Sex Roles

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 215–222

Women, Weight, and Age: Social Comparison to Magazine Images Across the Lifespan

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-006-9164-2

Cite this article as:
Bessenoff, G.R. & Del Priore, R.E. Sex Roles (2007) 56: 215. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9164-2


The finding that rates of body dissatisfaction in women remain relatively stable across the adult lifespan may be due to older women having fewer but heavier age-relevant comparisons in the media. To examine this, magazine images that depict women’s full bodies were coded for age, body size, and clothedness. Analyses suggest that overall, older women are not well represented in this medium. In addition, magazines aimed at younger women depict younger and thinner models than do those magazines with a larger percentage of older readers. Moreover, across magazines, younger models are thinner and less clothed than older models. Thus, larger body ideals portrayed in the media, in combination with increased weight with age, may contribute to similarities in body satisfaction over the lifespan.


AdvertisingGenderSocial comparisonThin-idealAge

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA