Rethinking Worldly Possessions: The Relationship between Materialism and Body Appearance for Female Consumers in an Emerging Economy
Article first published online: 12 NOV 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Psychology & Marketing
Volume 29, Issue 12, pages 980–994, December 2012
How to Cite
Felix, R. and Garza, M. R. (2012), Rethinking Worldly Possessions: The Relationship between Materialism and Body Appearance for Female Consumers in an Emerging Economy. Psychol. Mark., 29: 980–994. doi: 10.1002/mar.20579
- Issue published online: 12 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 12 NOV 2012
This article investigates how women in an emerging economy relate the importance of material possessions to the importance they assign to the appearance of their body. The results of two studies demonstrate a very strong and positive relationship between materialism and several measures of body appearance. Study 1 shows strong correlations between materialism and body appearance in a sample of relatively young (m = 18.7 years) and affluent female students from a private university. Using structural equation modeling, Study 2 finds that in a sample of women averaging 40 years, more materialistic women did focus substantially more on body appearance than less materialistic women. Further, antecedents (self-esteem, hedonic attitudes toward advertising, and skepticism toward advertising) and consequences (satisfaction with life) of materialism and body appearance were included in the model. In interpreting the results, it is assumed that individuals prone to materialism apply similar appearance-centered mental schemata to their body as they do to material possessions.