Negative implications surrounding the acceptance of body image have introduced an array of challenges and risks to the well being of female students within higher education. Grounded in the process of cognitive development, the pressure to alter oneself to fit the expectations of society’s image of beauty initiates a dissonance between self-acceptance and personal sense-of-belonging (Kopp & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2011, p. 222). This disconnect can be suggested through influences such as autonomous persuasion captured among exterior interpretation, as well as, the prolonged ambition to assume a role within peer affiliation (Tylka & Subich, 2004, p. 314). Overall, such need for acceptance drives participants to abandon healthy self-regulation and principles to acquire assurance within “objectifying” (Tylka & Subich, 2004, p. 315) demands (Kopp & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2011). The following literature review will discuss the existence of recognized negative body image behavior within the realm of higher education. Specifically focused on females, an analysis of theory and research on body perception among college students will be conducted, as well as; an introduction to an expanded view on the probability of promoted behavior within sorority membership.
Psychological promotion and effects of negative body image can be further explained through support in theoretical foundation (Tylka & Subich, 2004). Several theories have explored the dynamics of personal identity in adherence to the pressures of conformity (Boone et al., 2011; Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997; Kopp & Gembreck, 2011;Macdonald & Palfai, 2007; Schrick et. al, 2012; Thompson & Stice, 2001; Tylka & Subich, 2011). Specifically in relation to body image, “sociocultural, personal, and relational” (Tylka & Subich, 2004, p. 314) variables submit a presence within the development of one’s acceptance of personal appearance.
Researchers have focused a great deal on women in relation to distress in body image. Fredrickson and Roberts (1997) introduced a relationship to distress through the viewpoint of self-objectification. In definition, self- objectification theory “posits that girls and women are typically acculturated to internalize an observer’s perspective as a primary view of their physical selves” (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997, p.173). This understanding promotes a skewed self-awareness and instills a longing to achieve an appearance that is sometimes unobtainable to fit into the expectations of group dynamics (Fredrickson & Robinson, 1997; Schrick & Sharp, 2012). This need to belong can be further explored within the additional observation of self-determination theory; where one’s psychological needs are acquired (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Among the needs of autonomy and competency, the aspiration of relatedness is a fundamental foundation in one’s sense of belonging (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Kopp & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2011). Women often resort to regulation of eating habits and...