118 1 8 Total 343 3.45 1.083 .058 1 8 Data was grouped into three categories: Not Muscular (ratings 1 3), Moderate ly Muscular (ratings 4 6), and Very Muscular (ratings 7 9). This was done by the researcher to prevent statistical errors due to the shortage of Ns in the higher and lower categories (ex: 1 and 9). In 1975, the majority of ima ges (70% ) was categorized a s Not Muscular (Table 4. 2 ). By the year 2000, th e majority of images (62% ) fell in the Moderately Muscular category. The percentage of images in the Very Muscular c ategory increased from 0% to 2 % from 1975 to 2000. The year 1995 did not follow the mu scu larity trend, with 70% of images that year coded as Not Muscular. Table 4 2. Changes in Levels of Muscularity Year Not Muscular % Moderately Muscular % Very Muscular % 1975 70 30 0 1980 75 25 0 1985 42 58 0 1990 44 56 0 1995 70 30 0 2000 36 62 2 S everal statistically significant differences emerged when looking at overall muscularity in images. The year 2000 is statistically different from 1975 and 1980 at the .01 level (see Table 4.3 ). The year 1980 is also statistically different from the years 1985, 1990, and 2000 (p<.01).
55 Table 4 3. Scheffe Test for Overall Muscularity Scheffe [I]Year [J] Year Mean Difference [I J] 1975 1980 .15 1985 .53 1990 .65 1995 .26 2000 .84** 1980 1975 .15 1985 .68** 1990 .81** 1995 .4 1 2000 .99** 1985 1975 .53 1980 .68** 1990 .12 1995 .27 2000 .31 1990 1975 .65 1980 .81** 1985 .12 1995 .39 2000 .19 1995 1975 .26 1980 .41 1985 .27 1990 .39 2000 .58 2000 1975 .84** 1980 .99** 1985 .31 1990 .19 1995 .58 Abs H1a proposed that there would be an increase in muscularity in the abdominal region. On average, abs were moderately muscular (n=86, M=4.29, SD=1.379). Of the four categories analyzed in this study, the abs category was the least in line [F=4,842, df=1, p<.05], in that a decrease in muscularity, not an increase, was noted. In 1975, the mean rating was 4.78, but by 2000 it decreased to 3.92.
56 Table 4 4 Changes in Abdominal Muscularity. Year N Mean St d. Deviation Std. Error Min Max 1975 23 4.78 1.594 .332 1 8 1980 13 4.46 1.266 .351 3 6 1985 13 4.00 1.528 .424 1 6 1990 13 4.31 1.251 .347 3 6 1995 11 3.82 .751 .226 3 5 2000 13 3.92 1.382 .383 2 6 Total 86 4.29 1.379 .149 1 8 From 1975 2000, the majority of images in this category fell into the Moderately Muscular category (n=86, M=4.29, SD=1.379). The data showed an increase in Not Muscular images and a decrease in Very Muscular images, a trend opposite than that of other areas of the body. Th e percentage of Not Musc ular images grew from 17% in 1975 to almost half (46% ) in 2000. Table 4 5. Changes in Levels of Abdominal Muscularity Year Not Muscular % Moderately Muscular % Very Muscular % 1975 17 74 9 1980 31 69 0 1985 46 54 0 1990 38 62 0 1995 36 64 0 2000 46 54 0 A one way ANOVA of the yearly means indicated that the relationship between abdominal muscularity and the period of time from 1975 2000 is not significant, so H1a was not supported. Arms H1b proposed that the level of muscu larity in arms depicted in the images would increase. On average, arms were moderately muscular (M=3.38). The mean for the arm area grew from 2.74 in 1975 to 4.02 in the year 200 0 (128% ), while the maximum rating grew from 6 to 8 (Table 4. 6 ). The minimu m rating remained the same at 1.
57 Table 4 6 Changes in Overall Arm Muscularity. Year N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Min Max 1975 42 2.74 1.061 .164 1 6 1980 47 2.64 .895 .131 1 5 1985 55 3.16 .856 .115 1 5 1990 34 3.76 1.281 .220 2 7 1995 51 3.47 1.102 .154 1 7 2000 89 4.02 1.340 .142 1 8 Total 318 3.38 1.235 .069 1 8 Except for an unexplained decrease in muscular images in 1995 (which was consistent across other areas of the body as well throughout the data set), the general increase in i mages rated Moderately Muscular and Very Muscular was noticeable. In 1975, the majority of images were r ated as Not Muscular (83% ), but by 2000 the majority of images (52 % ) were categorized Muscu in 1975) (Table 4. 6 ). Table 4 7 Changes in Levels of Arm Muscularity Year Not Muscular % Moderately Muscular % Very Muscular % 1975 83 17 0 1980 89 11 0 1985 71 29 0 1990 53 38 9 1995 57 41 2 2000 44 52 4 The relationsh ip between muscular arms and the period of time from 1975 2000 was one of the strongest in this study [F=13.879, df=5, p<.05 ] When a Scheffe test was conducted, a significant difference in means was noted between the year 2000 and the years 1975, 1980, a nd 1985 (Table 4. 8 ). The mean difference is significant at the .01 level.
58 Table 4 8. Scheffe Test for Arm Muscularity Scheffe [I]Year [J] Year Mean Difference [I J] 1975 1980 .10 1985 .43 1990 1.03** 1995 .73 2000 1.28** 1980 1975 .10 1985 .53 1990 1.13** 1995 .83** 2000 1.38** 1985 1975 .43 1980 .53 1990 .60 1995 .31 2000 .86** 1990 1975 1.03** 1980 1.13** 1985 .60 1995 .29 2000 .26 1995 1975 .73 1980 .83** 1985 .31 1990 .29 2000 .55 2000 19 75 1.28** 1980 1.38** 1985 .86** 1990 .26 1995 .55 Legs H1c proposed that there would be an increase in leg muscularity in the images in the study and was not supported. The legs category showed one of the weakest relationships in the study [F=. 804, df=1, p=n.s.]. A slight trend toward muscularity, however, was detected. On average, legs were Moderately Muscular (M=3.58). The average mean increased from 3.29 in 1975 to 3.95 in 2000.
59 Table 4 9. Changes in Overall Leg Muscularity Year Not Mu scular % Moderately Muscular % Very Muscular % 1975 50 50 0 1980 49 49 2 1985 45 55 0 1990 41 59 0 1995 70 30 0 2000 40 57 3 In 1975, the percentage of images in each category was split in half between Not Muscular and Moderately Muscular (Table 4. 1 0 ). By 2000, the scales had tipped slightly tow ard muscularity, with 57 % of images categorized as M oderately Muscular and 3 % categorized as Very Muscular. Across the board, 1995 did not follow the trend, going backward instead. For example, in 1990, 41 % of the images were rated Not Muscular, but thi s number decreased to 30 % in 1995. It then jumped back up to 40 % in 2000. Excluding 1995, a trend toward muscularity in the leg area was illustrated by the data. Table 4 1 0 Changes in Levels of Leg Musc ularity. Year Not Muscular % Moderately Muscular % Very Muscular % 1975 50 50 0 1980 49 49 2 1985 45 55 0 1990 41 59 0 1995 70 30 0 2000 40 57 3 Muscular Images The second research question asked whether or not the number of muscular images presen ted to adolescents in Seventeen increased over the past 25 years, and it was not completely supported by this research. Of the total number of codable images, the area of the body that was codable most often was the overall figure with 343 codable images, followed by arms with 318 codable images. Legs were seen in 223 total images, and abdominals in only 86 images. A general increase was noted in the number of codable arms (Table 4.1 1 ). The number of images
60 showing arms increased from 42 in 1975 to 89 i n 2000. However, the number of images showing abdominals decreased from 23 in 1975 to 13 in 2000, while the number of images showing legs only slightly increased from 34 in 1975 to 37 in 2000. Table 4 1 1 Number of Codable Images Per Year Overall Abs Arms Legs 1975 61 23 42 34 1980 57 13 47 41 1985 52 13 34 31 1990 32 13 34 31 1995 46 11 51 33 2000 95 13 89 37 This demonstrates that for certain areas of the body, adolescents are being exposed to an increasing number of images where more skin i s exposed than in previous years, making muscular areas of the body more noticeable and easily defined. The graph below (Figure 4.1) shows percentage of images each year (each year containing two issues of Seventeen ) that the overall image was rated Mod erately Muscular or Very Muscular. A great increase was visible in the year 2000, but prior to that, major fluctuation is evident. In 1985 an increase emerged, but it dropped back down five years later and did not increase again until 2000. In 1975, 30% of images were rated as Overall Moderately Muscular or Overall Very Muscular, while in 2000, this number increased to 64 % Figure 4 1. The total number of instances each year (each year containing two issues of Seventeen ) that an image or area of th
61 Advertisements vs. Editorial Images The researcher used a repeated measures test to determine if a difference existed between images seen in advertisements and images seen in conjunction with e ditorials. Because images could only fall into one category, a between subjects test was used. Although the sphericity assumption was violated (the Chi square approximation had a p value less than the desired alpha level=.05), it was not necessary to cor rect the degrees of freedom because corrections increase the significance level, and the original significance level was already .05. Results indicated that the nature of the image did not influence the level of muscularity (F=.875, p>.05, df=6).
62 CHA PTER 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSI ONS This study attempted to answer the following research question: Has the ideal female figure become more muscularly defined? To further explore this question, two theories were used: social cognitive theory and social compari readers acquire information on how to behave in certain situations from magazine cues through identification and imitation. Bandura (1994) also notes that existing personal charact eristics can affect the reaction to the media image. If an adolescent girl is already experiencing body dissatisfaction before flipping through the pages of Seventeen she will be more inclined to make efforts to change her body when she sees a more muscu larly defined model. According to the evidence found in this study, she will, in fact, see that more muscularly defined image, and in turn believe that this body shape is achievable. Social comparison theorists argue that people have a need to evaluate their opinions and abilities, and will do so with or without social standards (Festinger, 1954). Festinger (1954) also notes that if objective criteria are not readily available, social criteria will serve as a substitute. If an adolescent girl reading S eventeen magazine compares herself to the models on each page, she will be comparing herself to a thin and moderately muscular body ideal. And if this thin, muscular body is atypical of the rest of society, then she will be making a comparison with someon e she deems superior to her. Social comparison theorists define this as upward social comparison, as opposed to downward social comparison, when a person compares him or herself to someone he or she deems lesser. Because both upward and downward social c omparisons can cause both positive and negative outcomes, it can be assumed that the outcome of the comparison is not dependent on the direction of the comparison (Suls, Martin & Wheeler, 2002).
63 dissatisfaction, a more muscularly defined ideal body type may have a negative impact. Both social cognitive theory and social comparison theory also discuss discrepancy reduction, in which an adolescent female would notice the difference between her ow n body and 1994; Festinger, 1954). With the increasingly muscular body ideal that this study demonstrates, the discrepancy that the average adolescent female will have to make up for will be increased. And once an adolescent female believes that society views this new toned body in a positive way, she is likely to use this ideal as a goal for herself. In addition to exploring social cognitive and social compa rison theories, this thesis reviewed studies that have looked at the effects of the media on body image among adolescent age groups. Findings were generally consistent, with media influence a probable predictor of body dissatisfaction and the desire to c ompare oneself to higher standards (e.g., fashion models, actresses) (Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Borzekowski et al., 2000; Cusumano & Thompson, 1999; Duke & Kreshel, 1998). Cusumano and Thompson (1999) surveyed 8 11 year old boys and girls and found that m edia influence was a large predictor of body dissatisfaction for both genders. An incredible 80 % % agreed with the statement, Thompson (1999) study in that if 80 % of adolescent girls are using magazine models as guidelines for how their body should be shaped 80 % of girls will view the increasingly muscular body ideal found in this study as something to be obtained. Harrison and Cantor (1997) also
64 showed magazine reading to have a stronger relationship with body dissatisfaction than television viewing. Bott a (2003) looked at health/fitness magazines (which depict more athletic looking, muscular models) and found that reading these publications was an important factor in the likelihood of body image problems. Both Harrison and Cantor (1997) and Botta (2003) reviewed research focused on muscularity, and how society perceives different levels of muscle t one. Vartanian, Giant and Passino ( 2001) discovered that 56% of the women in their study wished to have more muscle tone. By demonstrating an increase in muscularity in the images viewed by these women, this study may provide a reason for these wishes. McCabe et al. (2002) focused on younger participants and surveyed adolescents in grades seven and nine. The study found that by grade nine, girls were feeling similar pressures to those directed at the boys by the media. Grogan and Wainwright (1996) held more personal interviews with only adolescent females, and found that most agreed that a toned body was ideal. Because this toned body is being depicted more often in Seventeen this study may provide a possible link between these adolescents and the sou rce of their perceived ideal body image. If the media have been shown to have an impact on female adolescent body image (Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Borzekowski et al., 2000; Cusumano & Thompson, 1999; Duke & Kreshel, 1998), and if these same media outlets have been shown to present an increasingly thinner ideal body (Wiseman et al., 1992; Katzmarzyk & Davis, 2001; Garner et al., 1980; Silverstein et al., 1986), it is safe to assume that if this body becomes more perfect (e.g. more toned and muscular), adole scent girls will be that much more vulnerable.
65 The current study also explored possible effects to this more muscularly defined body a person obsessing about a p erceived flaw to an extreme degree. For example, an adolescent female who does not like her thighs may exercise excessively, diet, or even get plastic surgery to alleviate her discomfort with the area. And because BDD typically develops in the adolescent years (American Psychiatric Association, 2000), readers of teen magazines may be especially susceptible to BDD if these publications continue to present unattainable body ideals. In order to discover why BDD is becoming so prevalent (Thompson et al., 199 9), it was important to look at what messages society is receiving. This study demonstrates that Seventeen magazine is presenting a more muscular body ideal to adolescent females, thereby increasing the possibility that teen readers will begin to obsess a bout certain areas of their body that are not muscular. The Advent of the Toned Body Ideal Although findings for individual areas of the body did not show consistent trends toward muscularity, the findings in this study do support the hypothesis that the overall ideal female figure is becoming more muscularly defined in Seventeen. This study fou nd that in 1975, only 30% of pictures in Seventeen depicted a model with noticeable muscle definition. By 1985, that number increased to 58 % and by 2000, to 62 % This increase in images containing muscular females is especially alarming because Seventeen is geared towards readers entering or going through adolescence Throughout the data, the yea r 1995 did not seem to follow the trend toward a more muscular physique. For example, in analyzing overall muscularity, the mean was 3.07 in 1975, 3.60 in 1985, and 3.72 in 1990. However, in 1995, the mean was 3.33 a significant drop in overall muscula rity. But 2000 was right in line with the trend toward muscularity (M=3.91). It was difficult to find the reason for this discrepancy between the year 1995 and the overall trend
66 toward a more muscular ideal body image. A possible explanation may be that in the late 1990s, thin models such as Kate Moss were introduced (similar to Twiggy from the 1960s) and seen as Another possible explanation for the 1995 discrepancy is that between 1995 and 2000, the only three magazines targeting adolescents ( Seventeen, YM and Teen ) received new competition. Teen People was launched in 1998, Cosmo GIRL! in 1999, and these were followed by Elle Girl and Teen Vogue In 2002, Seventeen lost 14% of their advertising dollars and Teen was pulled off shelves (Tyre, 2004). Perhaps in 1995, magazines such as Seventeen were in the beginning stages of reposi tioning themselves and trying to find their niche in the tween/teen market by attempting to show girls what they thought they wanted to see a thin body ideal. Looking at each individual area of the body for changes in muscularity presents a more intere sting picture. In 2000, arms were noted as the area of the body most often shown as more muscular. This may be because more images of arms were coded than any other area of the body, due to the abundance of images depicting codable arms (N=318). The rel ationship between muscular arms and the period of time from 1975 2000 was found to be statistically significant, and also one of the strongest in the study. These results seem particularly odd considering the fact that women seem to focus their dissatisfa ction on the lower part of the body (e.g., butt, abductors, adductors) (Grogan, 1999). No research exists currently that examines what area of the body women focus on more when it comes to weight training. In regards to the abdominals, on average, abs w ere moderately muscular. The data actually showed a decrease in abdominal muscularity, a trend opposite from that of the other areas of the body. This may be due to the overall sheer lack of images depicting codable abdominals (only
67 86 total, an average of 14 per year), or the size limitation in this study, in that the image was required to be 2 inches by 2 inches in order to be coded. Magazines may show more abdominals, but the image may not have been large enough to code. The relationship between the period of time between 1975 and 2000 and abdominal muscularity was not found to be statistically significant. The relationship involving leg muscularity was also not found to be statistically significant. However, a slight trend in muscularity was detec ted. The second research question examined whether the number of muscular images in Seventeen has increased over the past 25 years. There was an increase in codable arm images, but a decrease in codable abdominal images and only a slight increase in codab le leg images. However, there was an increase in the percentage of images rated Overall Moderately Muscular or Overal l Very Muscular, from 30% in 1975 to 64 % in 2000. Upon examining the distinction between advertisements and editorial images, the result s indicated that no difference existed between the two categories. This may be due to the fact that the ratio of codable advertisement images to codable editorial images remained relatively similar from 1975 to 2000. Many advertisements may also use the same models, or similar looking models, as the magazine itself. Research Contributions for Mass Communications Body dissatisfaction has become an epidemic, and the media have been a prime target for blame in recent years. If a trend toward thinner media i mages seems to have led to a desire to be thin (Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Borzekowski et al., 2000; Cusumano & Thompson, 1999; Duke & Kreshel, 1998), a more muscular, toned image may lead to a desire to be toned. Certain levels of muscularity may no longer lack of existing research on women, muscularity and the media, this thesis began by looking at
68 the magazine messages the average female adolescent receives on a daily basis. This study s hould be viewed as a starting point for future research, because it demonstrates a trend toward a more toned female ideal in the media in certain areas of the body. In order to prevent new generations of adolescent females from experiencing the same socia l pressures to look like what they see in the media, it is crucial for society to continue to monitor the messages that the media send, especially to teenagers. This study also contributes to the base of literature that supports both social cognitive and social comparison theories, although it does not support the effects part of the theories because it is only analyzes the content of the message. If future studies make the link between more muscular images and an increase in the desire to be muscular am ong adolescent females, both social cognitive theory and social comparison theory will be supported, and this study will be an integral part of the cause and effect chain. Both discrepancy production and discrepancy reduction would apply (described in bot h theories) in that if images are becoming more toned and muscular, the discrepancies between media images and the average female adolescent will become more obvious and more abundant. Even if magazines follow in s footsteps and eliminate dieting artic les completely (Lee, 2002), they may simply replace them with articles about fitness and health and a toned (rather than thin) physique. Rather than moving forward in the fight against an unrealistic ideal body, media will remain stagnant. Vartanian e t al. (2001) discov ered that over half (56% ) of the college women participating in their study wished that they had more muscle tone. The current study helps appearance
69 defined body is what appearance related media is depicting. And although McCabe et al. (2002) found that the younger females in their study were more likely to want to lose weight rather than build muscle tone, these girls were only around age 12. These girls may not have been avid readers of teen magazines ( Seventeen .com reports th eir target demographic to be 12 17). McCabe et al. (2002) then reported that by age 14, girls were feeling similar pressures to those directed at the boys by the media an age when this researcher believes they may have taken notice of magazines like Sev enteen Research Limitations and Opportunities for Future Research This study should be seen as a starting point for future research on muscularity in the media. Society as a whole is inundated with media images on a daily basis, and it is important to look at what media messages other age groups are receiving, and not just adolescents. Although the adolescent population is believed to be the most vulnerable, older women and even men are certainly not immune. Future studies could broaden the scope of t his research by focusing on magazines and other publications geared toward these different age groups to determine if muscularity is a feature that the media present to everyone. This new muscular body ideal could be seen in other media as well. Future research should take a close look at television, movies, and even music videos to determine whether this muscular body ideal truly is the new female standard. Other magazines geared toward adolescent females, including Teen YM and CosmoGIRL could also be analyzed to determine whether the message is consistent across the board. In 2002, the editor in chief of YM eliminated articles about dieting from the publication. Future research could focus on this magazine to determine if, quite possibly, the imag es are speaking louder than the articles. And if future research continues to support the hypothesis that the ideal female body type is becoming more muscularly defined, it will be important to then look at the effects this new
70 body ideal has on femal es of all ages. Past research has already demonstrated that adolescent females are affected by thinning images in the media, which can lead to dangerous behaviors including eating disorders and social anxiety disorders (Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Borzekowsk i et al., 2000; Cusumano & Thompson, 1999; Duke & Kreshel, 1998). Future research could focus on long term effects, perhaps in a longitudinal study, and look at how different levels of media exposure can change personal perceptions of body image over time More effects research is needed to determine exactly how much of an impact the media have on society, and if muscular images have a more positive or negative impact. And while this study demonstrated changes in the ideal female body presented by magazi nes, it is merely the first step in a series of studies that could be conducted. It may be necessary for the study to be replicated, due to the subjective nature of the muscularity scale used. During the initial stages of coding, it became apparent that there were two different ways of viewing the scale. When coding each individual area of the body, the researcher compared each individual area of the image to each individual area of the bodies on the scale. The additional coder, however, compared each i ndividual area of the image being coded to the overall feel of the images in the scale. This was discovered early in the study and corrected, but future studies could choose a scale that depicts only one area of the body at a time, rather than the entire figure as a whole. Other limitations of this study include sample size and limited background literature. Any replications of this study should use three or four issues, rather than two, to ensure that the inconsistency of results was not due to sample si ze. Perhaps a larger number of magazines chosen from each year would present a more accurate picture of body ideal trends. And the lack of current literature on this topic makes this study a jumping point for others in the future.
71 Because muscularity in female images has yet to be measured, it was difficult to make a sound judgment on what constitutes muscularity. An additional coder for all materials may be necessary. One of the biggest limitations of the current study is that an increase in musculari ty was not seen across the board, in every area of the body. For example, this study found that the abdominal area is actually becoming less muscular. A possible explanation for this anomaly may be that the media are, in fact, taking more responsibility for the messages they present. directly to the incidence of obesity in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention re port that from 1999 2002, 30% of Americans 20 years and older are obese, by medical standards (National Center for Health Statistics, 2004). Given this information, the discrepancy between the average female body and the ideal female body is still growing, but the public may average female body be evolving into a thinner, more muscular version? A study conducted by Myers and Biocca (1992) found that although women do overestimate their body size, and although their body image was affected by 30 minutes of television programming, the women in the study actually felt thinner after viewing the selected programming. The researchers hypothesized that because this feeling of thinness was also accompani ed by a slight level of happiness and lowered levels of depression, the women in the study may have imagined that they were the woman on television that they essentially age disturbances must be more psychologically complicated than simply a consequence of media exposure.
72 Conclusion Media messages are inescapable. Adolescent females have constant access to television, magazines, and the Internet. And it is no secret that images of women in the media have grown thinner and thinner (Wiseman et al., 1992; Katzmarzyk & Davis, 2001; Garner et al., 1980; Silverstein et al., 1986). It is also no secret that women who are heavy media users do not step away from the televisi on or from their magazine without feeling less satisfied about their own appearance (Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Borzekowski et al., 2000; Cusumano & Thompson, 1999; Duke & Kreshel, 1998). And the standard of beauty is not only becoming thinner, but more musc ularly defined (Bordo, 1993) thus raising the standard and making it that much more difficult for the genetically average woman to attain. Professional athletes and bodybuilders go through months of gruesome training and restrictive dieting to earn their physique a physique that the media seem to be saying is just within our reach. Ironically, the gap between the ideal woman and the average woman grows wider and wider because the female body itself is not changing. Cultivation theorists argue that hea vier media users view pictures presented by the media as actual reality (Bandura, 1994). This presents quite a predicament for the average female: if she views the muscularly toned model in her issue of Vogue as reality, and then looks in the mirror and make. Psychological disorders relating to negative body image have become rampant, and future research should continue to analyze what messages the media are sendin g. This study makes a small, but important, contribution to the current literature on media effects, in that it begins the conversation society needs to have about the values we are instilling in our teenage girls. If, in
73 fact, increases in muscular imag es in the media can lead to body dysmorphic disorder and muscle dysmorphia, studies such as this one cannot be ignored.
74 APPENDIX A TABLE A 1 MAGAZINE ISSUES Year Seventeen 1975 June, July 1980 June, July 1985 April, May 1990 June, July 1995 June, July 20 00 June, July Double Coded
75 APPENDIX B FIGURE B 1 MUSCULARITY SCALE
76 APPENDIX C CODING RULES Part 1: Counting Pages 1 Count the number of pages in each magazine by looking at the last page in the magazine. Add 4 pages to account for the front and back covers. Ma nually count the number of pages in each magazine. Do not include inserts, which are intended for the reader to remove from the issue. Keep track of special issues by putting a check mark on the coding sheet. Part 2: Counting Toned Images Count any page as containing a female image if there are one or more of the following visible: Do not count pictures of pictures, art work, or images that are smaller than 2 inches wide or 2 inches in length. If an image spreads across two pages, record both page numbers on the same line of the coding sheet. Part 3: Coding Toned Images To be codable, the female images must be wearing form fitting clothin g that allows the researcher to determine level of muscularity. Pick the closest representation on the scale. Check for abdominal definition in the torso, definition in the arms or in the legs, and overall low body fat. If there is more than one codable image on the pages, count clockwise starting at the upper left hand corner of the page. Code each image as many times as it appears, whether it appears twice on one page or on two separate pages. Keep a separate tally of the images that are codable since p ages that contain female images may have more than one codable image per page. If the image appears over two pages code it as only one image. 1 1994, Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 9, p. 342. Copyright 1994 by the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality. Reprinted with permission.
77 APPENDIX D FIGURE D 1 CODING SHEET
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83 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jennifer Thomson was born in Hollywood, Florida and was raised in Orlando, Florida. She graduate d from Lake Brantley High School and started as a freshman at the University of Florida in Fall 1998. Jennifer worked at WRUF AM while in school, as well as at the Student Recreation and Fitness Center She received her master s degree from the Universit y of Florida in the fall of 2011.