Women Learn Body Diversity is Beautiful

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Jan 03, 2013

Open a magazine or turn on a TV and you will probably be exposed to one body type, the impossibly thin. Many feel that the media is super saturated with images of thin women and fails to relate to the majority of average-sized women.

Seeing these images on a daily basis has to have some affect on us, often making us feel inadequate or frustrated that no matter how much we diet and exercise we can’t look this way. One new study is now suggesting that if we were simply to be shown a variety of different body types, our idea of beauty would be turned on its head.

Jezebel reports about the study published in the journal PlosOne that finds women quickly become more comfortable with an array of different body types when they are shown pictures of other women displaying various shapes and sizes. Showing them differing body types seems to reset their brain’s standard of beauty, making it more accepting of he average women we see on the street every day rather than in a magazine.

The women involved in the study were shown images of other women’s bodies wearing neutral colored leotards. Lynda Boothroyd, lead author of the study and a psychology researcher at Durham University in England, explains how the “visual diet” works to change what your eyes eat. Boothroyd says, “Showing them thin bodies makes them like thin bodies, more, and showing them fat bodies makes them like fat bodies more.” She adds that participants still, “preferred thinner-than-average bodies, but their preferences did move up or down depending on what they saw.”

What do you think of the new study suggesting women become more accepting of different body types when they are shown images of various body shapes and sizes?

Do you think the way media usually only portrays one very thin body type is harmful to a woman’s self confidence and perception of beauty?

Make a Comment

JuliaSpeaks by JuliaSpeaks | OLDSMAR, FL
Jan 30, 2013

I love this. I'm not VERY large, but I'm heavier than most people at my school. I have fat thighs, and a large stomach with muffin top and love handles. I would love to see at least someone in a twenty to thirty lb difference between me and them. I go to the mall, and can't buy at a lot of stores unless buy a large. I'm not large, I'm just a little above where I'd like to be. All clothes are made to fit one hundred lb teenage girls (which frankly isn't how much most of us weigh). This is why so many young people have eating disorders! Not because they're fat, but because the society makes them believe that they are.

amanda7536 by amanda7536 | RUTLAND, VT
Jan 12, 2013

I think that there needs to be more clothing catologes with average woman modeling the clothes. I have thick legs and I hate looking for clothes online and in magazines and having no idea what the clothes will look like on me, because the girl in the picture has little skinny legs.