Perception of physical beauty among boys and girls in Hong Kong

Kara K W Chan, Maggie Fung, Tabitha Thomas

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Beauty is an important currency in how we see ourselves and others. Hong Kong is flooded with commercial messages on physical attractiveness. How do children respond to the beauty culture so prevent in our society? This study aims at (1) examining the cultural concepts of beauty, and (2) how children perceive the relationship between physical attractiveness, personality and friendship. We asked 114 children aged 9 to 12 to draw and verbalize a girl or a boy who was described as good-looking, and a girl or a boy described as not so good-looking. Results indicated that most of the interviewees associated “being not so good-looking” with ugliness. Physical beauty was associated with personality, social relations, happiness, and materialism. Results show a strong stereotype of “beauty-is-good”. Further studies are needed to identify source of the stereotypes and how these perceptions may affect children’s choices in their daily lives.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeyond the stereotypes?: Images of boys and girls, and their consequences
ISBN (Print)9789187957765
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Publication series

NameYearbook (The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media), 2017


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