One Size Doesn't Fit All: New Continua of Figure Drawings and Their Relation to Ideal Body Image

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Objective: This study introduces a new figure drawing measure, the Presentation of Images on a Continuum Scale (PICS), which includes continua of bodies from thin to obese and thin to muscular for both men and women. Participants: Participants were undergraduate students from a private, Catholic university in Connecticut. The data were collected in the spring of 2010. Methods: Three hundred forty-eight undergraduates completed an online survey that assessed current versus ideal body image as well as attractiveness of body types. Results: Results showed that current versus ideal body selection discrepancies on the PICS among women (but not among men) were related to several negative outcomes involving increased body concerns, less body satisfaction, and lower self-esteem, as well as increased drive for muscularity among men. Study implications are described from a social norming perspective.