According to a new study in Social Psychological & Personality Science, looking at pictures of skinny celebrities can actually have positive effects on body image.
Of course, there’s a caveat. In order to reap the benefits, women need to somehow identify with—or especially like—the celebrity pictured. (The researchers cite "assimilation," when a person inadvertently believes she shares multiple qualities with someone she relates to in one particular way, as the cause.)
So let’s say your personal style crush also happens to be a pretty slim celebrity. Whether you align yourself with eclectic Rachel Bilson or classic Angelina Jolie, tracking her outfits might not only give you wardrobe inspiration. It could also give you a subconscious image boost, too, because you feel a bit of a connection to her.
I’ve got to admit it: when I heard this, it sounded completely, totally whack. My mind bounced to watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, which is stocked with models I’ve interviewed, chatted with and really, really liked, so I’d say I have the personal connection precursor. Still, the show’s more of a catalyst for me to lace up sneakers and head to the gym than tie on a bikini and ogle myself.
But maybe that’s just an extreme example; I get that the study is exploring something more subconscious. One of my own personal style icons happens to be quite skinny, and maybe after seeing a picture of her, I’d inadvertently put my own thinness closer to hers. (Of course, that could also just be an endorphin rush from her amazing outfits….)
What do you think: does relating on a personal level with skinny celebs make you feel better about yourself? Or is the notion just plain crazy?
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