A recent study done by a group of researchers at Ohio State University interviewing a select group of 140 women found that when women looked at images of other women in a magazine for five days straight who were fit, in shape and thin started to think differently about the way that they carried themselves. This study was conducted over a 10-day period where all participants where then interviewed at the end. The results where interesting to everyone.
“But the boost in body image came with a catch. Those women whose body satisfaction improved the most also were more likely to report that they engaged in dieting behaviors such as skipping meals or cutting carbohydrates during the course of the study.
That suggests these women may be inspired by the images they view and become momentarily hopeful that they can improve their own body shape and possibly even achieve the same thin-ideal bodies they see in the magazines, said Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, co-author of the study and associate professor of communication at Ohio State University.”
It is interesting to see how a select group of women all of a sudden viewed their body image in an entirely different light simply from looking at a series of images of other thin women. We are saturated in our media with images depicting how the body is supposed to look according to some standard. Media plays a very strong role when it comes to motivation amongst the community of individuals which might not be completely happy with their body types.
“But this study’s design included a more realistic simulation of how women actually use the media, she said. The women viewed full magazine pages with text, instead of only photos of ideal bodies, as in many of the earlier studies. As a result, the findings can help explain why fitness and beauty magazines remain popular, even though their images may make many women ultimately feel inadequate and unsatisfied with their bodies.
The magazines attract women because they give a short-term boost in body image, but they also set up unrealistic expectations. When women don’t achieve the body they want, they are disappointed and then likely come back to the magazines for more advice and inspiration,”