are socialized to pay more attention to appearance than men (Kaiser, 1997).
Therefore, women are more aware of the manipulative potential of appearance
than are men. Clothing can be used to create a favorable public image and
influence the perceptions of others. By modifying the body through weight loss
and changing ones appearance through the use of clothing, an individual can
change the perceptions of others so that they become more favorable. More
favorable evaluations by others can lead to an increased self-concept.
Appearance is one of the most prominent ways to display and reinforce
in appearance is multifaceted and may reflect characteristics central to
self-definition through extensive time, energy and resources expended on
appearance (Kaiser, 1997). In consumer research, it is argued that the social
self is achieved through the purchase and use of products that portray an image
consistent with (or a compromise between) the consumers actual and/or ideal
self-concept (Sproles & Burns, 1994).
who are dissatisfied with their body may buy and wear clothing that camouflage
certain body parts or emphasize other body parts, both of which may help to
bring the perceived body image more in line with the ideal body image. Dieting
may also be used as a tool to help bring the perceived body image closer to the
ideal. By spending time and money on dieting and exercising, women believe that
they can improve their appearance and, as a result, feel better about
themselves, thereby improving their self-concept. As evidenced by the increase
in time and money spent on dieting and exercising behavior, appearance is an
extremely important part of ones self-concept. It is believed that through
personal appearance (in this case specifically through appearance management
and clothing behavior), an individual presents personal identity, attitudes,
moods, and value or self worth. Bloch and Richins (1992) suggested that the use
of products to enhance appearance, such as cosmetics, hair coloring or
clothing, may be a means of increasing self-esteem. Differences in self-esteem
may translate into differences in AM behaviors.
Appearance Management is a
process enacted with others in mind that involves experimentation and
self-expression. Appearance Management includes dress as a process as well as
the assessment of the social consequences of one's appearance. Individuals
engage in Appearance Management each day of their lives, even though level of
involvement and concerns related to dress and appearance may differ from person
to person and culture to culture.