Getting Serious1


  • Kelly, L. D. (2003). Measuring Up: How Advertising Affects Self-Image/Fashion, Desire, and Anxiety: Image and Morality in the Twentieth Century/Body Work: Beauty and Self-Image in American Culture (book). NWSA Journal, 15(2), 199-203.

In this article, author Lori Duin Kelly refers to a study of how women are affected by Advertisement. Women are affected by advertisement in a variety of ways, mentally, physically, and emotionally.The views that men and women have upon all these ads are different, and although both genders can be affected by these ads , definitely take a heavier impact on the female audience. This article implies that young women with low self-esteem turn to these advertisements in search of answers regarding how to act and dress thus affecting their whole entire life. It also talks about how certain advertisement make women and their bodies into an object which can be changed and improved for the satisfaction of males. Furthermore, advertisement and marketing change not only the self-value of the women that are affected by it, but also changes their appearance as they strive to look as the ideal women in the advertisement.

  • Martin, M. C., & Kennedy, P. F. Social Comparison and the Beauty of Advertising Models: The Role of Motives For Comparison. Advances in Consumer Research, 21(1), 365-371.

The article itself talks about a study where the motives underlining why young adolescent girls will physically compare their body to the body of female models in the advertisement, and found three main motives which are based on self-evaluation, self-improvement, and self-enhancement. Self-evaluation is defined as the judgment of value, worth, or appropriateness of one’s abilities, opinions, and personal traits; self-improvement is defined by an individual drive to improve a particular attribute; and self-enhancement is an individual attempts to maintain positive views of him/her to protect self-esteem. The social roles that these three play in social comparison are further examined for the competition of the study. People strive to become the person in the advertisement, and thus they change themselves to match the qualities seen in advertisement. Therefore advertisement changes the values of self-esteem, culture, and beauty that one might have.

  • Tsai, C. C., & Chang, C. H. (2007). Effect of Physical Attractiveness of Models on Advertising Effectiveness For Male and Female Adolescents. ADOLESCENCE, Vol. 42, No. 168. Copyright: Libra Publishers, Inc.

The study conducted was to investigate the actual effect that attractive models have on advertisement. People are used to comparing their abilities, possessions and appearance with a certain standard; however, people compare themselves with other people, normally with people of their same age or group when that standard is absent. The major comparison is made by adolescent as they compare their personal attractiveness to that of models in advertisement. It was indicated that using very attractive models did attract possible customers but meanwhile affected the perspectives of beauty among those possible customers as well when they compared themselves to the model. It could be both positive and negative effects. This is why it was found that the use of normally attractive models was much more beneficial. This article supports my topic in the fact that people tend to change themselves into what they see allows advertisement to define the social concept of beauty, and build it according to the product they want to sell.


I’m planning to use surveys/questionnaires to complete the research. Short interviews will be introduced when it’s necessary. And the target population is young adolescents. Thus, college students will be recruited.

Survey will includes both close-ended questions and visual identification, as well as some basic background information such as age, gender, and ethnicity/religious. Close-ended questions will be used to find out how participants comprehend beauty via beauty products’ advertisements. For instance, the questions will be like “how often do you buy beauty products because of  the advertising effect?” Moreover, in order to find out how participants identify beauty, images that relate to beauty will be presented. The sources of images are from major fashion magazines like Vogue, ELLE, etc., and also street shots, mostly will be posters.


For ethical considerations, firstly, I will make sure all the images that I prepare to use are legally allow to copy and post, and credits will be given in follow. Secondly, the voluntary, anonymity and confidentiality will be notified in the beginning of the survey. Let participants be aware that participation is entirely voluntary, no negative consequences if she /he stops participating, I’ll keep the identity of the participants unknown, and not revealing any information obtained from participants to any outside parties. Additionally, I will ask for permission to distribute the photos of participants if it’s necessary.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

  1.    Antonia:

    This looks good, Zhuoxi. Just a few comments:
    * please add the page nrs to your third reference
    * your articles seem rather short? Please make sure to choose lengthier articles for your last 2 sources.
    * I am still not clear what you will ask your respondents, and how you will pick them. Could you please add a new post to your blog with the following information:
    – your questionnaire
    – what will be the demographics of your respondents? how will you pick them?
    – post the images you will include in the interviews
    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar