"Myself as the Ideal": Exploring the Status of Body Image
Martens, Teresa L.
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The purpose of this research is to explore the dynamics of female, college freshman concerns about their bodies and provide recommendations for programs such as The Body Project who work with college age women on body issues. Much of the research surrounding this issue primarily focuses on body image as a mental health issue rather than a lived and experienced relationship. Two strategies were utilized. Observation and interviews with women with identified body image concerns were conducted. Secondly, a 22-item survey was constructed to gather all opinions of all freshman women regarding the level of subscription to the beauty, health and body acceptance ideals. Findings included that the women struggle with simultaneous acceptance and rejection of all three ideals. As well as the identification that objectives in programs like The Body Project need to primarily focus on rejecting the beauty ideal.