This project examined body image issues using 3D body scanning technology. Twenty years of research on body image indicates that though thinness is culturally desirable, possessing an ideal body does not guarantee that women will be satisfied with their bodies. Furthermore, the disconnect continues to widen between the reality of a heavier American woman and the thinner western feminine ideal necessitating the continued need for body image research. This study included 240 female college students enrolled in a mid-sized university. Phase I included a questionnaire of several different measures of body image satisfaction/ dissatisfaction, a description of the body scanner including a 3D image, as well as standard demographic questions and estimates of height and weight. Of the initial 240 participants, 85 women agreed to participate in the body scanning portion (Phase II) of the research project. A majority of the women chose an ideal figure thinner than their current figure. Self-esteem scores were significantly correlated with Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) scores. Neither level of body dissatisfaction nor self-esteem scores were significantly associated with willingness to be body scanned, despite the fact that body scanning involves significant body exposure and that the resulting 3D image is highly realistic. Due to the novelty of body scanning technology and its application to body image research, these findings represent an innovative contribution to the field.
- Body image
- Body scanning