Tags: model | weight | ads | women

Can Plus-Size Models Improve Body Image?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 10:00 AM

The pressure many women feel to be thin could be significantly eased if advertisers used more plus-size models, new research suggests.
Durham University researchers, who studied the attitudes of more than 100 women, concluded using more models who are representative of the general population — that is, not obsessively thin — would ultimately help girls and women develop a healthier attitude toward eating and weight.
The study, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE, found women who habitually strongly preferred thin body shapes were significantly less enamored of thin bodies after being shown pictures of plus-size catalogue models. By contrast, those bombarded with images of only slim models tended to prefer thin bodies.
"This really gives us some food for thought about the power of exposure to super-slim bodies,” said lead researcher Lynda Boothroyd, M.D., from Durham University's Department of Psychology. “There is evidence that being constantly surrounded through the media by celebrities and models who are very thin contributes to girls and women having an unhealthy attitude to their bodies.
"Although we don't yet know whether brief exposure to pictures of larger women will change women's attitudes in the long term, our findings certainly indicate that showing more 'normal' models could potentially reduce women's obsession for thinness."
Susan Ringwood, head of the U.K. eating disorders charity, Beat, said changing views on body image could have a significant positive impact on women’s health.
“We see an average of 2,000 images a day in advertising alone, and most of these include bodies that are more slender than average,” she said. “Increasing the diversity of body shapes and sizes portrayed in the media could rebalance our views about our own bodies in an emotionally healthy way."

© HealthDay

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The pressure women feel to be thin could be eased if advertisers used more plus-size models, new research suggests.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 10:00 AM
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