Body image in America is constantly a hot button issue. From movies to magazines, people in the US are constantly bombarded with messages about how they should look. But how does this compare to people outside US borders? To find out, we surveyed 500 people from the United States and 500 people outside the US to get an idea of how differently people see themselves.


According to our survey, women in the US have a worse body image of themselves than women outside of the US. When looking at the overall average scores, American women scored themselves 18% lower than non-American women. In fact, females in the US had lower opinions about every body part we asked our respondents about. When asked specifically if they think women have a positive body image, only about 52% of domestic women said yes, while almost 89% of international women said yes.


While it may surprise some, both categories of our male respondents had lower overall average scores than their female counterparts. However, when we asked our respondents their opinion on whether or not men have a positive body image, the gap between US and non-US men was much smaller than that of women, with over 71% of men in the states saying that men think favorably of their bodies and over 90% of men outside the states feeling the same way.


We asked our respondents how they feel about their bodies, and then pulled the most frequently mentioned words for the above word clouds. One word that is particularly noteworthy is “perfect.” While a decent number of both non-American women and non-American men described their bodies with this adjective, “perfect” doesn’t even make an appearance for either of the American word clouds. Only non-Americans said “slim” and “awesome.” It’s also interesting to look at the words used exclusively by US women (i.e. “age” and “gross”) vs. international men (i.e. “gods” and “gift”).

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