They love reading fashion magazines and do so regularly.
Is it just a coincidence? I asked myself. I decided to do some research. And what I've found online matches my observation: those who read fashion magazines more often are more likely to have a higher level of body dissatisfaction.
Some links I've found:
- http://blamingthemedia.blogspot.ca/2009/09/modelling-models.html " DeGroat (1997) found that reading fashion magazines is significantly related to a woman's body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness"
- http://www.psu.edu/dept/medialab/researchpage/newabstracts/fashion.html "Respondents with high levels of exposure to fashion magazines were less satisfied with their personal physical appearances than were respondents with low levels of fashion magazine exposure."
- http://www.healthguideinfo.com/other-eating-disorders/p110590/ "Adolescent girls who viewed images of thin fashion models subsequently had higher levels of body dissatisfaction than those who did not."
- http://www.ukessays.com/essays/psychology/body-dissatisfaction-and-eating-disorder.php "Harrison and Cantor (1997) found that exposure to thinness portraying and promoting media, especially magazines [emphasis mine], wish for thinness, dissatisfaction with the body, and ineffectiveness in females is rising."
- http://www.mendeley.com/research/influence-fashion-magazines-body-image-satisfaction-college-women-exploratory-analysis/ "As hypothesized, women who viewed fashion magazines preferred to weigh less, were less satisfied with their bodies, were more frustrated about their weight, were more preoccupied with the desire to be thin, and were more afraid of getting fat than were their peers who viewed news magazines."
- http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/12/20/do-fashion-magazines-make-you-feel-fat/ "Want to feel better about your body? Stop reading fashion magazines."
Some simple strategies to improve body image include:
Putting down the magazine.
Make a choice not to subject yourself to ideals and images that will make you feel worse about yourself.
This is sound advice if you are struggling with body dissatisfaction and have a habit of looking at fashion magazines. Not everybody who reads fashion magazines regularly is going to be negatively affected, but there is a relationship between the two. The more you read, the more likely it is to affect how you view yourself physically. The more you subject your brain to the images of thin, photoshopped models, the more likely you are going to start believing on some level that you would be better if you looked like that (and wore clothes like that!)
If you are constantly dissatisfied with your body, feel like you have to hide this or that (under clothes or even under makeup), and you regularly read fashion magazines, do yourself a favour and stop! Start looking at all the real women around you!