Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Primary Advisor

Amy Kalb

Secondary Advisor

Stephanie Hamm

Committee Reader

Stephen Baldridge

Abstract

Everyone looks in the mirror at some point in their lives, and they do not feel fully satisfied with what they see. Maybe it is their weight or their hair color or perhaps their height—there is always something that “needs” to be changed. College-age women seem especially impacted by negative body image perceptions. Research shows that this desire to look like and be something different is often brought on from societal pressures, social media and familial opinions and comments. The existing research often looks at why women are dissatisfied with their looks but not routinely at what specific impacts this dissatisfaction has on their daily lives. This study looked at the body image perceptions of 65 female college students from a private, southwestern university to see how they felt their body image has impacted various areas of their lives. A survey that utilized open- ended questions sought to gain a better and more descriptive understanding of how college women truly feel about their body image. The resulting qualitative data was analyzed, and results showed that negative body image impacted the respondents’ self- esteem and self-perception. Results also showed that these negative body perceptions had a major impact on how the participants function in their social and daily lives. A full review of this study’s findings in relation to the existing literature will be discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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