Seeing is believing: Plus-size models may boost body image
A new study shows that society’s seeming preference for super-skinny models may be only in the eyes of their beholders.
Preliminary research from Durham University in the United Kingdom reveals (yet again!) that what women see in the media shapes their views about their own shape. It seems logical, but it’s a message that’s only recently filtering in to top fashion magazines and couture catwalks – namely that if plus-size models are used in advertising and glam fashion shoots, women will find those body types beautiful and aspirational. And this may also have the side effect of boosting the self-esteem of average and plus-size women.
In the study, the more images of thin models the participants saw, the more they preferred that body type. Yet, when they were shown pictures of plus-size models, their preference shifted to that figure. What this reveals is that women have a much more diverse view of female beauty than our media portrays, and what we’re exposed to absolutely affects our definition of an “ideal body.” Follow-up studies with more women (and men!) are forthcoming.
Related: Plus-size fall fashion guide
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Tell us: Do you think that we’d all be better served by a fashion industry that reflected our true diversity?
Photo: Courtesy of Scenicreflections.com
Diversity is great- but it's not ok to promote unhealthy eating habits and abnormal BMI's as "sexy". It sends a message to kids to go ahead and eat what you want and forget exercize. This is as bad as the old Camel cigarette ads that promoted smoking to kids. It says killing yourself with food is sexy.
Truth be told, this photo is retouched- the actual fat body is globular with divits of cellulite... not ideal to most. I don't think women should be skrawny or anorexic either- I think promoting a healthy size 8-10 over a 2 or an 18 would better serve today's youth.
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