Obese people's perceptions of the thin ideal

Couch, Danielle, Thomas, Samantha L., Lewis, Sophie, Blood, R. Warwick, Holland, Kate and Komesaroff, Paul 2016, Obese people's perceptions of the thin ideal, Social science & medicine, vol. 148, pp. 60-70, doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.11.034.

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Title Obese people's perceptions of the thin ideal
Author(s) Couch, Danielle
Thomas, Samantha L.ORCID iD for Thomas, Samantha L. orcid.org/0000-0003-1427-7775
Lewis, Sophie
Blood, R. Warwick
Holland, Kate
Komesaroff, Paul
Journal name Social science & medicine
Volume number 148
Start page 60
End page 70
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-01
ISSN 1873-5347
Keyword(s) Australia
Social control
Thin ideal
Body Image
Mass Media
Middle Aged
Qualitative Research
Young Adult
Summary The media play a key role in promoting the thin ideal. A qualitative study, in which we used in depth interviews and thematic analysis, was undertaken to explore the attitudes of 142 obese individuals toward media portrayals of the thin ideal. Participants discussed the thin ideal as a social norm that is also supported through the exclusion of positive media portrayals of obese people. They perceived the thin ideal as an 'unhealthy' mode of social control, reflecting on their personal experiences and their concerns for others. Participants' perceptions highlighted the intersections between the thin ideal and gender, grooming and consumerism. Participants' personal responses to the thin ideal were nuanced--some were in support of the thin ideal and some were able to critically reflect and reject the thin ideal. We consider how the thin ideal may act as a form of synoptical social control, working in tandem with wider public health panoptical surveillance of body weight.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.11.034
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
1601 Anthropology
1608 Sociology
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085748

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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