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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The meaning and experience of body image : women feeling comfortable with their bodies Tempest, Maureen


A qualitative phenomenological paradigm was utilized to explore the experience and meaning of body image for women feeling comfortable with their bodies. Seven women who felt comfortable with their bodies participated in this study. During individual, in-depth interviews, which were audio-taped, the women described their experience of bodily comfort past and present. The women reported that they experienced becoming comfortable with themselves and their bodies as a developmental process. Five common themes were extrapolated from the data using a thematic analysis procedure devised by Colaizzi (1978). The themes describe the women's experiences of feeling personal validation, of developing increased self worth, of integrating all aspects of themselves, of rejecting some external standards for appearance and behavior, and developing a sense of being at home in their bodies.

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