Persuasive Imagery: A Consumer Response Perspective

By Linda M. Scott; Rajeev Batra | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINETEEN
“No One Looks That Good
in Real Life!”: Projections
of the Real Versus Ideal Self
in the Online Visual Space
Natalie T. Wood
San Diego State University
Michael R. Solomon
Auburn University
Basil G. Englis
Berry College

From cradle to grave we are bombarded with a myriad of images of beautiful people. As children we learn from fairy-tale stories featuring beautiful people who are good and ugly people who are bad. As we move through adolescence and adulthood this notion is reinforced through television programs, music videos, and fashion advertisements.

Abundant criticism surrounds the use of highly attractive individuals in advertising. Opponents of these images claim that the attractive models portrayed in advertising act as a mechanism for social comparison whereby evaluation occurs between the self and the image presented (Martin & Gentry, 1997). Research has typically addressed the effect of images of attractive models on an individual's self-concept by looking at advertising in traditional print and broadcast environments. No study has addressed the effect of viewing images of attractive models in online environments. Furthermore, to date there is no research on the effect of viewing one's own image as compared with viewing that of a professional model on self-concept. This is largely as a result of the fact that until now it was virtually impossible for consumers to view themselves in advertising. However, recent

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