Women’s bodies are scrutinized and objectified in western societies broadly. For servicewomen however, the military is a specific site where women’s bodies receive close examination and scrutiny. Military members must adhere to height-based weight standards to remain in compliance. For servicewomen, the military is an important part of their life, and as such, it has a pivotal role in shaping their identity. The purpose of this study is to examine women’s experiences of managing and responding to the weigh-ins, particularly the ways it shapes their collective self-esteem. Data for this study consist of ten qualitative interviews conducted with servicewomen. Findings demonstrate that women struggle to meet the weight standards, feel devalued when they cannot do so, and sometimes construct counternarratives to reject negative self-evaluations.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Human Services Planning and Administration
Sociology and Corrections
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Ford, L. M. (2021). Women in combat boots: U.S. servicewomen’s collective self-esteem and adherence to weight regulations [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/1176
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.