Intense-personal celebrity worship and body image: evidence of a link among female adolescents

Br J Health Psychol. 2005 Feb;10(Pt 1):17-32. doi: 10.1348/135910704X15257.


Objectives: The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between celebrity worship and body image within the theoretical perspective of intense para-social relationships with celebrities.

Design: Correlation and multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relationships between celebrity worship and body image.

Method: Three samples, 229 (102 males and 127 females) adolescents, 183 (88 males and 95 females) full-time university undergraduate students, and 289 (126 males and 163 females) adults were administered an amended version of the Celebrity Attitude Scale, the Attention to Body Shape Scale, and the Body Shape Questionnaire-Revised.

Results: Significant relationships were found between attitudes toward celebrities and body image only among female adolescents. Multiple regression analyses suggested that Intense-personal celebrity worship accounted for unique variance in scores in body image.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that in female adolescents, there is an interaction between Intense-personal celebrity worship and body image between the ages of 14 and 16 years, and some tentative evidence has been found to suggest that this relationship disappears at the onset of adulthood, 17 to 20 years. Results are consistent with those authors who stress the importance of the formation of para-social relationships with media figures, and suggest that para-social relationships with celebrities perceived as having a good body shape may lead to a poor body image in female adolescents.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude*
  • Body Image*
  • Famous Persons*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Perception*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires