Preferences for female body size in Britain and the South Pacific

Viren Swami*, Daniel Knight, Martin J. Tovée, Patrick Davies, Adrian Furnham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


To assess current attitudes to body weight and shape in the South Pacific, a region characterised by relatively high levels of obesity and traditionally positive views of large bodies, 38 high socio-economic status (SES) adolescent males and 38 low SES adolescent males in Independent Samoa were asked to rate a set of images of real women for physical attractiveness. Participants in both SES settings preferred women with a slender figure, as did a comparison group in Britain, suggesting that the traditional veneration of large bodies is no longer apparent in Samoa. However, the results also showed that low SES adolescents were more likely to view overweight figures as attractive, which suggests that the veneration of slim figures may be associated with increasing SES. Implications of this finding are discussed in conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
JournalBody Image
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


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