The Social Comparison Theory: Being a Zero

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The Social Comparison Theory: Being a Zero Just a few years ago, being referred to as a “zero” was something that everyone wanted to avoid. Someone that was a “zero” was laughed at and ridiculed for being worthless and unpopular. It has not been until recently that being a “zero” could be a good thing. In today’s advertising and entertainment world, not only are women superior if they are a size zero, but size zero and size two body frames seem to have become the only body type acceptable for a woman to be. The Social Comparison theory offers an explanation as to why women are beginning to feel immense pressure to live up to the “ideal body type” presented to them on nearly every medium. Leon Festinger (1954) was the first to explore the Social Comparison theory and give it a definition. He tested several hypotheses and concluded that human beings experience a socio-psychological process which drives the necessity for them self evaluate and to do so by comparing themselves to others (Festinger, 1954). George R. Goethals and John M. Darley (1987) later defined the theory as an interpersonal process in that “one person evaluates his or her own opinion or ability by comparing it with the opinions expressed or abilities displayed by other people” (p. 21). They also noted that when a person is going to compare his or herself to another, he or she will often choose a person who is similar is such categories as gender and age (Goethals & Darley, 1987). Many studies have
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