Slim girls and smart boys the gender ideals

October 31, 1997

YOUNG women believe "slim" is the key quality of the ideal women's body while for young men the ideal body is "handsome", "muscular" and "smart". Barbara Lloyd and Helga Dittmar from the school of social sciences at the University of Sussex, used interviews and focus groups to find out what adolescents in east Sussex thought about themselves and their appearance. Both boys and girls thought "looking good" was very important, although boys were much less willing to speak about their bodies.

Interviewees chose Pamela Anderson, Kate Moss or Gillian Anderson from the X files as ideal women and Paul Nichols from Eastenders, pop star Peter Andre and Arnold Schwarzenegger as ideal men.

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