This article examines whether positive body image can protect women from negative media exposure effects. University women (N=112) were randomly allocated to view advertisements featuring ultra-thin models or control images. Women who reported high levels of body appreciation did not report negative media exposure effects. Furthermore, the protective role of body appreciation was also evident among women known to be vulnerable to media exposure. Women high on thin-ideal internalization and low on body appreciation reported appearance-discrepancies that were more salient and larger when they viewed models compared to the control group. However, women high on thin-ideal internalization and also high on body appreciation rated appearance-discrepancies as less important and no difference in size than the control group. The results support the notion that positive body image protects women from negative environmental appearance messages and suggests that promoting positive body image may be an effective intervention strategy. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.