“Let’s celebrate body diversity, not stigmatize it”. How do Asian and Western-European female students perceive body diverse models
What is the socially acceptable female body type? For a prolonged period of time, women of bigger body shape and size are discriminated against by society in various cultures. Today, many are still experiencing this discrimination, however, some cultures are beginning to embrace and accept that there is a diverse range of body shapes and size which makes each one of us unique. In the media and in advertisements, there is a lack of portrayal and representation of diverse body types. For this reason, many brands are beginning to feature different body types to fulfil customers’ demand and acknowledge that there are various body types around us. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to explore the perception of Asian and Western-European female students on body diverse models. Furthermore, this thesis will also explore the perceptions of female students from Asian and Western-European countries on body diverse models displayed by clothing brands from ‘the East’ and ‘the West’ on Instagram. Hence, the main research question is: How do female students from all over the world perceive models with diverse body types presented by clothing brands from ‘the East’ and ‘the West’ on Instagram? and the sub-research questions are: (1) How do Asian female students perceive model’s body diversity presented by clothing brands from ‘the East’ and ‘the West’ on Instagram? (2) How do Western-European female students perceive the model’s body diversity presented by clothing brands from ‘the East’ and ‘the West’ on Instagram? To address the main research and sub-research questions, twelve semi-structured interviews have been conducted with female students of Asian and Western-European backgrounds. All participants are aged between 22 to 26, residing in respective countries of their culture. All participants were recruited utilizing the friends of friends method. Stimulus materials were also utilized for this research study from four clothing brands from ‘the East’ and ‘the West’, Neiwai (China), Jstyle (South Korea), ASOS (United Kingdom) and Universal Standards (United States). The stimulus materials which included a total of sixteen images, four from each brand's displayed images of women of diverse body types featured on the brand’s Instagram account. These images were shown to participants during the interview. Following the completion of all interviews, all interviews were transcribed and utilized as the base to conduct a thematic analysis. The thematic analysis resulted in three main categories and four sub-categories which helped to address the main research and sub-research questions. Findings show there needs to be more body diverse models displayed in the media and by brands in advertisements and to model for clothing brands.
|, , , ,|
|Dr. Anne-Mette Hermans|
|Media & Business|
|Organisation||Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication|
Pui-Mun Chan. (2020, July 31). “Let’s celebrate body diversity, not stigmatize it”. How do Asian and Western-European female students perceive body diverse models. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/60597