Can reading magazines and having a gay best friend really boost your body image?
Discover seven simple ways to make you feel better about your body…
Stop believing in the perfect body
A professor at North Carolina State University looked at pictures of 6,300 women – and guess how many had a perfect hourglass figure? Eight percent. 46 were rectangular, 20 pear shaped, and 14 were inverted triangles. Point being: you’re not the only one without Barbie’s measurements.
Put your best breast forward
Plastic surgeons at Case Medical Center in Cleveland surveyed 160 sets of identical-twin sisters and rated their breasts. Women who wore bras, stayed slim, and avoided smoking, alcohol and the sun had better-looking breasts than their twins who did not.
There’s an idea that looking at airbrushed and idealised photographs contributes to irrational expectations for women. But research from Ohio State University found just the opposite. In one study, women read magazines over five days; those who only saw thin, beautiful women rated their own body image higher than they did at the start of the study.
Shop when you’re distracted
Researchers in Amsterdam found that the longer people had to deliberate over certain decisions, the less happy they were with their ultimate choice. Those who were engaged in another task while they made their decision were the happiest. So rather than trying on everything in the store, why not online shop when you’re on a conference call? Processing and memory are actually heightened during unconscious thought.
Employ the secret
Guess what? Feeling better about your body actually makes you eat less, at least according to a Portuguese study of 239 overweight women. So rather than focusing on everything you can’t stand about yourself (your thighs! your stomach!) focus on the parts you do like (your back! your pretty hair! your skin!). Chances are, you’re less likely to binge out, and more likely to edge towards the body you really want.
Get a gay bestie
Although they’re not exactly sure why, a survey of 154 straight women who had at least one close gay male friend had more positive feelings of sexual attractiveness than those who didn’t.
Wear a good outfit
71 percent of women believed that changing their clothes could affect their mood for the better. So slip into something more cheerful. The most preferred outfit for women in a bad mood is a baggy top over jeans; when happy, tailored, form-fitting items in bright and beautiful fabrics are preferred.