Salience of physical appearance characteristics among young women in Thailand
McCreary, Linda L.
Park, Chang G.
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Our aim in the present study was to identify key components of physical appearance among young Thai women. Free listings, focus groups and pile sorting were used. One-hundred twenty young women generated 78 unique physical appearance characteristics. Ninety-four nursing students validated these characteristics in focus groups and then sorted them into piles that reflected separate domains of physical appearance and labeled them. Salience analysis revealed that facial appearance (e.g., bright facial skin, high nose bridge, big eyes) was the most important domain, followed by body weight and shape, skin color and texture, hair (color, texture, length), and ‘other’ physical appearance (e.g., slender neck, slim fingers). This is the first study to identify aspects of physical appearance that are most salient to young Thai women and that may differ from women in other cultural contexts. These findings could be used to develop culturally grounded measures of physical appearance in Thai women.