Letters: What do you look like?

Dear BCN,

My name’s Nikki, I’m a bi woman, and myself and my friend/colleague Caroline Huxley are both PhD students doing research around bisexual women’s appearance which we’d  really like BCN readers to know about and have the opportunity to take part in.

My research is considering bisexual women’s ‘appearance and visual identities’ including whether or not there’s a ‘bi look’ – and if not why not? I’m looking for volunteers to take part in an interview so that I can hear what bi women think about their (and other people’s) appearance. I’d be asking for your thoughts on appearance and (bi)sexuality and also asking you about stuff like clothes, hair, tattoos, piercings and make-up/beauty practices. I’ve spoken to about a dozen women so far but very few of them are involved with a bisexual community so I’d be especially grateful if you are part of any sort of bi group/community and would like to talk to me. If you’re interested in hearing more then please email me on [email protected] and I’ll send you some more details about me and the study.

I also have some more research on the go – still around the area of appearance and
sexuality but a questionnaire/survey this time. Caroline and I are are doing separate
studies, but have combined the survey for the purposes of finding out more people’s
opinions. Very little past research has asked much about appearance or body satisfaction and sexuality because most researchers just assume that everyone is heterosexual. We’d like to find out more by asking women of all sexualities to fill out our survey. If you’d like to help us learn more about what women of different sexualities think about appearance and sexuality then more details and the survey can be found at:
www.survey.uwe.ac.uk/appearance. We also have a Facebook group at:
www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=75803140561. At the end of the survey you get the chance to be entered into a £50 prize draw! We’ve managed to get about 100 people to fill it in so far, but we need lots more and we’re especially keen to hear from bi women.

If you decide you’d like to be involved with either/both of these studies then we’d make
sure you remain anonymous and anything you contribute will be confidential. We would really love it if you can find the time to take part.

Thank you
Nikki Hayfield and Caroline Huxley
Postgraduate Researchers, Centre for Appearance Research,
Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, BS16 1QY