THE WOMAN’S BODY IMAGE IN THE EARLY ADULTHOOD PERIOD
The paper analyzes the model of a woman’s body image and the results of the empirical study of a body image in the early adulthood period. The proposed model includes the spatial component (body boundaries, unconscious and perceptual body image, body scheme); the information-evaluation component (the individual’s visions of own body, its dimensions, forms, a conscious assessment of the spatial and dynamic characteristics of a body, the appearance, the mismatch of the image with the external and internal standards; the reflected image of a body, the representation of intra- and proprioceptive sensations in the consciousness); the energy component (all emotions caused by a body – joy, pleasure, anxiety, dissatisfaction and fears) and the temporary component (the individual history, the unfolding of changes associated with the process of growing up, maturity and then aging). The empirical study demonstrates that although the image of the young women body is quite positive in comparison with the other age periods but at the same time contains a number of contradictions and is largely based on the conflicting sociocultural standards. Among the identified factors determining the body image of a woman during early adulthood, special attention is paid to the sexual experience and feedback from a loving partner and parents. The study proves the influence of feedback from a father but not from a mother on the concern about the weight and body shapes during the early adulthood. The paper gives the typology of a body image of women during the early adulthood period: women with the ambivalent body image with the high body mass index (BMI), women with the ambivalent body image with the low BMI and woman with the positive body image are identified.
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