Does the portrayal of tanning in Australian women's magazines relate to real women's tanning beliefs and behavior?

Health Educ Behav. 2011 Apr;38(2):132-42. doi: 10.1177/1090198110369057. Epub 2011 Jan 24.


Content analysis data on the tans of 4,422 female Caucasian models sampled from spring and summer magazine issues were combined with readership data to generate indices of potential exposure to social modeling of tanning via popular women's magazines over a 15-year period (1987 to 2002). Associations between these indices and cross-sectional telephone survey data from the same period on 5,675 female teenagers' and adults' tanning attitudes, beliefs, and behavior were examined using logistic regression models. Among young women, greater exposure to tanning in young women's magazines was associated with increased likelihood of endorsing pro-tan attitudes and beliefs. Among women of all ages, greater exposure to tanned models via the most popular women's magazines was associated with increased likelihood of attempting to get a tan but lower likelihood of endorsing pro-tan attitudes. Popular women's magazines may promote and reflect real women's tanning beliefs and behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Bibliometrics
  • Body Image
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Suntan*
  • Victoria
  • Women / psychology*
  • Young Adult