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Engeln-Maddox, Renee. Buying a Beauty Standard or Dreaming of a New Life?

Expectations
Associated With Media Ideals Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30 (2006), 258-266.
Web 27 Mar. 2016.

Renee Engeln-Maddox has a long list of credentials including eleven publications, twenty-eight
awards and honors, involved in three clinical services and employed with several institutions.
She received her education from three different universities. She received her B.S. in Psychology
at University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (top 2% of her class), her M.A in Clinical
Psychology, at Miami University/ Oxford/ Ohio and Ph. D in Applied Social Psychology,
Graduate Concentration in Womens Studies at Loyola University Chicago. Her focus became
dedicated to social aspect of womens body image after she noticed tons of bright, interesting
college women spending a lot of time thinking and talking about their bodies. Now majority of
her topics are about women and mens emotions about their bodies.
The article Buying a Beauty Standard or Dreaming of a New Life? Expectations Associated
with Media Ideals, target audience may have included social psychologist interested in women.
Her study focused on college women and their values of appearance based on media. She also
correlated this to how they believe their lives would change based on their appearance. The
conclusion of the data showed these women associated appearance (in relation to media) with

high or positive expectations of life. Her research showed, to some extent, the positive
stereotypes associated with attractiveness may reflect social realities. (263)

For example, these participants believed it to be highly likely that they would be happier

if they looked like a media ideal (263)


However, empirical research has revealed that the strength of the association between

physical attractiveness and happiness/life satisfaction is unimpressive (263)


There is much evidence that one characteristic of this beauty ideal, as represented by the
media, is extreme thinness, which in many cases is well below the medically
recommended weight for women (258)

Analysis: This was a difficult read, because it was a scientific article. In order to process this
article correctly you must incorporate critical reading. The best way to read this article is to first
read the introduction, then the methods, next the discussion, lastly the results. I also printed the
article and annotated the paper with a pencil. There are a few words that the average reader may
be unfamiliar with but can use context clues to decipher what the author is referring to. This
article is very applicable to my question. It will give me access to scientific results that will back
me in my thesis. Others who are focused on body image, beauty or impacts of media would be
able to use the results of this article.