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Female Beauty Evolved: A thematic analysis exploring body image and life satisfaction amongst mature women

Stockman, Rebecca (2017) Female Beauty Evolved: A thematic analysis exploring body image and life satisfaction amongst mature women. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Considerable research suggests that body image influences individuals psychosocial functioning, however limited research observes this in relation to life satisfaction. This qualitative study aimed to explore how older women perceive their body image through personal experience of life satisfaction. Previous literature on body image focuses on a younger demographic (Grogan, 1999). Therefore, the present study explores body image from a grandmother demographic. The epistemological framework for this research is social constructionism. To create an account of different perspectives, feelings and experiences, five individuals who were over the age of fifty and a grandmother were recruited using an opportunity sample. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using Braun and Clarke (2006) thematic analysis. Four highlighting themes were elicited: ‘Changing Perceptions of Beauty’, ‘Bodily Changes’, ‘Sociocultural Pressures on Ageing’ and ‘Engagement in Physical Activity’. These findings suggest that older women’s perceptions of their body image may have an impact on their life satisfaction. Limitations of these results are discussed in full

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