This just in: lots women have body image issues.
In one recent study, researchers at Flinders University had women try on a swimsuit as well as a pair of jeans and a sweater – and also had the women simply imagine wearing those things. In both cases, the subjects were asked to describe their mood and emotions.
The study found that the women felt more negative about themselves when wearing the swimsuit, and felt the most negative when imagining wearing the swimsuit. In other words, what the women imagined themselves to look like scantily clad was even worse than what they actually saw in the mirror — proof that women have low self-esteem about their bodies.
Meanwhile, another study performed by a British health organization called Mind, found that half of women they surveyed were ashamed to exercise in public due to body image concerns. This, they said, means many women are exercising in the privacy of their own homes.
It doesn’t bother me much that these studies both tell us things we already knew – lots of research does that – but rather that it’s not really clear what we can do with this information. Do we stop imagining ourselves wearing bikinis? Do we continue working out inside and alone?