“I Want to Feel and Look Beautiful” Voices of Young Adult Banyankole Girls from the Ankole Region of Uganda


  • Ruth Kaziga Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara 1410, Uganda;
  • Charles Muchunguzi Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara 1410, Uganda;
  • Dorcus Achen RHEA, Centre of Expertise on Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality, Vrije Universitet Brussels, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • Susan Kools School of Nursing, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800826, 202 Jeanette Lancaster Way, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA


Older Adolescents girls, Body Image, Self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and satisfaction


Young people who struggle with self-esteem, are much more susceptible to harmful societal messages and struggle with body dissatisfaction. Therefore, body image and self-esteem are integral issues in child development. This paper is part of a PhD study that examined the Older Adolescent Banyankole Girls’ Response to sociocultural constructions of body image in the Ankole Region of Uganda. The paper further describes the barriers and facilitators of body image of older adolescent girls. A narrative inquiry method was used to analyze narrative interviews (N=30) of young adult girls (16-24), recruited from schools as well as the community and key informants who included nutritionists, fashion designers, pageant coaches and beauty influencers (N=5).  Themes that emerged were parental influence, peer influence, media influence on adolescent girls’ body image, and the influence of the fashion industry. There is need for government interventions in school that focus on positive attributes, media regulations and diversity skills of adolescents in order to harness positive feelings for a better generation. At the same time there is need for the government to provide mandatory training for general practitioners on mental health. Here general practitioners can in turn advise parents and caregivers on how to confidently inspire their children from a very early age encouraging a high self-esteem.


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How to Cite

Kaziga, R. ., Muchunguzi, C. ., Achen, D. ., & Kools, S. . (2021). “I Want to Feel and Look Beautiful” Voices of Young Adult Banyankole Girls from the Ankole Region of Uganda. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR), 60(1), 181–199. Retrieved from https://www.gssrr.org/index.php/JournalOfBasicAndApplied/article/view/12985