Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design
Textile, Fashion Merchandising and Design
Body dissatisfaction, transgender, gender identity, body image, gender dysphoria
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine how transgender individuals experience their bodies (e.g. body dissatisfaction) and how their body experience affects their shopping and clothing experiences. Clothing is often used as a way to define and express oneself. Therefore, if transgender individuals have a negative shopping experience and a negative outlook on clothing, it could make it more difficult to express their true identity. Society places extremely high expectations on individuals regarding appearance, which can be psychologically and emotionally difficult for cisgender individuals, but even more egregious for those individuals who do not fit society’s conventional gender categories with respect to appearance and behavior. We used a sample of 250 transgender individuals, with 182 being female to male and 68 being male to female. The participants ranged from 18 to 74. Through a survey gender identity, body image, and consumer behavior were analyzed through multiple choice and open response questions. Many transgender individuals felt uncomfortable with their bodies and felt negatively about themselves. However, many feel more comfortable with themselves after transitioning or receiving some type of treatment or procedure. The data also revealed that there are very limited product options for transgender individuals and finding clothing that fits correctly is extremely difficult. Many transgender individuals feel uncomfortable shopping in public and trying on items in fitting rooms.