Women are also more likely to feel ashamed of their bodies when they feel they are being watched by others, as opposed to self-critiquing behind a dressing room door. In the survey, 70 percent of the women were normal weight, yet considered themselves to be slightly overweight. To help calm dressing-room fears, researchers suggested that store owners might want to avoid displaying stick-thin mannequins and posters.
However, a new study, also published in Sex Roles, found that a woman's body image — in or out of the dressing room — is determined by much more than just mannequins. Five distinct factors influence how positive a woman's body image is likely to be, researchers at the University of Arizona found after surveying 301 first-year college women. And, they say, knowing these factors could help prevent eating disorders.
Here are the factors researchers found to positively influence self-image:
- A supportive family.
- Little pressure to conform to a body "ideal."
- A rejection of the concept of the "thin and beautiful" ideal woman.
- Positive feelings about their body's abilities, as opposed to just shape.
- The strategies necessary to healthfully cope with stress.
"It is particularly important for women to develop a sense of self-worth that is not solely based on appearance, and to build resilience to pressures they may receive from family, friends and the media," Snapp said.
Courtesy of www.everydayhealth.com