Exploring the Conceptualization of Body Image for Asian American Women

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Abstract

The present study explored racial and cultural factors that influence body image development with a sample of 10 heterosexual Asian American women through in-person, semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed via the consensual qualitative research methodology (Hill, 2012; Hill et al., 2005) and highlighted several factors shaping body image for Asian American women: (a) interpersonal influences, (b) Asian and American body ideals, (c) thin-ideal internalization, and (d) protective behaviors and attitudes. The findings specifically identify the most frequently reported categories as male gazing, nonfamilial close relationships, and standards of body/beauty established by both Asian and American cultures. Limitations of findings and future research directions are provided.

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