Document Type


Date of Original Version



Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how dimensions of body image relate to product involvement among gay men.

Design/methodology/approach: A survey consisting of body image and product involvement measures was administered to 147 self-identified gay men. Multiple regression was used to examine the relations of the significant body image variables to each of the consumer behavior outcomes in separate analyses.

Findings: The more the men were behaviorally invested in their appearance predicted a higher frequency of shopping each month for apparel and grooming-related products. The stronger the men’s psychological drive to have a lean body and the more they focused on their appearance and invested in their looks, the more likely they were to view apparel as important to them. The more psychologically and behaviorally involved the gay men reported being with their appearance, the more importance they gave to grooming-related products.

Research limitations/implications: The sample was drawn primarily from a college population, limiting findings to this age cohort.

Practical implications: The findings of the current research demonstrate the importance of appearance management products to the gay market, where commodities are often used to enhance or maintain a perceived self-image. Retailers can use this information to establish appropriate service options and effective marketing initiatives.

Originality/value: This study replicated others that have investigated gay men’s involvement in consumer products. However, the current study looked at the relationship between involvement and body image.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management