Thursday, November 20, 2014

Your Thinspiration Should Not Come From Fashion and Beauty Magazines

Joan Smalls for U.S. edition of ELLE.

IT is generally known that the model (starlet, singer) on the cover of Vogue is airbrushed. After all, nobody's skin, aside from that of a newborn or toddler, is that smooth and clear. The Mademoiselle cover model may have even had plastic surgery or breast augmentation.

More important, she may be naturally that thin. It's possible, too, that she had some procedure to look so thin. In other words, these are unrealistic images in ELLE. Yet, women consume these magazines in mass quantities. Why? Why bother?

One answer may reside in some of the latest research on the subject of idealized body images in media, particularly fashion and beauty magazines, and body dissatisfaction among the masses (of women).

It seems that women draw thinspiration from these unrealistic images. That is, they actually believe that they can look like that, too. This sort of thinking, however, is unhealthy, asserts the study's author.

Lily Donaldson for Harper's Bazaar Brazil.

“Women get the message that they can look just like the models they see in the magazines, which is not helpful,” Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick told the Ohio State University (OHS) news service. “It makes them feel better at first, but in the long run women are buying into these thinness fantasies that just won’t come true.”

SK-W is a communications professor at OHS. An article detailing the results of her study, Thinspiration: Self-Improvement Versus Self-Evaluation Social Comparisons with Thin-Ideal Media Portrayals, appears in a recent online edition of the journal, Health Communication ... More shortly.

Visit to read an abstract of Thinspiration: Self-Improvement Versus Self-Evaluation Social Comparisons with Thin-Ideal Media Portrayals or to purchase the article in its entirety.

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