Sex Roles

, Volume 63, Issue 1–2, pp 91–103 | Cite as

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

  • Nicole M. Overstreet
  • Diane M. Quinn
  • V. Bede Agocha
Original Article


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.


Body dissatisfaction Curvaceous ideal Breast size Buttock size Weight Race 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole M. Overstreet
    • 1
  • Diane M. Quinn
    • 1
  • V. Bede Agocha
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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