Kim Kardashian – Study Claims Reality Star’s “Slim-thick” Figure Is
More Harmful For Body Image
During a time when it seems most women are longing for the hourglass, ‘slim-thick’ body type; it turns out that may not be the healthiest image to achieve. A recent study conducted by Toronto’s York University discovered that “slim-thick” imagery as seen in Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Beyoncé causes more body dissatisfaction amongst young women versus a “thin” body type as seen in Kate Moss. The “slim-thick” body ideal — defined by the researchers as “a curvier or more full-body type, characterized by a small waist and flat stomach but large butt, breasts and thighs” —has become widely popularized over recent years, especially due to social media.
The study actually named the 41-year-old Skims mogul and her sister Kylie Jenner as influencers who contribute to the discontent women feel about their bodies because of their online content and huge following.
On the flip side, a ‘thin’ body type describes slender shapes with flat stomachs and small waists, like Kate Moss or Zoe Kravitz and ‘fit’ describes more toned and athletic female physiques. The researchers found women exposed to ‘slim-thick’ photos online experienced more dissatisfaction towards their own weight and appearance. The new study was conducted by Sarah McComb and Jennifer Mills, two researchers at York University in Toronto, Canada. When discussing their study, the researchers expressed,
“Heavier models with a large butt and thighs do not offer a healthier or more realistic body ideal than the “fit” or “thin” ideals, but may actually be the most harmful type of body-ideal to women’s body image based on the current findings.”
For the study, the researchers recruited 402 female undergraduate students, all between the ages of 18 and 25. Some students were shown various photos of women on Instagram with the three different body types: ‘slim-thick’, ‘thin’ or ‘fit-ideal’, while others were placed into a control condition. The pool of students in the controlled condition viewed 13 photos sourced from attractive home décor and furniture pages.
According to the researchers,
“These images were chosen because they were thought to reflect non-body related content that female users would be likely to view on Instagram.”
Meanwhile, participants shown one of the three body ideals were asked to compare themselves to what they saw in the photos. According to the study, the results showed that the imagery of all three body types resulted in greater weight and appearance dissatisfaction and less overall body satisfaction, relative to the control condition. According to the researchers,
“The study found that women exposed to the “slim-thick” ideal felt more dissatisfied with their weight and their shape, and experienced less satisfaction with their bodies overall.”
While being thin used to be the body image woman desired the most, it looks like things have definitely changed!
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!