Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Textiles and Clothing

First Advisor

Mary Lynn Damhorst


This study was an examination of the relationship of attitudes toward advertising images and self-perceptions of older women. A major component of this study focused on how older women perceive models in today's fashion magazines and apparel catalogs. Data were collected from 163 women aged 60 to 80. Full-color photographs of fashion models appearing to be middle-aged or older were presented to participants as stimuli. Age treatments were digitally applied to each of the models, manipulating them to appear younger. This manipulation created two age versions of each model. Questionnaires used in this study were designed to measure participants' feelings about themselves, including their appearance self-discrepancy and body satisfaction, and their beliefs about the model's appearance and attractiveness.;Results indicated that the sample of older women perceived little discrepancy between their idealized and actual physical appearance. Participants also did not seem to be influenced by media ideals in their acceptance of themselves. Overall, older women were fairly satisfied with their bodies. There was no statistically significant evidence suggesting that the more participants compared themselves to fashion models, the less satisfied they were with their appearance. Participants reported that they rarely, if ever, compared themselves to fashion models, suggesting that older women may be less influenced by media standards of beauty as compared to women of younger ages.;In terms of participants' beliefs about the stimulus models, participants had more favorable ratings of the older models as compared to the younger-age versions. Model age had a significant effect on respondents' purchase intentions; participants were more likely to want to purchase clothing worn by older models and indicated a preference for retailers who use older models in their advertising. Perceived similarity to models was found to influence purchase intentions and ratings of fashionability. Participants who perceived more similarity to the models indicated more likelihood to purchase the clothing worn by the models and rated the model's clothing as more fashionable than those who perceived less similarity. Findings of this study are useful for expanding knowledge of older adults' responses toward various promotional strategies and may assist in shaping effective marketing approaches.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Joy Michelle Kozar



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

145 pages