A new study found that women are more likely to pay attention to images featuring plus-size models than ones of their slimmer colleagues.
Researchers at Florida State University surveyed 49 college-aged women who all wanted to be thinner. The women were shown photos of thin and plus-size models and were then asked about how satisfied they were with their own bodies.
When the participants were shown slim models, they were more likely to compare them with their own bodies and spent less time focusing on the images themselves.
But the opposite happened when plus-size figures were shown. At that point, the women surveyed reported higher levels of satisfaction with their own bodies, and paid more attention to the models themselves.
As Jessica Ridgway, assistant professor in the Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development at Florida State University, wrote in a press release: “We found overwhelmingly that there is a clear psychological advantage when the media shows more realistic body types than the traditional thin model.”