The Effect of Thin and Muscular Images on Women's Body Satisfaction

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A substantial body of research documents that exposure to images depicting a “thin ideal” body figure effects women's state-oriented body satisfaction. However, there is evidence that the societal ideal body figure of females is evolving to be not just thin, but also muscular or toned. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to test the effect of exposure to ideal body figures that are both thin and muscular on female state body satisfaction. Researchers recruited female participants (N = 366) from an online community (Amazon's Mechanical Turk) and randomly assigned them to view images in one of four conditions: thin, thin and muscular, thin and hypermuscular, and control (images of cars). Results indicated that state-oriented body satisfaction decreased in the thin condition and thin and muscular condition, but not the hypermuscular or control conditions. These findings have implications for clinical initiatives as well as future research.


media exposure, state body satisfaction, women, experimental design, thinness, muscularity

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