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Body Image, Culture and

Scholars initially reasoned that body dissatisfaction and disordered eating might be restricted to White females living in Western, industrialized cultures, and early research focused almost exclusively on this population. Subsequent research, however, has indicated that body image transcends cross-cultural boundaries. Accordingly, extensive research has now examined cultural differences in body ideals and the corresponding rates of body dissatisfaction. Research has also begun to examine culturally specific factors that may be associated with the development of body image, such as acculturation.

Cultural Body Ideals

Scholarship traditionally focused on White beauty ideals, which identify thinness as the key requirement of feminine beauty and lean muscularity as the masculine body ideal. These ideals are reflected in mainstream media and also in the body types preferred by White men and ...

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