The attractive female body weight and female body dissatisfaction in 26 countries across 10 world regions: Results of the international body project I

Viren Swami*, David A. Frederick, Toivo Aavik, Lidia Alcalay, Jüri Allik, Donna Anderson, Sonny Andrianto, Arvind Arora, Åke Brännström, John Cunningham, Dariusz Danel, Krystyna Doroszewicz, Gordon B. Forbes, Adrian Furnham, Corina U. Greven, Jamin Halberstadt, Shuang Hao, Tanja Haubner, Choon Sup Hwang, Mary InmanJas Laile Jaafar, Jacob Johansson, Jaehee Jung, Aşkin Keser, Uta Kretzschmar, Lance Lachenicht, Norman P. Li, Kenneth Locke, Jan Erik Lönnqvist, Christy Lopez, Lynn Loutzenhiser, Natalya C. Maisel, Marita P. McCabe, Donald R. McCreary, William F. McKibbin, Alex Mussap, Félix Neto, Carly Nowell, Liane Peña Alampay, Subash K. Pillai, Alessandra Pokrajac-Bulian, René T. Proyer, Katinka Quintelier, Lina A. Ricciardelli, Malgorzata Rozmus-Wrzesinska, Willibald Ruch, Timothy Russo, Astrid Schütz, Todd K. Shackelford, Sheeba Shashidharan, Franco Simonetti, Dhachayani Sinniah, Mira Swami, Griet Vandermassen, Marijke van Duynslaeger, Markku Verkasalo, Martin Voracek, Curtis K. Yee, Echo Xian Zhang, Xiaoying Zhang, Ivanka Zivcic-Becirevic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

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 high-socioeconomic-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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-325
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Attractiveness
  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body weight
  • Cross-cultural
  • International Body Project
  • Socioeconomic differences

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