More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Seeing realistic female images helps protect women against eating disorders - March 03, 2005

According to recent research from the United States, "Although frequent exposure to very thin female models is likely the norm for American women, exposure to attractive, average-weight models is likely unusual and may therefore be influential."

S.M. Fister and colleagues, University of Kentucky, "hypothesized that women at risk for eating disorders who are exposed to attractive, average-weight models would endorse fewer expectancies for reinforcement from thinness than would other women."

Their study results supported this: "High-risk women exposed to average-weight model images were less likely to endorse thinness/restricting expectancies than those who were exposed to thin models or to control images," the psychologists reported.

"Media exposure to realistic female images appears to lessen the relationship between at-risk status and subsequent endorsement of thinness/restricting expectancies and may therefore disrupt the risk process," they stated.

Fister and coauthors published their study in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (Media effects on expectancies: Exposure to realistic female images as a protective factor. Psychol Addict Behav, 2004;18(4):394-397).

For additional information, contact G.T. Smith, University of Kentucky, Dept. of Psychology, 115 Kastle Hall, Lexington, KY 40506, USA.

Publisher contact information for the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors is: Educational Publishing Foundation, 750 First St., NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, USA.


Realistic Images?

Yes, I agree, seeing realistic images could help or deter one from feeling so worthless and inadequate. BUT, whenever our society, our media, our TV, etc. constantly shows us these "perfect" people, it is quite easy to feel inadequate.... such as the case here and with myself.


Thing is, witsend, those people aren't perfect, either. If you could be professionally prepared for every live performance, enhanced with makeup, lights, camera angles, etc., you wouldn't recognize yourself. If you could afford, and wished to go through, the plastic surgery that so many of those "perfect people" have had, you could be "perfect", too. If you could afford a dietary counsellor, a cook, a personal trainer...well, you see what I'm getting at.

Those people aren't perfect, hon. They're not even what they appear to be. If you saw them without the enhancements, you'd probably (in many cases) be asking yourself: "How the heck did that person get where they are?" Besides, there's a lot more to a person than an exterior. ;o)

just mary

Sometimes I think to myself when I see these "perfect-looking" people that if they didn't look that way, they wouldn't have a job. That is, if Nicole Kidman put on 50 pounds and let her hair go back to it's natural color, would she be able to find work?? I hope this doesn't sound mean-spirited but at least I know that in the work I do, it really doesn't matter what I look like, what's important is what I think and do.


MARY1968.......Mam, I believe you really hit home with your post. My answer is: NO!!! They would not be able to find work---at least in their their salry! (HAHA) Ditto for athletes who take steroids...NOT so much about "the look"!

just mary

Just wanted to add one more thing, to clarify my point,

If a celebrity (mainly the female variety) doesn't look good, she doesn't work, the exceptions to this rule are few and far between. Acting is her bread and butter, it's what she does for a living. Yes, she is well overpaid but so are drug dealers and used car salesman.

One example of this Hollywood oddness is the casting of Charlize Theron in "Monster". Hoolywood couldn't hire someone who looked like the main character, they had to take a "beautiful" actress and make her unattractive. Go figure.

just mary

Hey witsend,

Thanks for the reply, I posted my second reply before I saw your reply, so I hope I didn't sound rude or anything.



Hello Mary!

No, you did not sound rude in the least! You really express your thoughts well and seem to possess a high dgree of intelligence....KEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

I just hope my post has just "some" of those elements...LOL

Take care!
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