The Attractive Female Body Weight and Female Body Dissatisfaction in 26 Countries Across 10 World Regions: Results of the International Body Project I

University of Westminster, UK.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.52). 03/2010; 36(3):309-25. DOI: 10.1177/0146167209359702
Source: PubMed


This study reports results from the first International Body Project (IBP-I), which surveyed 7,434 individuals in 10 major world regions about body weight ideals and body dissatisfaction. Participants completed the female Contour Drawing Figure Rating Scale (CDFRS) and self-reported their exposure to Western and local media. Results indicated there were significant cross-regional differences in the ideal female figure and body dissatisfaction, but effect sizes were small across highsocioeconomic-status (SES) sites. Within cultures, heavier bodies were preferred in low-SES sites compared to high-SES sites in Malaysia and South Africa (ds = 1.94-2.49) but not in Austria. Participant age, body mass index (BMI), and Western media
exposure predicted body weight ideals. BMI and Western media exposure predicted body dissatisfaction among women. Our results show that body dissatisfaction and desire for thinness is commonplace in high-SES settings across world regions, highlighting the need for international attention to this problem.

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    • "Furthermore, a study of 26 countries reports significant cross-regional differences in the ideal female figure and in body dissatisfaction (Swami et al. 2010). Such cultural differences in terms of the ideal female figure should also be considered in social media studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: The article “Social media effects on young women’s body image concerns: Theoretical perspectives and an agenda for research” by Perloff (2014) extends the study of media effects on women’s body image concerns by including social media. His article is important because of the increasing use and unique nature of social media, and it can provide an avenue for future research. The main focus of this commentary is to critically examine the arguments of Perloff (2014) and to provide suggestions on how to extend his model. We begin by emphasizing the importance of culture on body image and provide a theoretical extension based on the theoretical construct of self-construal. Next, we propose to differentiate social media use as motivated by general social media use (e.g., socializing and entertainment) from that driven by specific needs related to body image concerns (e.g., pro-eating disorder sites). In addition, we suggest differentiating mere exposure to content from the active use of social media, such as commenting and posting. Finally, we recommend advancing the research on body image beyond the thin ideal because body dissatisfaction can be related to various body parts (e.g., breast size, skin color, and eye shape), and we recommend including participants beyond adolescence, integrating multiple methods, and conducting research on interventions. The aim of this commentary is not to provide a framework for specific cultures or social contexts, but to offer suggestions that encourage researchers to broaden the scope of research on body image concerns
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    • "In Australia, as in many countries in Western Europe and North America, women and girls are subject to frequent, intense exposure to images of very thin women as the embodiment of ideal femininity (Tiggemann and Miller 2010). A recent cross-cultural comparison of body ideals found that there was negligible difference in the body ideals endorsed by Australian women compared to those in North America and Western Europe (Swami et al. 2010). Even though these images are widely critiqued as unreal (i.e. "
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    • "Despite previous beliefs, body concerns and eating disorders are increasing in Asian countries, and in some of these societies, their prevalence is similar to that of western cultures. Body dissatisfaction score was estimated in South east Asia, East Asia, South and West Asia about 0.9, 1.1 and 0.5, respectively this score was about 1.1 in Scandinavia and 1.4 in North America.[11] The prevalence of bulimia nervosa is about 0.3% to 7.3% in females in Western countries and in non-Western countries is about 0.5% to 3.2% in females.[12] "
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