Study Says Plus-Sized Models Make Us Feel Worse, Not Better, About Ourselves
It seems as consumers we’re all very delicate when it comes to what kinds of models we see in advertisements: too skinny and we develop unrealistic expectations of beauty but too plump and our self-esteem takes a dive.
Plumper, curvier models are a trend that found fame in part due to Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, which featured a variety of body shapes and sizes and sought to show a more realistic representation of women. Sadly, for some this approach might backfire as a recent study says that when normal-weight women look at ads featuring curvier/heavier models they feel less enthusiastic about buying the product and actually have lower self-esteem. Of course all women are different and the study found that women with different BMIs (low, normal, and high) react differently to seeing plus sized models, usually depending on who we associate with and who we wish we looked like, but more often than not the end result was a little on the negative side.
Why do you think this is? I think it might just be a side-effect of having been exposed to super-thin images for so long that the harsh contrast is a difficult adjustment — we have to change the way we perceive beauty and we haven’t yet. But on a happier note, the study also found that healthy ‘fit’ models (as opposed to sickly thin ones) are some of the most positively received of all.