Body size and shape characteristics of personal (“in search of”) ads

Arnold E. Andersen, Paul J. Woodward, Adela Spalder, Marlene Koss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study investigated sociocultural norms for height, weight, and body shape by analyzing 481 personal ads in a large metropolitan city magazine to determine self‐report characteristics of males and females seeking companionship as well as the desired height, weight, and shape characteristics of the person being sought. Seventy percent of ads specified weight, shape, or height characteristics and of those ads most were heterosexual Caucasian males and females. Male searchers described themselves as tall, fit, and athletic, but of average weight. Female searchers described themselves as petite or tall and fit with body weight as significantly less (89.4%) than the ideal body weight. Male searchers sought females 5 years younger, thin, fit, petite or tall. Women seekers sought men 3 years older, tall, fit, and athletic. These ads confirmed the use of stereotyped and highly athletic body size and shape for self‐descriptions and for characteristics of companions sought. © 1993 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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