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Effects of Ideal Body Images--Translatable Across Gender and Culture?
Unformatted Document Text:  16 the Chinese case seems to be no. For female subjects, no significant results were reported in either body image or self-esteem. Traditional cultural upbringing may be at play here, even though China is experiencing a rapid transition period. Dominated by Confucianism for centuries, which advocated modesty and collectivism, traditional Chinese culture doesn’t emphasize the importance of body image and personal beauty. On the contrary, traditional Chinese culture considers exposing one’s body or even the mention of one’s body parts as sinful and unacceptable. No doubt Chinese people are becoming more open as time changes. However, body beauty still does not seem to have a great deal of influence in judging a person. This was demonstrated in a set of control questions we asked subjects in this study. They were asked which kinds of characteristics were the most important for a “perfect woman.” For female students, their perception of the perfect woman consisted a large part pertaining to what “inner beauty” is than skin-deep beauty. The top three characteristics they thought were most important were “kind and honest”, “being popular” and “being intelligent.” Categories about body beauty, such as “good looks”, “sexy” were rated as the least important. Table 5: Rating of Dimensions for a “Perfect Woman” Mean Rank She likes kids. 4.88 6 She is fun. 5.25 4 She has average height and weight. 4.81 7 She is popular. 6.13 2 She is very intelligent. 6.02 3 She has good looks. 4.59 8 She has a lot of money. 3.33 10 She is sexy. 4.06 9 She is kind and honest. 6.48 1 She has a good job. 4.90 5

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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16
the Chinese case seems to be no. For female subjects, no significant results were reported
in either body image or self-esteem. Traditional cultural upbringing may be at play here,
even though China is experiencing a rapid transition period. Dominated by Confucianism
for centuries, which advocated modesty and collectivism, traditional Chinese culture
doesn’t emphasize the importance of body image and personal beauty. On the contrary,
traditional Chinese culture considers exposing one’s body or even the mention of one’s
body parts as sinful and unacceptable. No doubt Chinese people are becoming more open
as time changes. However, body beauty still does not seem to have a great deal of
influence in judging a person. This was demonstrated in a set of control questions we
asked subjects in this study. They were asked which kinds of characteristics were the
most important for a “perfect woman.” For female students, their perception of the
perfect woman consisted a large part pertaining to what “inner beauty” is than skin-deep
beauty. The top three characteristics they thought were most important were “kind and
honest”, “being popular” and “being intelligent.” Categories about body beauty, such as
“good looks”, “sexy” were rated as the least important.
Table 5: Rating of Dimensions for a “Perfect Woman”
Mean
Rank
She likes kids.
4.88
6
She is fun.
5.25
4
She has average height and weight.
4.81
7
She is popular.
6.13
2
She is very intelligent.
6.02
3
She has good looks.
4.59
8
She has a lot of money.
3.33
10
She is sexy.
4.06
9
She is kind and honest.
6.48
1
She has a good job.
4.90
5


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