Good news: women have better body image now than ever before
Here at HelloGiggles, we think it’s important to discuss body image, body acceptance and body positivity — they’re subjects we talk about a lot and want to improve upon in our world. Turns out, we’re on the right track.
According to Time, a new study presented yesterday at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention showed that women’s dissatisfaction with their bodies is slowly but surely decreasing over time.
After interviewing over 100,000 thousand participants over the course of several decades, the study determined that the average 2016 woman is 3.3 points more likely to be satisfied with her body than the average 1981 woman. It’s a change that study author Bryan Karazsia is calling “substantial,” and definitely one to be celebrated.
“I am optimistic that [these results are] good news,” explained Karazsia, an associate professor of psychology at The College of Wooster. “I am a dad of young girls so when I saw these findings I thought it was hopeful.”
We’re hopeful, too — and excited to do everything we can to keep contributing to that progress.
As far as causes go, though, Karzsia says there isn’t a clear cause of the societal change, but he has a few ideas. Namely, representation.
“You are seeing more images in the media of body diversity,” Karzsia explains, making special note of companies like Dove that push to show many different body types for women in their commercials. “As those ideals are shifting, I think people are becoming a little more critical of the extreme images they see and the media is embracing [the idea] that bodies of all shapes and sizes can still sell products.”
And it’s not just about TV. Seeing a greater diversity of bodies in real life can make a change, too. Karzsia also thinks the increase in obesity might be a contributing factor. “Because people are larger, people are seeing what’s around them and feel more normal and less concerned,” Karzsia added.
Whatever it is, we want more of it. 3.3 points may not seem like a big change over the course of 35 years, but it’s proven, definite progress. We can’t wait to see how much better women are doing in another 35 years.