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Women's Body Image Around the World

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on 24 April 2014

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Transcript of Women's Body Image Around the World

Women's Body Image Around the World
North America
-From a young age, young girls in North America are taught about what they are supposed to look like through media and toys.

-Women are meant to have a certain body image (skinny, but with perfect hips and chest).
African women had mixed feelings about body image and appearance
- Western culture puts pressure on Asian women to be more “American”

- Many women strive to have the double eyelid and sculptured nose

- Feel a burden to correct negative stereotypes of Asian’s and try to be perfect-correlating to eating disorders
South America
- Good looks is the path to fortune, love and even opportunities in life
- Known to be the capital of eating disorders because women find themselves very influenced and affected by the perceived portrayal of a beautiful body size in the media
- There are many different ideals of beauty
- What is pretty in Brazil is different than what is pretty in Argentina
- Women are often judged on the way they look

- Better looks can lead to better opportunities and economic advancement, and beauty in women is considered very important.

- Beauty products are constantly being sold and advertised to make women “more attractive”
Ideal beautiful North American woman: flawless skin, large chest, skinny waist, symmetrical face
Psychological Effects
- Women identify themselves by their physical appearance rather than their personalities.

- Leads to women believing that they do not fit the standards of the ideal woman, and eventually can lead to eating disorders/depression
Study in Cape Town, South Africa
- Asked 60 schoolgirls about relating fatness and thinness to popularity

-Showed silhouettes of different body types

-Group discussions
- “Three quarters of girls in all the groups associated thinness with ill health, namely HIV and AIDS and or tuberculosis” (Puoane et al 32)

- Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Overweight
- Larger people are stronger
- Health good and bad
- Finding appropriate sizes
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Thin
- Appearance good and bad
- Attitudes of peers
- Bullying
- Parents Perception
- Overweight children are better

Quotes from Participants
- ‘‘...when you are fat people look at you as someone beautiful whereas if you are thin people think that you have a disease.’’
- ‘‘I think that there is nothing good about being fat because you are constantly sick, and you constantly have pains.’’
- ‘‘You look good in clothing and there are many things that you can do in your life like dancing, playing sports and modeling.’’
- ‘‘Another problem is that fat people tend to have a bad smell, people tend to lose their interest on them.’’
- Europe has made a move towards healthier body types and redefining beauty
- Spain has laid out new guidelines for the clothing industry, based on the average body type after measuring over 10,000 women
- Including using US size 8 mannequins and including US size 16 in normal sizing, not plus size
- In Madrid, no models may have a BMI of under 18
- A Swedish store has begun using more realistically sized mannequins
- Italy and France have both banned too thin models from runway shows
- France has also created laws punishing against encouraging extreme thinness
- Overall, Europeans are healthier and more confident than American women
- Nude/Topless beaches
- Walk/Bike every where
- Healthier choices rather than dieting
- Switching out lean proteins
- Healthy ingredients
- Portions smaller
- Throughout Europe, the ideal body varies greatly
- UK women are least self conscious of their bodies, and have the highest BMIs
- Still less than America
- French women are the most self conscious, and have the lowest BMIS
- The lighter skin color, in countries like Japan, is valued and sought after
- In the 19th century women would paint their faces white to be more “Western"
-Undergo skin treatments to lighten their skin
- In China, women have surgery to put metal rods in their legs to make them taller
- Asia strives to be like America in their products and media has followed
- Women want to be tall, slender, and caucasian
- In the West, women are in “normative discontent”

- Study shows Islam women who wear a veil have better self-esteem and body image than those that don’t
- They want to wear it, and believe in it, so it makes them feel beautiful/comfortable










Puoane, T., Tsolekile, L., & Steyn, N. (2010). Perceptions about body image and sizes among Black African girls living in Cape Town. Ethnicity & Disease, 20 (1): 29-34
69.41% female
30.59% male
85.71% 18 to 24 years old
8.33% 25 to 34 years old
2.38% 35 to 44 years old
1.19% 45 to 54 years old
2.38% 55 to 64 years old
Describe your idea of beauty:
64 Responses:
- 33 people answered that beauty is on the inside (8 male, 25 female)
- 15 people answered that beauty is on the outside (5 male, 10 female)
- 11 people answered that beauty is on the inside and outside (2 male, 9 female)
- Women are psychologically effected by media all around the world
- Many countries are being influenced by Western ideals of beauty
- Recently, some countries have been making efforts to fight Americanized ideals
- As far as external beauty, a smile is what makes a person more beautiful to me. But when I think about beauty and myself, I always associate it with weight. If I'm not thin, I don't feel beautiful.
- Symmetrical, thin, it varies from man to woman. For men tall and built, for women thin and smaller.
- Beauty is an illusion - it's all perspective but in my opinion, beauty is being comfortable in your own skin. Things are beautiful when they make you happy to be alive.
- Beauty is what comes from within and then shows on the outside. You're either glowing or you're not. If you are glowing, you are confident, and it shows. If you aren't, the world won't see how beautiful you are.
- To the rest of the world, the idea of a beautiful Latin American girl has been stereotyped by the media to simply being "exotic"
- Classic fair skin
- Chiselled face features
- Tall, elegant figure
- This perception of beauty has become not just what the masses expect but what women have been taught is beauty as well
- The concept of what is a beautiful body has become so distorted in women's minds, that many suffer from the "fashion model syndrome"
- Desire bodies like Barbie dolls
- This syndrome has ensured that women who are not slim are disfavored even in jobs
-Gives the mentality that a girl's waist size matters more than brains
- In Colombia, the fashion capital of Latin America, 17.7% of young girls are suffering from eating disorders
- Many girls in Argentina desire to change their features and face structures as well
- To appear more beautiful
- To make themselves younger
- Plastic surgery has become increasingly common
- In Venezuela, beauty is a national industry
-Have 5 Miss Worlds and 4 Miss Universe titles
- Natural beauty is not considered as the main criteria for winning Miss Venezuela
- Anyone can be "made" beautiful
- Thousands of dollars worth of cosmetic surgeries and retouches in order to become the "perfect" woman.
Nose jobs, implants, extreme dieting
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