Associations Between Women’s Body Image and Happiness: Results of the YouBeauty.com Body Image Survey (YBIS)

Abstract

Studies that have examined associations between body image and well-being have used limited measures of the former or have utilised small convenience samples. Here, we report on data from 9,667 Western women (US residents n = 8,925, non-US residents n = 742) who completed the online YouBeauty Body Image Survey. Respondents completed measures of weight-based body dissatisfaction, body appreciation, and subjective happiness, and provided demographic data including their education, age, and body mass index (BMI). Preliminary analyses indicated that 89.0 % of women evidenced weight-based body dissatisfaction, with the majority (84.1 %) wanting to be thinner. Path analysis showed that body appreciation positively predicted subjective happiness. BMI was negatively associated with body appreciation, but showed a direct positive association associated with subjective happiness. Controlling for BMI, body dissatisfaction had no significant association with subjective happiness. In addition, older and non-US respondents had higher body appreciation. Implications of the present results for intervention studies aimed at promoting healthier body image are discussed in conclusion.

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Correspondence to Viren Swami.

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Swami, V., Tran, U.S., Stieger, S. et al. Associations Between Women’s Body Image and Happiness: Results of the YouBeauty.com Body Image Survey (YBIS). J Happiness Stud 16, 705–718 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-014-9530-7

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Keywords

  • Body image
  • Body appreciation
  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Happiness
  • Body mass index