“S/he’s Got it Goin’ On”: Exploring Ethnic Differences in Body Talk

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mallory Jaye Forman (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Denise Martz

Abstract: Current body image literature is indicative of contradictory findings for women and men of varying ethnicities (e.g., research suggests that Black women possess higher body esteem, yet other evidence refutes this finding). The term fat talk is used to identify a conversational style that appears to give voice to the discrepancy between the ideal body and the body possessed by most Americans. The current study used an online survey of age- and weight-representative U.S. adult men (n = 1,982) and women (n = 2,001) to assess whether participants in various racial/ethnic groups differed significantly on 1) exposure to and 2) pressure to engage in each of 3 body talk scenarios: negative (i.e., “fat talk”), self-accepting, and positive. Results of one-way ANOVAs indicated that Black and Hispanic women reported higher exposure to self-accepting and positive body talk than did White women, while White women reported more pressure to engage in fat talk than Black women did. This is consistent with ethnic differences found in the body image literature suggesting worse body image for White women while espousing pride and personal individualization of beauty and style among Black and Hispanic women (i.e., “got it goin’ on”). Further exploration of varying forms of body talk holds promise for the development of culturally sensitive prevention and treatment efforts for body image, obesity, and disordered eating.

Additional Information

Forman, M.J. (2013). “S/he’s Got it Goin’ On”: Exploring Ethnic Differences in Body Talk. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2013
Body talk, Body image, Ethnic differences, Fat talk

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