© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Exposure to cultural bodily ideals featuring thinness and muscularity can have deleterious effects on body satisfaction. The current study explores the effect of exposure to such imagery on body dissatisfaction and the influence of internalisation of cultural and athletic ideals. 188 (97 male) adults (18–25yrs; M = 20.97) were grouped according to a 2 × 2 × 2 mixed between-within subjects design (male/female; high/low physical activity; intervention/control). Participants were exposed to images of idealised physiques or neutral images. Internalisation-general, sex, physical activity levels, and Body Mass Index were associated with baseline levels of body dissatisfaction. Internalisation of cultural ideals appears to be an important factor for the prediction of body dissatisfaction. Exposure to idealised images resulted in increases in body dissatisfaction across all groups compared to controls. Neither sex nor physical activity levels buffer young adults from the negative effects of viewing images featuring idealised bodies.