"There Are No Ugly Women, Only Lazy Ones": Taiwanese Women's Social Comparison with Mediated Beauty Images
Abstract

Abstract:

This qualitative interview study examines women's consumption of beauty media and their social comparison with mediated beauty images in relation to the motives of self-evaluation, self-improvement, and self-enhancement, in a collectivistic Asian society, Taiwan. This study pays special attention to how local media conventions and social norms frame women's relationship s with different types of beauty images. Respondent interviews were conducted with 35 Taiwanese women from various backgrounds. Findings underscore the inspirational role and educational function of media and advertising images in inducing women to accept mediated beauty standards as attainable and empowering. Taiwanese women's consumption of beauty media was primarily motivated by self-improvement goals, which were reinforced by local social beliefs that normalized women's responsibility to beautify themselves, and in turn, legitimized the media's skewed beauty standard as a worthy ambition for women.