In this article we investigate college-age womens body image issues in the context of dominant femininity and its polarization of the mind and body. We use original data collected through seven in-depth interviews and 32 qualitative written interviews with college-age women and men. We coded the data thematically applying feminist approaches to the analysis. We conclude that the current standard of femininity disproportionately associates womens worth with their bodies. Differing from literature that suggests femininity is associated with physicality and masculinity is not, our research suggests that masculinity is also partly associated with physicality, but in a way that is linked to power and does not reduce masculinity to only physicality.


Body Image, Eating Disorders, Femininity, Masculinity, and Mind-Body Dichotomy


The authors would like to thank Stonehill College graduates Paul Sacco and Laura MacFee for their assistance with the literature review. We also thank Stonehill students Ashley Garland and Meaghan Stiman for their invaluable assistance preparing the manuscript for publication. We extend a heartfelt thanks to those who shared their stories with us.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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