New studies recently showed that women’s satisfaction with their bodies has increased since the 1980s.
More role models these days are now curvier women who run counter to the trend towards thinness and this might explain the findings. Researchers say that while women are still less happy with how they look, the satisfaction rates are considerably improving.
Anyone who will browse through a magazine will surely confirm that we are living a plastic surgery age where image is meaningful. However, despite the constant pressure, women managed to become more confident in how they look and more accepting of their bodies and weight.
Studies showed that while men’s dissatisfaction with their bodies remained the same, American women’s dissatisfaction gradually declined from 1981 to 2012. The most surprising fact is that this gradual decrease of dissatisfaction is taking place in a time where the obesity rates are growing, and the Americans are the heaviest they have ever been.
One might expect that with two out of three U.S citizens being obese, the dissatisfaction with their bodies should increase. Instead, studies have found the opposite. These results are based on studies aimed at finding out how people feel about their bodies and were conducted on more than 100,000 participants.
The findings revealed that, on average, women’s satisfaction with their bodies increased by 3.3 points. Although it doesn’t seem to be a significant change, psychologists say that this increase is substantial.
Another study conducted on more than 23,000 participants over 14 years old found that men reported more body dissatisfaction than women when it came to muscularity, a trend which remained stable over time.
The findings represent a positive change in the social pressure women face over body image and diversity. Body dissatisfaction is the main reason for eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and commonly lead to depression.
In the last 20 years, we have witnessed an increased attention and awareness on body acceptance movements directed towards women and young girls.
Ad campaigns and public relations over the last decade like Dove Campaign for Real Beauty are promoting body acceptance by showing models with variations in body types. The message of feeling better in your skin seems to be reaching the public.