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Breaking the illusion: The effects of adding warning labels identifying digital enhancement on fashion magazine advertisements

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The link between exposure to thin ideal images in the media and negative psychological impacts for women has been the focus of extensive, previous research. This link has led to recent research investigating potential avenues to mitigate these impacts by incorporating a warning label or disclaimer on fashion advertisements. In this research, the impact of incorporating a warning label in fashion advertisements on mood negativity, self-esteem and body satisfaction was investigated. Additionally measured were participants’ purchase intentions towards the product and reactions to the models and products in the advertisements. Results indicate that only body satisfaction was significantly impacted by the addition of a warning label and that participants had very different responses to models and products. Responses ranged from models influencing participants to buy products to indifference to models. Participants tended to evaluate products in terms of their fit to the participant’s personal style. Future research may want to investigate warning label wording choice and diverse samples of viewing audiences in relation to this topic.
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Keywords: body image; body-dissatisfaction; fashion advertisements; mood negativity; purchase intention; self-esteem

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Wyoming 2: The Ohio State University

Publication date: October 1, 2016

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  • Fashion, Style & Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal specifically dedicated to the area of fashion scholarship and its interfacings with popular culture. It was established to provide an interdisciplinary environment for fashion academics and practitioners to publish innovative scholarship in all aspects of fashion and popular culture relating to design, textiles, production, promotion, consumption and appearance-related products and services. Articles related to history, manufacturing, aesthetics, sourcing, marketing, branding, merchandising, retailing, technology, psychological/sociological aspects of dress, style, body image, and cultural identities, as well as purchasing, shopping, and the ways and means consumers construct identity as associated to Fashion, Style & Popular Culture are welcomed. The journal offers a broad range of written and visual scholarship and includes works done through various methods of research. We welcome conceptual, theoretical and translational applied research in the areas of fashion, style and popular culture. This journal hopes to stimulate new discussions in the fashion disciplines and to push the envelope of scholarship by welcoming new and established scholars to submit their works.
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