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Abstract

This study investigates perceptions of gendered body ideals through an analysis of college students' drawings. A sample of 94 college students participated by drawing their image of the ideal female and male bodies. The drawings were analyzed through a gender lens, whereby each participant‟s male and female bodies were compared to determine the features participants used to indicate gender in their ideal bodies. Four major themes emerged that distinguished ideal female and male bodies from each other: (1) body shape, (2) body size, (3) clothing and accessories, and (4) gender roles. An additional theme includes a small group of participants who challenged gendered body ideals. The results are discussed in the broader context of gender and the body.

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