Consumer Response toward Plus-Size Models Featured in the Mainstream Media

Kathrynn Pounders, Amanda Mabry-Flynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rise of the body acceptance movement among consumers has led several brands and media outlets to feature models with diverse body shapes and sizes. However, little research has examined consumer reactions to these nontraditional models. This exploratory study addresses this gap by examining consumer response to three different instances in which a plus-size model was featured in a popular press magazine. Discourse analysis examined consumer-generated online comments. Three broad themes were identified that included positive sentiment related to more inclusivity in media representations of women: concern about model body size and health, and questions around how a “plus” size body is defined. This work offers insight into consumer response to plus-size models, sheds light into how society views the plus-size body and health, as well as how brands can begin to integrate plus-size models into marketing and advertising campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1355-1379
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Consumer Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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