This text presents a review of current literature and the results of research on body image. It compares the effects of gender, sexuality, social class, age and ethnicity on our satisfaction with the way we look and suggests how these differences arise. Why, for instance, are heterosexual men much happier with their body images than women or gay men? The author discusses the effect of media presentation of the ideal body and other cultural influences.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Culture and Body Image. The Idealisation of Slenderness. The Basis of Body Shape Ideals. Summary. Women and Body Satisfaction. Assessment of Body Satisfaction. Social Construction of Femininity. Summary. Men and Body Satisfaction. Assessment of Body Satisfaction. Social Construction of Masculinity. Summary. Media Effects. Media Portrayal of the Body. Mass Communication Models. Recent Developments. Reducing the Effects of Media Imagery. Summary. Age, Social Class, Ethnicity and Sexuality. Body Image across the Lifespan. Ethnicity and Body Satisfaction. Social Class and Body Satisfaction. Body Shape, Sexual Attractiveness and Sexuality. Summary. Conclusions and Implications. Groups with Low Body Satisfaction. Development of a Positive Body Image. General Conclusions. Summary.
Sarah Grogan has been involved in research into body image since 1990. She is particularly interested in promoting positive body image in men, women and children, with a particular focus on the impact of body image and related behaviors on physical health.