Concurrent Sessions

Body Image and Idealized Images

  • Linda B. Arthur (University of Hawaii at Manoa)


As the discussant for this session, I was pleased to comment on these three excellent studies. Each dealt with problems with women's body image in relation to idealized images created and promulgated by the media in the western world. While twenty years ago models weighed 8% less than the average woman, today's models weigh 23% less. The gulf between the ideal and the real is a chasm for women, the vast majority of whom overestimate the size of their bodies and diet to reach a nearly unattainable ideal. As a result, eating disorders are rampant. These three studies acknowledge that women strive to attain idealized images set by the media and in doing so practice some very unhealthy behaviors. The salient question is why do women jeopardize their health and lives to attain an idealized image? A holistic understanding of the underlying societal issues needs to be explored.

How to Cite:

Arthur, L. B., (1998) “Body Image and Idealized Images”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 1999(1).

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Published on
31 Dec 1998