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9th March, 2022

International Women’s Day: Are we all thin enough yet?


Event Details

9th March, 2022

As part of International Women’s Day, join us for an online talk from Prof Viren Swami about the history of the thin ideal, and its impact on women’s movements for greater equality.

In most socioeconomically developed nations, women experience pressure to be thin. This “thin ideal” is argued to be an important cause of widespread negative body image in women and girls. But when did this thin ideal emerge? And how have different cultures and communities across the globe responded to the thin ideal?

In this talk, Viren traces the history of the thin ideal across time and shows how it emerged as a means of impeding women’s movements for greater equality. He also shows how the thin ideal is now common across most world regions and, in explanation, argues that Westernisation, globalisation, and modernisation have all contributed to the homogenisation of beauty ideals for women.

This has important implications for understanding rates of negative body image across the globe, but Viren will also show how some groups actively challenge the thin ideal.

Viren is Professor of Social Psychology at ARU and Director of the Centre for Psychological Research at Perdana University. His research is focused on body image and human appearance and, separately, the psychology of conspiracy theories.

He is the author of over two hundred academic papers and three books, including Attraction Explained (now in its second edition) and The Psychology of Physical Attraction.

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