Slender Sells: Could Obama's Lanky Look Help Him?

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A recent study shows that ads featuring thin models make women feel worse about themselves, but better about the brands featured. A sample of 194 college students, ages 18-24, expressed more negative feelings about themselves when shown thin models than when shown "regular-sized" models. However, the thin models give them a "higher evaluation of the brands," per Jeremy Kees, a professor and researcher at Villanova University.

As a researcher put it, "The really interesting result we're seeing across multiple studies is that these thin models make women feel bad, but they like it."

Ads with "regular-sized" models on the other hand made women feel better about their own body image, but they were less likely to buy the products featured in those ads.

In a similar study from 2006, researches gave 470 women pictures of models of various sizes. Two-thirds gave a positive reaction toward the skinnier ones. Interestingly, the one-third that reacted positively to the regular-sized women believes weight is not controllable. The researching professor also noted, "adverts featuring thin models were more likely to convince women to buy products."
Picture 92.pngThat may not bode well for Dove's Campaign for Beauty, but it may be great news for Obama's Campaign for President, which has been under attack recently due to Obama's svelte figure. The Wall Street Journal asks, "in a nation in which 66% of the voting-age population is overweight and 32% is obese, could Obama's skinniness be a liability? Despite his visits to waffle houses, ice-cream parlors and greasy-spoon diners around the country, his slim physique just might have some Americans wondering whether he is truly like them."While the media has been attacking Obama for being too thin to win the White House, his slender frame may actually work to his benefit, if the aforementioned findings hold true.

Learn more about what Diana learned today, here.

August 5, 2008 - 5:55am
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