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Keywords:

  • body image;
  • clothing size;
  • self-esteem

This study examined the effect of clothing size on women’s self-esteem and body image and whether those findings were related to age or body size. Data were obtained in a two-phase experimental study in which subjects were asked to achieve fit in pants that either “ran small” or “ran large.” Smaller sizes were found to have a positive effect on body image, particularly for younger women. Larger subjects felt more positive about their bodies when they achieved fit in a smaller size. However, the need for a larger size did not have a significant effect on either self-esteem or body image.