The attractive female body weight and female body dissatisfaction in 26 countries across 10 world regions: Results of the international body project I

Swami V., Frederick D. A., Aavik T., Alcalay L., Allik J., Anderson D., ...More

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, vol.36, no.3, pp.309-325, 2010 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0146167209359702
  • Journal Name: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.309-325
  • Keywords: body weight, body dissatisfaction, cross-cultural, socioeconomic differences, attractiveness, International Body Project, WOMENS PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS, TO-HIP RATIO, SEX-DIFFERENCES, SELF-OBJECTIFICATION, CULTURAL-DIFFERENCES, FIGURE PREFERENCES, ETHNIC-DIFFERENCES, GENDER-DIFFERENCES, OPPOSITE SEX, IMAGE
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: No


This study reports results from the first International Body Project (IBP-I), which surveyed 7,434 individuals in 10 major world regions about body weight ideals and body dissatisfaction. Participants completed the female Contour Drawing Figure Rating Scale (CDFRS) and self-reported their exposure to Western and local media. Results indicated there were significant cross-regional differences in the ideal female figure and body dissatisfaction, but effect sizes were small across high-socioeconomic-status (SES) sites. Within cultures, heavier bodies were preferred in low-SES sites compared to high-SES sites in Malaysia and South Africa (ds = 1.94-2.49) but not in Austria. Participant age, body mass index (BMI), and Western media exposure predicted body weight ideals. BMI and Western media exposure predicted body dissatisfaction among women. Our results show that body dissatisfaction and desire for thinness is commonplace in high-SES settings across world regions, highlighting the need for international attention to this problem. © 2010 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.