Surprise! We Hate Ourselves: Models "Cause" Low Self Esteem

By Anna Hennings

For some reason, researchers across the globe are compelled to keep proving the obvious about women’s self-esteem and body image. Women see their counterparts in the media, realize they look nothing like them – but want to! – and feel like crap about themselves in response.

While perhaps that’s not explicitly what the studies conclude, that’s how it sounds once it trickles down from the Journal of Consumer Research into mainstream consumption.

Case in point: Researchers from the Netherlands, Germany and Arizona released a study earlier this week that essentially found us ladies feel worse about ourselves after being exposed to models. So unless you’re already underweight (apparently, this group’s esteem went unaffected), once you consume glossies, peruse your favourite fashion and beauty blogs or even watch TV - with shows like Project Runway, America’s and Britain’s Next Top Model, Project Catwalk, and even the Victoria’s Secret annual fashion show filling up prime time – you’re, um, screwed. 

Or rather, a little part of your good hair day or excitement about your new pair of shoes dies on the inside.

The kicker? According to this new study, it’s not just skinny models anymore. It’s all models. Yes, even “plus-sized” women. (“Plus-sized” in quotes because I disagree with the term’s larger-than-you-should-be connotation.)

Women have been fighting beauty standards for decades. So, how is this news?

And more importantly, what are we doing to actually change it? And did we really have to wait for it to be officially “proven” before acting?

Interestingly enough, earlier this month, Brigitte, Germany’s leading women’s magazine, announced they’re nixing professional models from their pages all together. While I doubt that will suddenly create a spike in self-acceptance across their readership, it’s a step in the right direction when a powerhouse sends such a message.

Image via Gi's Flickr

Fri, 16 Oct 2009 18:00 (GMT+01)
1 Response

I can see why it would be "all models" because all models are airbrushed into unreality and give us crazy ideas of so-called norms. If you've seen the short film sponsored by Dove's Real Beauty campaign, the horrifying truth of how a beautiful woman gets turned into an air-brushed, rearranged image is stunning.

K. A. Laity
Fri, 16-Oct-2009 23:56 GMT

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