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Fat talk and self-presentation of body image: Is there a social norm for women to self-degrade?

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Doris Bazzini Ph.D., Professor, General Experimental Program Director (Creator)
Lisa Curtin Grizzard Ph.D., Professor, Associate Director of Research (Creator)
Denise Martz-Ludwig Ph.D., Professor, Graduate Programs Coordinator (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: The current investigations build upon previous ethnographic research, which identified a social norm for adolescent females to engage in “fat talk” (informal dialogue during which individuals express body dissatisfaction). In Study 1, participants were shown a vignette involving women engaging in fat talk dialogue and were subsequently asked to chose one of three self-presentational responses for a target female: (1) self-accepting of her body, (2) providing no information, or (3) self-degrading about her body. Male and female participants believed the target would be most likely to self-degrade, and that this would lead women to like her, while the self-accepting response would lead men to like her most. Study 2 used the same vignette but participants were asked to respond in an open-ended fashion. Participants again expected the target female to self-degrade. The present findings suggest college students perceive fat talk self-degradation of body image as normative.

Additional Information

Britton, L. E., Martz, D. M., Bazzini, D. G., Curtin, L. A., & LeaShomb, A. (2006). Fat talk and self-presentation of body image: Is there a social norm for women to self-degrade? Body Image: An International Journal of Research. 3(3): 247-254. (Sep 2006) Published by Elsevier (ISSN: 1740-1445). doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2006.05.006
Language: English
Date: 2006