Professor of Applied Psychology, Rachel Rodgers, who is currently on an interdisciplinary research sabbatical with WGSS, was recently featured in an article released by the Northeastern News talking about her research behind the impacts of ‘Real Body’ marketing campaigns. Rodgers studies the way that mass media influences body image and mental health, inspiring her to look into the way these new advertisements effect young women, who are more likely to struggle with body image than adults. For her study, she highlighted lingerie brand, Aerie, and took a sample of 35 undergraduate women, all of whom were between 18 and 23 years old, to learn about their reactions to the ‘real body’ marketing campaign. The reactions were overwhelmingly positive. “The idea that these models were happy and comfortable and relaxed in their bodies just as they were, with all their ‘imperfections,’ empowered the participants to feel more accepting of their own appearances,” Rodgers explained. Through the viewers ability to see their own body shapes and sizes reflected in the models, the established view of ‘perfect’ is turned on its head. To add to this, Aerie has reported an increase in sales since the campaign has released, demonstrating that the campaign is likely a catalyst for positive financial gains and psychological impacts on customers. Rodgers believed that this shift in advertisement goals could have hugely positive consequences for people struggling with negative body image, saying “It just challenges these conventions around the idea that there’s only one way of looking, that everybody needs to look this ‘perfect’ way.” Check out the full article here!