Media images of the ‘body beautiful’ make women feel question their looks and lose confidence in themselves, research suggests.
A study found they feel worse about their bodies when shown pictures of bikini or fashion models.
They made them feel most conscious about their own stomach, followed by their overall weight, then waist, overall appearance and muscle tone.
Next, they evoked negative emotions about their legs, thighs, buttocks, hips, arms and breasts.
Women who viewed bikini/fashion model images showed more interest in dieting and exercising to lose weight compared to those shown pictures of women in paintings or products.
Nearly half said the photos made them feel too embarrassed to wear a swimsuit in public.
‘Our results show that seeing slender and bikini-clad models had an immediate and direct impact on how women feel about their own bodies – and that impact was mostly negative,’ said lead author David Frederick, assistant professor of health psychology at Chapman University in California.
‘Our findings highlight the important wholesale bikinis role of media in shaping women’s feelings about their bodies.