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Abstract

College students in the United States have been feeling the pressure to conform to societal standards of beauty for generations, as evidenced by the wealth of body image studies that began to take shape in the 1970s (Lowery et al., 2005). Researchers have focused on the way media and advertising affect body image, yet have largely ignored the relationship between body image and identity development. There has been signi cant research completed on body image as a whole. However, there is a need for further research to explore the link between a student’s perception of their body and their sense of self. These elements play a crucial part in shaping the identities of students and, consequently, their experiences. This paper will explore the research that has been completed on body image as well as the possible connection to student identity development.

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