Media representation affects the self-esteem and overall mental health of consumers. New research confirms that plus-size models are better for our mental health than thinner models, Huffington Post reports.
Researchers from Florida State University conducted a study called, “Is plus size equal?” and discovered that women were more likely to report a positive psychological reaction to images plus-sized models. This finding further advances the argument for increased diversity and representation across media.
FSU scientists focused on the modeling industry and how various images impacted the participants. The scientists focused on three categories: women’s cognitive resource allocation, social comparisons, and body satisfaction.
The team observed 49 college-aged women who reported issues with body image and the desire to be thinner. These participants were shown images of models of varying sizes – thin, average, and plus.
The women then answered questions about how they felt about their own bodies and how they compared themselves to the images of the models.
Results showed that images of thinner women caused participants to feel worse about themselves and compare themselves to the models. However, when the participants were shown average or plus-sized models, they made fewer comparisons and ultimately felt better about their own bodies.
“Women reported the greatest body satisfaction and the least amount of social comparisons when viewing plus-size models, but body satisfaction decreased and social comparisons increased when viewing average sized following by thin sized models,” the study reported. Best Online Casinos