Today in depressing studies, scientists at Southern Methodist University have found that females who are told men desire women who are not model-thin are happier with their weight. In other words, body image is still wrapped up in what women believe men prefer.
To come to this conclusion social psychologist and assistant professor Andrea Meltzer conducted three independent experiments with 448 women.
In each study the women looked at larger-bodied models, and those who were randomly selected to be told men found the larger-bodied models attractive were more satisfied with their weight than the others when questioned. A disclaimer: all the participants in the study were white and heterosexual.
"On average, heterosexual women believe that heterosexual men desire ultra-thin women," Meltzer said.
"It is possible that women who are led to believe that men prefer women with bodies larger than the models depicted in the media may experience higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of depression."