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Body image refers to perceptions of one’s body in terms of its shape, composition (e.g., muscle tissue/adipose tissue), and appearance to others. Because motivations to alter body shape often factor into eating and feeding disorders, body image is a key construct in this domain. This entry briefly summarizes body image and eating disorders as the topic pertains to women, men, and transgender persons.

Women

An extensive body of research, including correlational, experimental, and longitudinal work, has examined body image among women. Much of this work is based on objectification theory, the tripartite influence model, and social comparison theory. Objectification theory focuses on the influence of internalization of social pressure to conform to idealized body shapes; the tripartite influence model on the impact of peers, parents, and media; ...

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