Plus-Size Models Have A Positive Effect On Women's Mental Health, Says Study

From Ashely Graham to Iskra Lawrence, a new study has found that seeing plus-sized models in the media is boosting women's mental health.

MOST POPULAR

From American model Ashley Graham's advocacy of self-love and acceptance, to British beauty Iskra Lawrence calling out the 'thigh gap' as a myth, average-sized women are increasingly not only being noticed but being pushed to the forefront of the fashion industry, and we for one couldn't be happier.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

And, apparently, there's more to this happiness than was previously believed, as it turns out that when the media represent normal-sized (read: a range of) women, not only is it reassuring for those of us whose thighs do touch, but it's also been proven to boost our mental health.

Hanging out with #TheOne bag from @farfetch

A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@theashleygraham) on

A new study by Florida State University has found plus-size models are improving women's mental health, with participants being showing to pay attention to, and remember, images of average and plus-size models, more so than when viewing images of thinner models.

The research involved recruiting 49 women in their twenties who all expressed a desire to be thinner.

Each were shown various images of thin, average and plus-size fashion models before begin asked questions about their own body satisfaction and how much they compared themselves to the models.

As researchers recorded their psychological responses they found when average and plus-sized models were displayed, women made fewer comparisons, paid more attention to the models and reported feeling higher levels of body satisfaction.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

#iskra #iskralawrence

A post shared by Iskra Lawrence (@iskra_lawrencee) on

Meanwhile, when slimmer models were presented, women were found to make more comparisons, remember less about the models, have lower body satisfaction and poorer psychological health.

Russell Clayton, author of the study and assistant professor in the FSU School of Communication told the Florida State University News: 'We found overwhelmingly that there is a clear psychological advantage when the media shows more realistic body types than the traditional thin model.

'Therefore, it might be a useful persuasive strategy for media producers to employ plus-size models if the goal of the campaign is to capture attention while also promoting body positivity,' he added.

We think you're on to something there, Russell.

More from ELLE UK: