An Exploration of ‘Love Your Body’ Advertising and How This Is Perceived by Women

Prof Doc Thesis

Edlin, L. 2021. An Exploration of ‘Love Your Body’ Advertising and How This Is Perceived by Women. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsEdlin, L.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Empirical and feminist literature suggest that LYB advertising may not be straightforwardly helpful for women. Empirical literature elicited an understanding of women’s responses and feminist literature has analysed the adverts themselves, however no research to date has conducted an analysis of both to understand how they relate. This research explored women’s perceptions of two LYB advertising campaigns in the UK ; Boot’s ‘Let’s Feel Good About Summer’ and Dove’s ‘#ArmsUp’ and also conducted an analysis of these adverts themselves. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 women from a UK University and a Thematic Analysis was used to analyse both sets of data.
Participants expressed overall ambivalence in response to two LYB advertising campaigns. Positive responses from participants included; the adverts setting a positive social norm for women, that the adverts portrayed diversity and the focus on the body was felt to elicit positive body image. Participants also discussed a number of more negative responses including; LYB adverts setting a problematic social norm for women, excluding marginalised bodies, maintaining a preoccupation with the body, and an awareness of the adverts’ links to capitalism and their promotion of neoliberal ideology. Ambivalent responses were in part explained by the contradictory messages present in the advertisements which simultaneously represented a shift from traditional advertising whilst visual and verbal aspects remained reminiscent of traditional advertising. LYB advertising may contribute to unhelpful understandings of the body; as body dissatisfaction is a significant public health concern this is an important issue to address. Implications, recommendations and ideas for future research are discussed.

Keywordsbody positive; love your body; advertising
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online06 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted13 Aug 2021
Deposited07 Oct 2021
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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