Scrolling through Instagram or flipping through a magazine can be aspirational AF, but looking at the seemingly perfect lives and figures of our favourite Instagrammers and models can leave some of us feeling dissatisfied with our own bodies.
A new study from Florida State University has found that interaction with average or curvy models has a positive effect on our mental health when compared to slim models or those with a less attainable body shape for some women.
The study used psychophysiological measures to examine how women respond, both psychologically and physiologically, to models of different sizes.
According to the study, when average size and plus-size models were on screen, research participants had an overall more positive experience.
Participants answered questions about their body satisfaction after viewing images of both plus and straight sized models.
The participants, who were all female and all had made indications that they wished to lose weight, made fewer comparisons between their bodies and those on screen.
The subjects also paid more attention and remembered more about those models.
Most importantly, participants also reported higher levels of body satisfaction.
'We found overwhelmingly that there is a clear psychological advantage when the media shows more realistic body types than the traditional thin model,' said Jessica Ridgway, assistant professor in the Department of Retail, Merchandising and Product Development at FSU.
'Women made fewer social comparisons, felt increased body satisfaction, paid more attention to and remembered average and plus-size models,' added Russell Clayton, assistant professor in the FSU School of Communication and lead author of the study.
'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.'
We're all for more curvy representation in the industry, and definitely support having a mix of diverse body shapes, both slim and plus-size, promoted in advertising.