The influence of race, ethnicity, class, and sexual politics on lesbians' body image

J Homosex. 2000;40(2):49-64. doi: 10.1300/J082v40n02_04.


Based on interviews conducted with eight lesbians, this paper explores how the intersection of gender, sexual identity, race, ethnicity, and class affect lesbians' feelings about their bodies. Their responses suggest that, while being female has a strong effect on lesbians' feelings about their bodies, issues of race, acculturation, and class also affect body image. Lesbian feminism and S/M politics also appear to play a significant role in lesbians' body image. These findings highlight the limitations of existing theories about body image and call for a more complex theory incorporating a more diverse range of experiences.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Image*
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Politics
  • Racial Groups
  • Socioeconomic Factors