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Exploring Body Image in Women Experiencing the World of Burlesque Dancing using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

Clare, Jenna (2018) Exploring Body Image in Women Experiencing the World of Burlesque Dancing using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Contemporary body image research has focused on the impacts of positive body image over negative body image. Dance has been frequently related to body image outcomes, with sexualised forms of dance often resulting in negative body image. Recent research however disagrees and suggests that sexualised forms of dance, such as recreational pole dance and belly dance, can be empowering, enjoyable and improve positive body image. This study aims to broaden this research and explore the effects that burlesque dancing has on body image. Using semi-structured interviews, eight female burlesque dancer’s experiences were analysed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Three themes were identified, experiences before burlesque, acceptance, and impacts beyond burlesque. Results indicated that burlesque increased positive body image by allowing women to accept their bodies. This resulted in improved well-being and mental health in general life. Access to safe spaces was also identified as an original predictor of positive body image. Findings suggest that burlesque could be used as a positive intervention for individuals wishing to improve body image and well-being. This is a novel study and the first to explore body image in relation to burlesque

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