Title page for ETD etd-05112009-164057

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Goldman, Adria Yvonne
Author's Email Address adria.goldman@gmail.com
URN etd-05112009-164057
Title Is it Really Skin Deep? An Analysis of "Ugly Betty's" Influence on Females' Understanding of Beauty
Degree Master of Arts
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Waymer, Damion M. Committee Chair
Holloway, Rachel L. Committee Member
Tedesco, John C. Committee Member
  • perceptions of beauty
  • beauty in media
  • third-person effect
  • beauty frames
  • social comparison
Date of Defense 2009-05-05
Availability unrestricted
The current study explores the influence nontraditional framing of beauty and ugliness has on college aged females’ interpretation of beauty. Focus group sessions were used to assess this influence, during which the women were asked several questions within two open discussions of beauty. The television sitcom Ugly Betty, which features an alternative framing of beauty standards, was shown between each discussion and used to analyze the media’s influence. The results show that the discussion and the new framing of beauty and ugliness in the clip influenced the women’s interpretations by either creating new understandings or re-enforcing existing beliefs. The women also considered media images of beauty to have a third-person effect with younger audiences being more impacted. Social comparison was used slightly in explaining beauty definitions and standards for women.
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