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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Departmental Seminars

The Departmental Seminar Series focusses on integrated Anthropology and represents Social Anthropology, Evolutionary Anthropology and Anthropology of Health equally. All welcome.

There are no seminars in this series for the dates selected.

November 2019
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Events for 13 November 2019

Lynda Boothroyd: Cultural and ecological predictors of face and body ideals in the context of rapid globalisation

3:00pm, D110, Dawson Building

Cross-cultural studies have found a preference for heavier bodies in populations with reduced access to visual media and increased nutritional stress compared to Western populations. Similarly, early exposure to faces of a given ethnicity can lead to a cognitive processing advantage for such faces in later years. As such there is significant need for further research which unpicks the drivers of cross-cultural variation in beauty ideals. I will discuss data from research examining these issues in a Nicaraguan population experiencing significant changes in media access and broader globalisation. Using a range of converging methodologies, television consumption emerges as a predictor of body weight ideals both across and within participants, while education (perhaps indexing early exposure) affects both facial ethnicity and body weight ideals. Nutritional stress, however, shows very weak associations with any ideals. These results are discussed in the context of bio-cultural impacts on attraction and well-being.

Contact for more information about this event.