men, women, and body image

here’s an interesting abstract from a research study on body image, do men find bony women attractive? it’s a bit woolly, so in the interest of plain language, i translated it:

we always want to know more about eating disorders. one aspect of eating disorders is body image, and particularly negative body image.

a positive body image often results from how we think the opposite sex sees us. that’s true for both women and men.

rochelle bergstrom’s research shows that men’s perceptions in this area are accurate but women believe men want women to be thinner than men actually do. [wow, that’s a strong claim! my bet is that the research shows a tendency for people to think that way but not that they always do that]

women who have such inaccurate perceptions tend to show higher symptoms of eating disorders.

self-worth was also assessed. if self worth depended on appearance, there tended to be negative consequences. in comparison, those whose self-worth was less dependent on appearance felt better, even when they had misjudged how the opposite sex viewed them.

so … what’s the upshot of all this?

1) if you’re a woman, get a reality check on how your desired partners see you.
2) men don’t care nearly as much about women’s body sizes as women do.
3) the less accurate the perception of how your partner sees you, the higher the chances you have an eating disorder.
4) if any of this is a problem for you, find a way to unhinge your self-worth from your appearance. (easier said than done, i know. but there’s help.)

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

(this post can be found in the BOMS carnival)

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