Cultural variations in the pursuit of attractiveness and associated harms

Carolyn M. Pearson, Tamika C.B. Zapolski, Cheri A. Levinson, Amanda Woods, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The authors tested the following hypotheses concerning appearance standards in women from three different cultural groups (European American, African American, and Japanese): Women in each group (a) have appearance concerns related to their culture's specific standards of beauty; (b) invest more in pursuit of their culturally defined form of beauty; and (c) experience varying harms of different severity from pursuing culturally congruent forms of beauty. European American, African American, and Japanese women completed questionnaires measuring the importance, investment, and harms of pursuing thinness, straight hair, and tall appearance. Results from this study support the above hypotheses and suggest that women in different cultural groups tend to be exposed to different risks for harms as they pursue specific cultural markers of a positive appearance. These findings are important in the context of eating disorders and the growing influence of western culture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBinge Eating and Binge Drinking
Subtitle of host publicationPsychological, Social and Medical Implications
Number of pages18
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Beauty
  • Culture
  • Eating disorders
  • Ethnicity
  • Harm to women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cultural variations in the pursuit of attractiveness and associated harms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this