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An exploration of bisexual, lesbian, and heterosexual women's body dissatisfaction, and body hair and make-up practices

Hayfield, Nikki; Halliwell, Emma; Clarke, Victoria

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Abstract

Body image pressures for heterosexual women are well established. However, lesbian body image is less well understood, while bisexual women have largely been overlooked with the psychological literature. Further, women's investment in ‘traditional’ appearance practices associated with femininity are underexplored. The current study explored differences between 472 heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual women on measures of body satisfaction, body hair practices, and cosmetics use. While there were no significant differences between body satisfaction scores, lesbian and bisexual women had more positive attitudes to body hair, and were less likely to remove hair from particular parts of their bodies, than heterosexual women. Cosmetics use was highest among heterosexual women, significantly lower among bisexual women, and lowest among lesbians. We argue that these results highlight the importance of exploring the distinctiveness of bisexual, lesbian and heterosexual women's appearance concerns and appearance practices.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 31, 2017
Journal Psychology of Sexualities Section Review
Print ISSN 2047-1467
Publisher British Psychological Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 2
Pages 55-67
APA6 Citation Hayfield, N., Halliwell, E., & Clarke, V. (2017). An exploration of bisexual, lesbian, and heterosexual women's body dissatisfaction, and body hair and make-up practices. Psychology of Sexualities Section Review, 8(2), 55-67
Keywords appearance, bisexuality, body image, LGBT+, make-up, sexuality
Publisher URL http://www.bps.org.uk/publications/member-network-publications/member-publications/psychology-sexualities-review

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