Sex Roles

, Volume 55, Issue 7–8, pp 555–566

A Comparison of the Sources and Nature of Body Image Messages Perceived by Indigenous Fijian and European Australian Adolescent Girls

  • Lauren K. Williams
  • Lina A. Ricciardelli
  • Marita P. McCabe
  • Boyd A. Swinburn
  • Gade G. Waqa
  • Kelera Bavadra
Original Article


Australian and Fijian adolescent girls reported on the influence that sociocultural factors, including parents, peers, and the media, had on their body image attitudes. It was expected that messages that promote a thin body would be less prevalent among Fijians, as their cultural traditions place more importance on robust body sizes. An inductive thematic analysis of the girls’ semi-structured interviews indicated that both Fijian (n = 16) and Australian (n = 16) girls (aged 13–17) reported messages from similar sources, which included parents, siblings, and friends/peers. Australian girls consistently reported messages that reinforced thinness. On the other hand, Fijian girls reported messages that emphasized both thinness and robustness. The discussion focuses on the conflict between Western ideals and cultural Fijian traditions and the implications for culturally sensitive interventions.


Body image attitudes Fiji Australia Adolescent girls Weight 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren K. Williams
    • 1
  • Lina A. Ricciardelli
    • 1
  • Marita P. McCabe
    • 1
  • Boyd A. Swinburn
    • 2
  • Gade G. Waqa
    • 3
  • Kelera Bavadra
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityVictoriaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Exercise Health and NutritionDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Fiji School of MedicineSuvaFiji

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