Body image experiences among Asian American women: A qualitative intersectionality framework
Iwamoto, Derek K
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Body image concerns are a growing issue among Asian American young adult women and evidence suggests that they experience distinct sociocultural stressors that might heighten risk. This study advanced knowledge through a Grounded Theory qualitative approach and explored the unique experiences of oppression among Asian American undergraduate women (N=20) that influence body image dissatisfaction. Participants completed a one hour semi-structured interview describing their socialization experiences; gender and racial identity development; feelings and thoughts about their bodies; beliefs of Western and cultural beauty norms; and body image management strategies. The core category Body Image was comprised of attitudes and perceptions about body weight, shape, and size, facial features (e.g. eye size) and skin complexion/tone. Numerous contextual, interpersonal, and identity conditions, emerged to produce a range of positive and negative body image beliefs. Results can advance etiological understanding of prominent sociocultural factors that may attenuate or heighten risk for body image concerns.