Perfectionism dimensions, appearance schemas, and body image disturbance in community members and university students

The present study examined the relationship between a self-presentational style involving an extreme need to conceal perceived imperfections from others and body image disturbance (BID). Findings from both a community and a university sample indicated that nondisplay of imperfection (i.e., concerns over behavioral displays of imperfections to others) predicted BID beyond self-imposed perfectionistic expectations and other contributors to BID. Mediational analyses suggested that dysfunctional appearance schemas represent one possible mechanism through which nondisplay of imperfection influences BID. In contrast to earlier work on perfectionism and BID, which emphasized the role of self-imposed perfectionistic expectations, the current study offers a novel view of the connection between perfectionism and BID. That is, rather than striving to achieve perfection, the present study suggests that individuals with BID are characterized by a strong need to avoid appearing imperfect to others.