Sex Roles

, Volume 35, Issue 5–6, pp 295–307 | Cite as

Body type preferences and body characteristics associated with attractive and unattractive bodies by african Americans and Anglo Americans

  • Linda A. Jackson
  • Olivia D. McGill


Body type preferences, body characteristics associated with body attractiveness, and personal characteristics associated with unattractive body types (e.g., obese bodies) were examined in African American and Anglo American female and male respondents. African American males preferred larger body types for females, and associated more favorable and fewer unfavorable characteristics with obese females than did Anglo American males. Females of both races preferred a slightly thin body type for males, although African American females associated fewer unfavorable characteristics with obese males than did Anglo American females. Difference between the races in body characteristics associated with attractiveness suggest race-specific prototypes of body attractiveness that correspond to physical differences between the races. Race-specific standards of attractiveness within cultures are discussed.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda A. Jackson
    • 1
  • Olivia D. McGill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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