Dressing the body: the role of clothing in sustaining body pride and managing body distress

Frith, Hannah and Gleeson, K. (2008) Dressing the body: the role of clothing in sustaining body pride and managing body distress Qualitative Research in Psychology, 5 (4). pp. 249-264. ISSN 1478-0887

[img] Text
Dressing_the_body.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (126kB)


This qualitative research extends current theorizing on behavioural strategies for managing body distress by exploring how women manage body image through clothing practices. Eighty two women reported their subjective understanding of how body evaluation and clothing practices are interconnected in response to open-ended questionnaires. Thematic analysis of responses revealed that clothing practices are a mundane and agentic part of the adjustive and self-regulatory processes for managing distressing body image (cf. Cash, 2002b). Clothing is used strategically to manage bodily appearance and anxiety by hiding 'problem areas', accentuating 'assets' and flattering the figure. Body image is actively negotiated and managed through everyday behaviours which fluctuate on 'fat' days and 'thin' days. These data illustrate the processes which underpin the active negotiation of body image and capture the fluidity of body evaluations and strategies for managing the appearance of the body. These findings raise a number of challenges for theorizing and research including the need to adopt methods which capture the dynamic interplay of body image processes, and the need to address body appreciation as well as distress.

Item Type: Journal article
Additional Information: © 2008 Taylor & Francis
Uncontrolled Keywords: appearance fixing; body appreciation; body image; clothing
Subjects: L000 Social Sciences
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1080/14780880701752950
Faculties: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences > School of Applied Social Science
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2011 13:31
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2015 14:55
URI: http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/id/eprint/8232

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year