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Body image and body type preferences in St. Kitts, Caribbean: A cross- cultural comparison with U.S. samples regarding attitudes towards muscularity, body fat, and breast size.

Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.

We investigated body image in St. Kitts, a Caribbean island where tourism, international media, and relatively high levels of body fat are common. Participants were men and women recruited from St. Kitts (n = 39) and, for comparison, U.S. samples from universities (n = 618) and the Internet (n = 438). Participants were shown computer generated images varying in apparent body fat level and muscularity or breast size and they indicated their body type preferences and attitudes. Overall, there were only modest differences in body type preferences between St. Kitts and the Internet sample, with the St. Kitts participants being somewhat more likely to value heavier women. Notably, however, men and women from St. Kitts were more likely to idealize smaller breasts than participants in the U.S. samples. Attitudes regarding muscularity were generally similar across samples. This study provides one of the few investigations of body preferences in the Caribbean.

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