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Obese models’ effect on fashion brand attractiveness
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Centre for International Marketing and Entrepreneurship Research (CIMER). (Marketing)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0419-8654
2018 (English)In: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, ISSN 1361-2026, E-ISSN 1758-7433, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 557-570Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: To investigate the effect of obese models vs. normal weight models on fashion brands’ attractiveness.

Design/methodology/approach: An experiment was carried out in which 1,225 university students in Sweden and Brazil rated the attractiveness of a fashion brand worn by a normal weight model and an obese model.

Findings: The overall effect of obese models’ effect on fashion brand attractiveness was insignificant. Further, neither culture, nor the consumer’s own weight had a significant effect. There was, however, a significant effect of the participant’s own gender; women rate fashion brands worn by obese models significantly higher on attractiveness than they did fashion brands worn by normal weight models. Men displayed the inverse response.

Research limitations/implications: The effect of the model’s ethnicity was beyond the scope of the experiment, and the brand attractiveness scale captured only one aspect of brand character, leaving other potential brand effects for future studies.

Practical implications: Companies can use obese models with no overall brand attractiveness penalty across markets and for marketing to women of all sizes. Given men’s negative reactions, such models might however be unsuitable for the male-to-female gift market.

Social implications: The results support the use of obese models, which can lead to greater representation of larger women in the media, and consequently, reduced fat stigma.

Originality/value: The study validates the theory of user imagery, and it extends the theory by examining how different target consumers react to user imagery traits and thus provides evidence for gender bias towards obese models. © Emerald Publishing Limited 2018

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018. Vol. 22, no 4, p. 557-570
Keywords [en]
Brands, brand personality, user imagery, plus-size, obese, standardization
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-38610DOI: 10.1108/JFMM-07-2017-0065ISI: 000443158800007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85050953384OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-38610DiVA, id: diva2:1270832
Available from: 2018-12-14 Created: 2018-12-14 Last updated: 2018-12-14Bibliographically approved

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