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Can big business foster positive body image? Qualitative insights from industry leaders walking the talk

Craddock, Nadia; Ramsey, Meaghan; Spotswood, Fiona; Halliwell, Halliwell; Diedrichs, Phillippa


Nadia Craddock

Meaghan Ramsey


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd The fashion, beauty, and advertising industries have been positioned as key contributors to body dissatisfaction through the promotion of unrealistic and homogenous appearance ideals. Recently, some businesses within these industries have started to disrupt the status quo by taking actions that can be seen to be fostering positive body image (e.g., through representative and diverse imagery, body acceptance messages, and inclusive product ranges). The aim of this study was to explore the opportunities and challenges to foster positive body image from a business perspective. Participants were purposively selected based on their experience of leading business actions to foster positive body image in fashion, beauty, and/or advertising. In total, 45 individuals (82% women) took part in semi-structured interviews, which were transcribed and then analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes were identified: (1) Personal motivations for championing change, (2) Industry ingrained appearance standards, (3) Business barriers to fostering positive body image, and (4) Fostering positive body image as an effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. This study provides future directions for research aimed at creating healthier body image environments in addition to considerations for businesses seeking to foster positive body image.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2019
Journal Body Image
Print ISSN 1740-1445
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Pages 93-106
APA6 Citation Craddock, N., Ramsey, M., Spotswood, F., Halliwell, H., & Diedrichs, P. (2019). Can big business foster positive body image? Qualitative insights from industry leaders walking the talk. Body Image, 30, 93-106.
Keywords body image, corporate social responsibility, qualitative research, social purpose, macro level change
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published version is available here: