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Revista mexicana de trastornos alimentarios

On-line version ISSN 2007-1523


VALDEZ-HERNANDEZ, Verónica; BOJORQUEZ, Ietza; EGUILUZ ROMO, Luz de Lourdes  and  UNIKEL, Claudia. “You have to be slim!” Epiphanies: Body image construction in middle-aged women. Rev. Mex. de trastor. aliment [online]. 2017, vol.8, n.1, pp.63-71. ISSN 2007-1523.

This paper explores the experiences that influenced the construction of body image and the adoption of body change strategies in Mexican women of middle-age. A qualitative study was conducted on eight women (35-50 years old). The data were collected through an individual semi-structured interview, and other two methodological tools: the lifeline and the family tree. Information was gathered during four working sessions lasting two hours each and subsequently transcribed verbatim. The analysis revealed experiences that marked the women's lives, called epiphanies. These epiphanies included: divorces, separations, comments regarding their bodies, parents concerned about their weight (either their own or their daughters’) and messages promoting slenderness as a means of achieving both personal and professional success since childhood. The findings of this research show that body dissatisfaction not only affects teenagers and young women, but also middle-aged women. Continuing with this type of research will also make it possible to define the elements that contribute to the prevention of body dissatisfaction and risky eating behaviors.

Keywords : Body image; Body dissatisfaction; Epiphanies; Women adults; Middle-aged.

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