Acts of appearance management include a range of activities to control the presentation of the body that one makes to self and to others. Appearance management behaviors (AMBs) can be divided into two categories: risky and non-risky. Risky AMBs can all be linked to some threat to health if engaged in for extended periods of time. We investigated body-related variables predicting engagement in three specific categories (i.e., cosmetic procedures, extreme dieting, use of diet aids) of risky AMBs with female undergraduates from the U.S. (n = 349) and from South Korea (n = 338). The predictor variables were objectified body consciousness (OBC) and body image investment (BII). Mediating variables investigated were body comparison (BC) and body satisfaction (BS). Across all risky AMBs investigated and with participants from both countries, as BC increased, BS decreased. Similarly, OBC and BII significantly predicted BC for both groups of women. For Korean women, OBC predicted engagement in cosmetic procedure and extreme dieting through BC. For U.S. women, OBC and BII predicted extreme dieting and use of diet pills through BS. Further, there was a difference between the two countries in terms of the specific risky AMBs engaged in. Korean participants engaged in cosmetic procedures followed by extreme dieting. U.S. participants engaged in the use of diet aids followed by extreme dieting.
- body comparison
- body image investment
- body satisfaction
- objectified body consciousness
- risky behaviors