The assessment of body image in adolescence plays a key role to investigate self-esteem development and social adjustment. In particular, adolescents today use more and more online tools to communicate with other people and virtual body image represents a critical aspect to understand the avatar development. This study aims to investigate virtual body representation by using the “Drawing Me” graphical test with a group of Italian adolescents. Specifically we compared body image representation in real (drawings) and virtual (avatar) life taking in consideration gender differences. Results show that virtual body representation is more characterized by body, face and clothes sexual features and by a major number of context elements than real body representation. Gender differences confirm that females tend to represent themselves with more details than boys and their avatar are rich of sexual characters. To conclude, our study illustrates that the Drawing Me Test is an effective tool to analyze the virtual body representation in an unobtrusive way and intervention implications are discussed.
- body image
- body representation