Young women risk trying to emulate fantasy images, developing eating disorders
Viewing media images of thin, glamorous models may have a positive effect on young womens self-image - but it may still lead to destructive dieting behaviour, says a University of Toronto study.
"The traditional assumption about body image is that exposure to thin images in the media makes young women feel bad about themselves, leading to dieting and, in extreme cases, to eating disorders," says co-author and psychology professor Peter Herman. "But our findings suggest that these images may actually make young women feel good about themselves because they treat that image as a fantasy goal, thinking, She looks great and I could look like that, too. However, although this fantasy may make them feel good initially, young women who are really super-invested in trying to emulate this image may be the ones who go on to develop a true eating disorder."
Jessica Whiteside | University of Toronto
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