, Volume 63, Issue 1-2, pp 91-103
Date: 07 May 2010

Beyond Thinness: The Influence of a Curvaceous Body Ideal on Body Dissatisfaction in Black and White Women

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This study examined whether a curvaceous body ideal differentially influenced sources of body dissatisfaction in 116 Black and 222 White women at a northeastern U.S. university. We measured idealization of and dissatisfaction with three components of a curvaceous ideal: breast size, buttock size, and weight. Although most women preferred a curvaceous body shape, more White women preferred this ideal to be slender with medium breasts whereas more Black women preferred this ideal to be curvier with medium breasts and large buttocks. Women discrepant from these ideals reported more dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction with the curvaceous ideal predicted appearance concerns. Findings highlight the need to consider valued body ideals other than thinness as potential sources of dissatisfaction among women of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.

This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (Award No. 5T32MH074387-03).
An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-010-9887-y