Social and Psychological Aspects

Exploring the Relationship between Self-esteem and Wearing Plus-size Apparel

  • Laurel D. Romeo (Louisiana State University)
  • Delisia R. Matthews (North Carolina State University)


This study explored the relationship between being a plus-size woman and self-esteem among African-American, Caucasian, and Latina women. Thirty-one participants completed a survey using Rosenburg's self-esteem scale, an in-depth interview, and a 3D body scan. ANOVA and Chi-square were used to examine quantitative data. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and examined for patterns and inferences. Significant differences regarding self-esteem and being a plus-size woman were observed among ethnicity, income, education, relationship status, and whether or not the participant had children. Participants in the middle-income range, those with only a high-school education, divorced women, and those with no children, were found to be the least satisfied with being considered plus-size. In-depth interviews revealed ethnicity and its associated cultural values and have a significant impact on how a plus-size woman views herself. Additionally, participants provided advice to the apparel industry regarding styles, prints, colors, and cut of plus-size apparel currently on the market.

How to Cite:

Romeo, L. D. & Matthews, D. R., (2016) “Exploring the Relationship between Self-esteem and Wearing Plus-size Apparel”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 73(1).

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Published on
09 Nov 2016
Peer Reviewed