Abstract: Overweight and obese (“heavyweight”) people devalue themselves because, it has been proposed, they are socially devalued. However, for women, social valuation depends not only on how much weight they carry but where on their bodies they carry it. Here, we investigate whether weight-based self-valuation and perceived social valuation also depend on body shape. Study 1, using a nationally-representative sample from NHANES (N=1,093 reproductively-aged women), showed that, controlling for body fat, weight labeling (by self and others) and wanting to lose weight depended on weight location. Study 2, in a direct test of predictions using an undergraduate sample of women (N=215), showed that with increased body fat, women with an abdominal weight distribution reported more self-devaluation (e.g., lower self-esteem) and perceived social devaluation (e.g., higher perceived weight discrimination); women with a gluteofemoral weight distribution, however, were shielded—partially or fully—from these adverse effects of increased body fat.
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