• Meet Baylor’s expert on appearance-related consumer behavior

    Dr. Jay Yoo

    Why is tanning so popular, when we know it leads to skin cancer? What is the importance of appearance in our society? What role does fashion play in understanding ourselves in relation to others? These are the sorts of questions that Dr. Jay Yoo, an associate professor in Baylor’s Department of Human Sciences and Design, seeks to answer through his research.

    A Baylor professor since 2009, Yoo’s research endeavors focus on appearance-related behaviors and their implications for individual and social well-being, particularly from a consumer perspective. In his research to understand the relationship between appearance-related consumption and behaviors, Yoo has identified critical factors such as gender, ethnic background, income, age, and body weight. For example, there is evidence that skewed body size perception leads to excessive tanning behaviors.

    Currently, Yoo is studying the effect of therapeutic consumption (commonly referred to as “retail therapy”) on cancer patients’ body image issues. Having poor body image can have negative outcomes on cancer survival rates, because patients sometimes opt for less effective medical treatments when they fear the impact of treatment on their appearance. Yoo’s research will fill the gap in identifying which patient types benefit most from therapeutic consumption, and identify image needs so that medical professionals can provide personalized care that mitigates appearance-related concerns.

    Yoo was one of two winners of the 2022 Baylor Centennial Professor award, given to aid professors with their research. His research has been published in such journals as the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education; the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal; and the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. His expertise has also been sought after internationally, as he presented at the Hong Kong Community Health Care and Healthcare Management Forum, and the International Dermatology Conference in China and South Korea.

    Sic ’em, Dr. Yoo!