Kardashian’s figure could encourage women at risk for eating disorders

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Author: Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 31, 2022 (HealthDay News) – The pictures are endless: Celebrities like Kim Kardashian post one steamy video after another on social media. But new research warns that this constant influx of “perfect” bodies can undermine self-esteem young women.

They tend to feel that their own figures are not enough in comparison — whether these influential and famous people are super skinny, super fit or super curvy.

And now it turns out that it’s the so-called “slim-thick” look – portrayed by hourglass beauties like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian – that makes today’s woman most likely feel bad about her own body.

So he finds an analysis that has assessed body image dissatisfaction among 400 students who viewed Instagram images of models and influencers.

“The main conclusion is that comparing to idealized images on Instagram is detrimental to the image of the female body,” explained study author Sarah McComb, a doctor of clinical psychology. candidate at York University in Toronto.

“We found that women who were compared to one of three body types on Instagram, generally experienced an increase weight dissatisfaction, dissatisfaction with appearance and lower overall body satisfaction than those … who have seen pictures of home decoration, ”McComb pointed out.

These types include rails “thin” like a runway model; impossible to “fit in” like an Olympic athlete; or hourglass figures “slim-thick” like Kim Kardashian.

Looking at pictures of any of the three body types has brought a number of women involved in the study, McComb said, undermining young women’s self-confidence to some extent around the world.

But images in which women are more in the form of slender and fat types – tiny waist, large derriere – seemed to trigger relatively higher levels of dissatisfaction with the body, she added.

“The ideals of beauty can certainly change over time,” McComb noted. “For a long time, very thin and slender bodies prevailed in the Western media. However, other types of bodies have recently gained popularity in the mainstream media, such as the ideal fit, which is characterized by a tighter and more athletic body type. even newer. “

The rise of the latter, she noted, probably reflects the huge popularity of household names such as Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, and the prominent marketing of a “female body type characterized by a small waist and straight bellybut big thighs, hips and buttocks. “

Looking at pictures of this idealized body type seemed to cause the greatest degree of body dissatisfaction, the study found, “suggesting that the slim-fat ideal is not a healthier body ideal than the skinny ideal, although the slim-fat ideal is a larger body type,” McComb said.

“These images often depict bodies that are almost impossible to obtain naturally or that are highly mounted without the viewer’s knowledge,” she noted. “[And] while a comparison on social media may not cause it Eating Disorders in isolationcan contribute to poor diet and poor body image among those who are already vulnerable. “

The report was published in the March issue of the journal Body image.

That is a big concern, agreed Chelsea Kronengold, assistant director of communications for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

“In recent years, the media and social messages have considered the‘ slim-fat ’body an ideal body,” Kronengold pointed out. “It is therefore understandable that people with different body shapes have experienced increased dissatisfaction with their body and appearance, especially after looking at and / or comparing themselves to slender images.”

But “people often forget that celebrities and public figures usually have a team of beauty hairdressers, makeup artists and stylists, “Kronengold pointed out.” Also, plastic surgery and the use of digital editing applications or social media filters can create an unrealistic perception of beauty and harmful social comparisons, especially when people who view these images are unaware of the physical or digital changes. “

Lona Sandon, program director of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said she thinks “most women know it’s impossible to achieve such a look in a natural and healthy way, or without restrictive body shaping underwear.”

But “this can be a very disappointing reality that leads to great dissatisfaction because someone has very limited control over their overall body shape,” she added.

And the risk is that disappointment and dissatisfaction may slip over time depressionisolation, low self-esteem and finally obsession with weight loss that can develop into eating disorders such as. anorexia nervosa or bulimiaKronengold explained.

NEDA estimates that about 30 million Americans will struggle with eating disorders at some point in their lives, although Sandon noted that the numbers rose by about 5% between 2000 and 2018.

In fact, Sandon said she believes it is very likely that even more women are quietly battling an eating disorder “as a result of the images they see”.

More information

NEDA has more on how to get help with body image problems and eating disorders.

SOURCES: Sarah McComb, MA, PhD, Clinical Psychology, Department of Health, Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Lona Sandon, PhD, RDN, LD, Program Director and Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Health Professions, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Chelsea Kronengold, Assistant Director of Communications, National Association for Eating Disorders; Body imageMarch 2022

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