Perceived weight in the face and body size have been shown to be significant predictors of both attractiveness and health. Studies looking at the relationship between attractiveness, perceived health, and perceived weight in faces have found that individuals prefer a lower weight for attractiveness than for apparent health. Here, a group of twenty-four Asian participants were allowed to manipulate the apparent body mass indices (BMIs) of full-length photographs of young Malaysian Chinese women to enhance their perceived healthiness and attractiveness. Results showed that both men and women differentiated between attractiveness and health by preferring a lower BMI for attractiveness than health, suggesting a consistency in the preferred ideal BMI for attractiveness and healthy appearance across both sexes. Results also suggested that BMI provides important cues to judgments of attractive and healthy appearance.
The present study tested the hypothesis that men's drive for muscularity would be associated with their valuation of domination, power, status, and aggression over others. A community sample of 359 men from London, UK, completed measures of drive for muscularity, social dominance orientation, right-wing authoritarianism, trait aggression, and need for power, as well as their demographic details. Bivariate correlations showed that greater drive for muscularity was significantly correlated with most of the measures and their subscales. However, in a multiple regression analysis, the only significant predictor of drive for muscularity was support for group-based dominance hierarchies (Adj. R(2)=.17). These results suggest that men's drive for muscularity is associated with a socio-political ideology that favours social dominance.
This study investigated how dissatisfaction with various aspects of the body is associated with overall body dissatisfaction among female adolescents in Western and Asian cultures. Data used in the study were obtained from 58 Malaysian Malays, 95 Malaysian Chinese, 242 Chinese from China, and 81 non-Asian Australians aged 12-19 years (M=15.72, SD=1.72) who were recruited from high schools. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing dissatisfaction with their body overall, and dissatisfaction with varying aspects of their body. Malaysian Chinese were the most dissatisfied with their bodies. After controlling for body mass index (BMI), age and dissatisfaction with weight/shape, upper, middle and lower body, and muscles, dissatisfaction with the face was positively correlated with overall body dissatisfaction among Malaysian Malays and Australians. These findings demonstrate the importance of using assessment measures that address all possible areas of body focus as well as being tailored to the relevant culture.
The present study examined the psychometric properties of a Malay translation of the Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery Scale (ACSS; Henderson-King & Henderson-King, 2005). A total of 373 Malaysian women completed the ACSS along with measures of ideal-actual weight discrepancy, body appreciation, sociocultural attitudes toward appearance, self-esteem, life satisfaction, and demographics. Results showed that the Malay ACSS was best reduced to a two-factor solution, although an overall score of all 15 ACSS items showed the highest internal consistency. Results also showed that this overall score had good discriminant and divergent validity. It is expected that the availability of a Malay version of the ACSS will stimulate cross-cultural research on the acceptance of cosmetic surgery.
Previous studies have suggested that there may not be cross-cultural equivalence in the factor structure of body appreciation. Here, we examine the conceptual equivalence of a Chinese (Cantonese) translation of the Body Appreciation Scale-2 (BAS-2; Tylka & Wood-Barcalow, 2015b), a newly-developed measure of body appreciation. Participants were 457 women and 417 men from a university in Hong Kong. The results of exploratory factor analyses showed that, like its English version, the Chinese BAS-2 had a one-dimensional structure. Body appreciation scores had good internal consistency and were also significantly associated with respondent body mass index, self-esteem, life satisfaction, and (in women) actual-ideal weight discrepancy. Men had significantly higher scores than women, while comparisons with data from Tylka and Wood-Barcalow (2015b) suggest that cross-cultural differences are small-to-moderate at best. The present findings suggest that the BAS-2 may prove to be a useful tool for the assessment of body appreciation across cultures.
We examined the prevalence and correlates of satisfaction with appearance and weight. Participants (N=12,176) completed an online survey posted on the NBCNews.com and Today.com websites. Few men and women were very to extremely dissatisfied with their physical appearances (6%; 9%), but feeling very to extremely dissatisfied with weight was more common (15%; 20%). Only about one-fourth of men and women felt very to extremely satisfied with their appearances (28%; 26%) and weights (24%; 20%). Men and women with higher body masses reported higher appearance and weight dissatisfaction. Dissatisfied people had higher Neuroticism, more preoccupied and fearful attachment styles, and spent more hours watching television. In contrast, satisfied people had higher Openness, Conscientious, and Extraversion, were more secure in attachment style, and had higher self-esteem and life satisfaction. These findings highlight the high prevalence of body dissatisfaction and the factors linked to dissatisfaction among U.S. adults.
The present study examined the factorial and construct validity of a Standard Chinese translation of the Body Appreciation Scale (BAS-2; Tylka & Wood-Barcalow, 2015b). Participants were 191 women and 154 men from mainland China who were resident in Hong Kong at the time of recruitment. Results of confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the one-dimensional model of the BAS-2, in which all 10 items loaded onto the same factor, had adequate fit, and was invariant across sex. Body appreciation scores had good internal consistency and were significantly correlated with self-esteem and life satisfaction, and, in women, with weight discrepancy and body mass index. There were no significant differences in body appreciation scores between women and men. The present findings suggest that the Standard Chinese translation of the BAS-2 has the same one-dimensional factor structure as its parent scale and may facilitate cross-cultural studies of positive body image.
The Drive for Muscularity Scale (DMS) is a widely used measure in studies of men's body image, but few studies have examined its psychometric properties outside English-speaking samples. Here, we assessed the factor structure of a Malay translation of the DMS. A community sample of 159 Malay men from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, completed the DMS, along with measures of self-esteem, body appreciation, and muscle discrepancy. Exploratory factor analysis led to the extraction of two factors, differentiating attitudes from behaviours, which mirrors the parent scale. Both factors also loaded on to a higher-order drive for muscularity factor. The subscales of the Malay DMS had adequate internal consistencies and good convergent validity, insofar as significant relationships were reported with self-esteem, body appreciation, muscle discrepancy, and body mass index. These results indicate that the Malay DMS has acceptable psychometric properties and can be used to assess body image concerns in Malay men.
Connectedness to nature (i.e., an affective and experiential connection to nature) is known to have a positive effect on psychological well-being, but its specific associations with body image have not been fully examined. To attend to this oversight, we conducted a preliminary investigation of associations between connectedness to nature and body appreciation. A total of 380 British adults completed measures of connectedness to nature, body appreciation, and self-esteem. Bivariate correlations revealed significant positive associations between all variables in women. In men, body appreciation was significantly correlated with self-esteem, but not connectedness to nature. Mediation analysis showed that, in women, self-esteem fully mediated the relationship between connectedness to nature and body appreciation. In men, body appreciation was significantly associated with self-esteem, but not connectedness to nature. These results point to a potential route for improving body image among women through connectedness to nature and self-esteem, but further research is necessary.
One stereotype of people with tattoos is that they are more aggressive and rebellious than people without tattoos. However, studies examining differences in these traits between tattooed and non-tattooed individuals are dated and have returned equivocal results. To re-examine this issue, we asked 378 adults from London, UK, to complete self-report measures of aggression and rebelliousness, and to report the number of tattoos they possessed. Of this sample, 25.7% possessed at least one tattoo, with no sex difference in the distribution of tattoo status. We found that tattooed adults had significantly higher reactive rebelliousness, anger, and verbal aggression than non-tattooed adults. However, effect sizes were small and there were also no significant between-group differences in terms of proactive rebelliousness, physical aggression, and hostility. These results suggest that, while stereotypes may contain a kernel of truth, they likely present an outmoded picture of tattooed adults.
Existing measures of breast size dissatisfaction have poor ecological validity or have not been fully evaluated in terms of psychometric properties. Here, we report on the development of the Breast Size Rating Scale (BSRS), a novel measure of breast size dissatisfaction consisting of 14 computer-generated images varying in breast size alone. Study 1 (N=107) supported the scale's construct validity, insofar as participants were able to correctly order the images in terms of breast size. Study 2 (N=234) provided evidence of the test-retest reliability of BSRS-derived scores after 3 months. Studies 3 (N=730) and 4 (N=234) provided evidence of the convergent validity of BSRS-derived breast size dissatisfaction scores, which were significantly associated with a range of measures of body image. The BSRS provides a useful tool for researchers examining women's breast size dissatisfaction.
This study determined how sociocultural messages to change one's body are perceived by adolescents from different cultural groups. In total, 4904 adolescents, including Australian, Chilean, Chinese, Indo-Fijian, Indigenous Fijian, Greek, Malaysian, Chinese Malaysian, Tongans in New Zealand, and Tongans in Tonga, were surveyed about messages from family, peers, and the media to lose weight, gain weight, and increase muscles. Groups were best differentiated by family pressure to gain weight. Girls were more likely to receive the messages from multiple sociocultural sources whereas boys were more likely to receive the messages from the family. Some participants in a cultural group indicated higher, and others lower, levels of these sociocultural messages. These findings highlight the differences in sociocultural messages across cultural groups, but also that adolescents receive contrasting messages within a cultural group. These results demonstrate the difficulty in representing a particular message as being characteristic of each cultural group.
Previous research has suggested that the factor structure of Body Appreciation Scale (BAS), a widely-used measure of positive body image, may not be cross-culturally equivalent. Here, we used confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate the conceptual equivalence of a Chinese (Cantonese) translation of the BAS among women (n=1319) and men (n=1084) in Hong Kong. Results showed that neither the one-dimensional nor proposed two-dimensional factor structures had adequate fit. Instead, a modified two-dimensional structure, which retained 9 of the 13 BAS items in two factors, had the best fit. However, only one of these factors, reflective of General Body Appreciation, had adequate internal consistency. This factor also had good patterns of construct validity, as indicated through significant correlations with participant body mass index, self-esteem, and (among women) actual-ideal weight discrepancy. The present results suggest that there may be cultural differences in the concept and experience of body appreciation.
The present study examined associations between the Big Five personality domains and measures of men's body image. A total of 509 men from the community in London, UK, completed measures of drive for muscularity, body appreciation, the Big Five domains, and subjective social status, and provided their demographic details. The results of a hierarchical regression showed that, once the effects of participant body mass index (BMI) and subjective social status had been accounted for, men's drive for muscularity was significantly predicted by Neuroticism (β=.29). In addition, taking into account the effects of BMI and subjective social status, men's body appreciation was significantly predicted by Neuroticism (β=-.35) and Extraversion (β=.12). These findings highlight potential avenues for the development of intervention approaches based on the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and body image.
Previous studies have documented associations between sexuality and body image, but the directionality of this association is unclear among men. This study examined whether men's drive for muscularity can be considered a correlate of their sexuality. A community-based sample of 292 heterosexual men from London, UK, completed a survey consisting of measures of drive for muscularity, sociosexuality, sexual assertiveness, sexual esteem, and sexual sensation seeking. A multiple regression analysis showed that greater drive for muscularity was predicted by more unrestricted sociosexuality (i.e., a greater proclivity for short-term, transient relationships), greater sexual sensation seeking, and greater sexual assertiveness, once the effects of participant age and body mass index had been accounted for. Possible avenues for intervention based on a sex-positive approach are discussed in conclusion.
The present study examined the factor structure of a Malay translation of the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-3 among a community sample of 554 Malaysian women. Results of an exploratory factor analysis revealed the existence of four factors, two of which (Information and Internalization-Athlete) mirrored those found among Western samples. An additional factor was an amalgamation of two factors reported in the West, namely Pressure and Internalization-General. A fourth factor consisted of six items, four of which cross-loaded onto previous factors, and was consequently dropped from analyses. Cronbach's alpha coefficients for the three retained factors were all above .82, and the three factors were significantly correlated with each other and with participants' body mass index. The results of this study stress the need for locally developed scales in the study of body image and a shift away from reliance on scales developed in the West.
The present study examined the factor structure of a Malay version of the Body Appreciation Scale (BAS), a recently developed scale for the assessment of positive body image that has been shown to have a unidimensional structure in Western settings. Results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses based on data from community sample of 591 women in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, failed to support a unidimensional structure for the Malay BAS. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis suggested two stable factors, which were labelled 'General Body Appreciation' and 'Body Image Investment'. Multi-group analysis showed that the two-factor structure was invariant for both Malaysian Malay and Chinese women, and that there were no significant ethnic differences on either factor. Results also showed that General Body Appreciation was significant negatively correlated with participants' body mass index. These results are discussed in relation to possible cross-cultural differences in positive body image.
Two purported cues to perceived female physical attractiveness are body mass index (BMI) and body shape as measured by the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). This study examined the relative contribution of both cues in several culturally socio-economically distinct populations. Six hundred and eighty-two participants from Britain and Malaysia were asked to rate a set of images of real women with known BMI and WHR. The results showed that BMI is the primary determinant of female physical attractiveness, whereas WHR failed to emerge as a significant predictor. The results also showed that there were significant differences in preferences for physical attractiveness along a gradient of socio-economic development, with urban participants preferring images of women with significantly lower BMIs than their rural counterparts. The findings are discussed in terms of evolutionary psychological explanations of mate selection, and sociocultural theory, which emphasises the learning of preferences for body sizes in social and cultural contexts.
Ninety-six Malaysian and British men rated for physical attractiveness a set of photographs of real women in profile, with known body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Results showed that BMI accounted for the greater amount of variance in all settings. There were also significant differences in preferences for body weight, with low resource, low socioeconomic status (SES) raters preferring a significantly heavier partner than high resource, high SES raters. The disparity with previous findings using line drawings of women in profile was discussed in terms of the weaknesses of line-drawn stimuli.
Three purported cues to perceived male physical attractiveness are the waist-to-chest ratio (WCR), body mass index (BMI) and the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). This study examined the relative contribution of each cue in several socio-economically distinct populations. Ninety-five female participants from Britain and Malaysia were asked to rate a set of images of real men with known WCR, BMI and WHR. The results showed clear differences along a gradient of socio-economic development. In urban settings, WCR was the primary component of attractiveness ratings, with BMI playing a smaller role and WHR not reaching significance. In the rural setting, BMI was the primary predictor of attractiveness, with WCR playing a more minor role and WHR not reaching significance. In general, urban participants were more reliant on body shape and chose a relatively slim figure with an 'inverted triangle' shape; rural participants were more reliant on body weight and chose a heavier figure with a less triangular shape. These findings are discussed in terms of evolutionary psychological explanations of mate selection and sociological theories that emphasise the effect of resource scarcity on preferences for body shapes and sizes.