The Stigma of Obesity in Women: The Difference is Black and White

  title={The Stigma of Obesity in Women: The Difference is Black and White},
  author={Michelle R. Hebl and Todd F. Heatherton},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  pages={417 - 426}
This study examined whether there is subcultural variation in the stigma of obesity. Black and White women rated photographs of thin, average, and large Black and White women on a number of evaluative dimensions. The photographs depicted professional models dressed in fashionable clothing. Results showed that White women rated large women, especially large White women, lower on attractiveness, intelligence, job success, relationship success, happiness, and popularity than they did average or… 

The Stigma of Obesity: What About Men?

An accumulation of research has shown that women (particularly White women) stigmatize obesity and are stigmatized for being obese (e.g., Crocker, Cornwell, & Major, 1993; Hebl & Heatherton, 1997).

Black/White Differences in Perceived Weight and Attractiveness among Overweight Women

The study findings provide further support for the buffering hypothesis, indicating that despite higher body mass, overweight Black women are less susceptible to thin body ideals than White women.

Are black-white differences in females' body dissatisfaction decreasing? A meta-analytic review.

The authors examined temporal trends in Black-White differences and also examined whether these differences generalize across various age groups and measures, finding more favorable body image evaluations among Black than White females.

Stigmatized students: age, sex, and ethnicity effects in the stigmatization of obesity.

Although the stigmatization of obesity was high among participants overall, African- American women seemed to have more positive attitudes toward obesity than did white women, white men, or African-American men, andAfrican-American women liked obese peers more than did black men, black women, or white women.

The Stigma of Obesity: A Review and Update

This review expands upon previous findings of weight bias in major domains of living, documents new areas where weight bias has been studied, and highlights ongoing research questions that need to be addressed to advance this field of study.

Do Racial Minorities Respond in the Same Way to Mainstream Beauty Standards? Social Comparison Processes in Asian, Black, and White Women

Some members of stigmatized groups, such as Asian women, may be more likely to experience negative self-evaluations after exposure to a mainstream beauty standard than members of other stigmatized

Is Fat a Feminist Issue? Exploring the Gendered Nature of Weight Bias

Although research and scholarship on weight-based stigma have increased substantially in recent years, the disproportionate degree of bias experienced by fat women has received considerably less

Coloring Weight Stigma: On Race, Colorism, Weight Stigma, and the Failure of Additive Intersectionality

  • R. Reece
  • Economics
    Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
  • 2018
America’s obsession with obesity has spawned increasing amounts of research examining how body size shapes social outcomes. Generally, body size negatively correlates with these outcomes, with larger



Attitudes toward body size and dieting: differences between elderly black and white women.

Compared with Black women, White women perceived themselves to be larger and reported a lower ideal body weight and among those who were not overweight, Black women were half as likely as White women to consider themselves overweight.

"Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours": Consistency and variability in the cross-cultural perception of female physical attractiveness.

The consistency of physical attractiveness ratings across cultural groups was examined. In Study 1, recently arrived native Asian and Hispanic students and White Americans rated the attractiveness of

Socioeconomic status and obesity: a review of the literature.

A review of 144 published studies of the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and obesity reveals a strong inverse relationship among women in developed societies and values congruent with the distribution of obesity by SES in different societies.

Stereotypes and ethnocentrism: diverging interethnic perceptions of African American and white American youth.

Examining issues of perceived variability and ethnocentrism among samples of White American and African American youth to examine theoretical issues in stereotyping and to describe the current state of ethnic interrelations among young people.

The Ideology of Anti‐Fat Attitudes1

We surveyed over 1,000 undergraduates about their attitudes toward fatness and fat people. A consistent pattern of attitudes emerged: People who were anti-fat shared an ideologically conservative

The Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race in American Psychology

The study of culture and related concepts, such as ethnicityand race, in American psychology are examined in thisarticle. First, the conceptual confusion and ways in whichculture, ethnicity, and race

Obesity in black adolescent girls: a controlled clinical trial of treatment by diet, behavior modification, and parental support.

Weight reduction was associated with significant improvements in body composition, serum total cholesterol concentrations, and psychological status and the greater the number of sessions attended by mothers, the greater their daughters' weight losses.

Prejudice against fat people: ideology and self-interest.

  • C. Crandall
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 1994
Fatism appears to behave much like symbolic racism, but with less of the negative social desirability of racism, and three commonalities between antifat attitudes and racism were explored.

Social stigma and self-esteem: The self-protective properties of stigma.

Although several psychological theories predict that members of stigmatized groups should have low global self-esteem, empirical research typically does not support this prediction. It is proposed

Bias against overweight job applicants in a simulated employment interview.

Results suggested that bias against hiring overweight job applicants does exist, especially for female applicants, and was most pronounced when applicants were rated by Ss who were satisfied with their bodies and for whom perceptions of their bodies were central to self-concept.