Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Health Sciences


Aimee Johnson


Introduction: Multiple studies have found that performing artists have low body image which may be associated with the media’s portrayal of performers. Low body image can cause negative health effects including depression and eating disorders. This study explores body attitudes among performing and non-performing arts students and the possible media influences on those attitudes.

Methods: Undergraduate students (n=522) were asked to participate in an anonymous online survey regarding their perceptions of their individual body perception. During the survey, they were randomized to watch a video depicting either slim mostly Caucasian performers (video A) or performers of different ethnicities and body shapes (video B).

Results: While no significant difference was found between performing and non-performing arts students, overall body appreciation and attitudes concerning sociocultural perception scores did significantly lower between the pre and post video surveys (p=0.002). Video B was found to be more diverse and empowering than video A, p<0.001. Results of a multiple linear regression indicated personal fitness, sociocultural, and body comparison thoughts were predictors of body appreciation scores, R2=0.465.

Conclusion: Body image perception affects all students and can be influenced by opinions, fears, comparisons, and the media. More studies should explore the relationship between media presentations of performers and their effect on individuals.

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