Body shape preference and body satisfaction of Taiwanese
and Japanese female college students
, Chiharu Kubo
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi, 3-1-1,
Higashi-ku 812 8582, Fukuoka City, Japan
Department of Early Childhood Education, National Hualien Teachers College, Taiwan, Republic of China
Received 18 August 2004; accepted 25 October 2004
The purpose of this study was to compare the body shape preference and body satisfaction of Taiwanese and Japanese
female college students. Taiwanese female students in Taiwan (n=109) and Japanese female students in Japan (n=144)
voluntarily completed a four-part Body Image Questionnaire concerning (1) demographic background, (2) body figure ratings,
(3) cognitive attitude toward body size, and (4) subject satisfaction with body characteristics. More Japanese than Taiwanese
women rated significantly larger body figures and dissatisfaction with their body shape and body parts.
D 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Body image; Women; Taiwanese; Japanese
In many modern societies, a thin body shape has
come to symbolize success in many domains of life
(Brownell, 1991). Researchers found that, although
thinness is valued by society, its opposite, obesity, is
denigrated (Rodin et al., 1985; Rand and Kuldau,
1990). Overweight women were especially dissatis-
fied with their own bodies (Hallinan et al., 1991;
Brodie et al., 1994).
This dissatisfaction was associated with social
comparison and cultural expectation of a thin ideal
female body shape. It was also associated with an
individual’s discrepancy between their perceived self
and their ideal self: the greater the discrepancy
between one’s perceived self and the perceived ideal,
the greater the dissatisfaction (Fallon and Rozin,
1985; Thompson and Psaltis, 1988; Tiggemann and
Pennington, 1990; Thompson, 1991; Altabe and
Body dissatisfaction concerns not only the global
body image but, particularly in females, specific
body parts such as hip width, which indeed may
predict body shape dissatisfaction better than fatness
0165-1781/$ - see front matter D 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +81 92 6425316; fax: +81 92
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (C. Kubo).
Psychiatry Research 133 (2005) 263 – 271