Sociocultural theory attributes the high levels of body image concerns and disordered eating in Western women to the promotion of an unrealistically thin body ideal. This study investigated body dissatisfaction, restrained eating, and attitudes toward appearance in visually impaired and sighted women. There were 21 congenitally blind, 11 blinded later in life, and 60 sighted. Blind women were more satisfied with their body and dieted less than sighted women. Appearance attitudes, particularly thin-ideal internalization, accounted for differences in body dissatisfaction and dieting among the three groups of women. Possible explanations for our findings are considered, including the importance of visual exposure to the media's thin ideal, as well as the usefulness of future research on blind women.
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