Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Consumer Studies




School of Arts and Humanities




Open access publishing facilitated by Edith Cowan University, as part of the Wiley - Edith Cowan University agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians


Hollett, R. C., Panaia, P. M., & Smart, A. H. (2023). Gaze behaviour, body image in women and online apparel shopping. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 47(5), 1999-2011.


Online apparel shopping is popular among women, with possible negative body image consequences, particularly when the website imagery is body-focused. We investigated both correlational and experimental effects of online apparel shopping on women's (N = 113) explicitly and implicitly measured self-worth, appearance attitudes and body gaze behaviour. Self-reported online apparel shopping behaviour positively correlated with self-objectification and a tendency to value and compare one's appearance. Following a simulated online shopping activity, women who browsed a body-focused activewear website felt worse about their looks, when compared with women who browsed a non-body-focused casualwear website. The activewear condition also primed lower subsequent visual attention towards female bodies in a gaze task, when compared with the casualwear condition. Given that women tend to naturally gaze at faces, the deprivation of facial stimuli in the activewear condition presumably led to a compensatory gaze effect, whereby subsequent attention towards bodies was comparably low. Importantly, dollars spent in the activewear condition correlated positively with appearance comparison and body shame attitudes. These results suggest that online apparel imagery exposure may negatively impact women's well-being. We also find evidence suggesting that gaze behaviour plays a role in how apparel marketing influences subsequent attention.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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