Association of Marketing Theory and Practice Proceedings 2013

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

Sales Promotion/ Retailing

Publication Date



Weight and body concerns have reached epidemic proportions among female college students. Such high levels of body dissatisfaction can lead to disastrous results. Since the mass media is considered an important purveyor of the thin ideal, the present study investigated the impact model size in magazine advertising has on the body esteem of female college students. Because it is unlikely that all women will respond similarly to the models depicted in such ads, the present study tested the potentially moderating role of Body Mass Index (BMI) on the model size – body esteem relationship. As hypothesized, subject BMI did moderate this relationship. Findings suggest that low/normal BMI females respond differently to skinny and plus-size models portrayed in magazine ads compared to their high BMI counterparts.

About the Authors

James A. Roberts (PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is the Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His research focuses on the dark side of consume behavior including the topics of materialism, compulsive buying, and credit card abuse. He has published over 70 journal articles in the marketing, consumer behavior, and psychology literature. Dr. Roberts’ recent book, Shiny Objects: Why we spend money we don’t have in search of happiness we can’t buy (Harper Collins, 2011) will soon be published in Chinese after being well received in the U.S.

Chloe’ Roberts is currently a junior at Midway High School in Waco, Texas. This article is her first academic publication and is the result of her science fair project that qualified for the Texas State Science Fair competition.

James A. Roberts

Professor of Marketing

Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing Baylor University Hankamer School of Business Marketing Department Waco, TX 76798-8007 Fax: 254.710.1068 Phone: 254.710.4952 E-mail:

Chloe’ A. Roberts Midway High School Woodway, TX 76712 Phone: 254.776.4982 E-mail:

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