Research about body confidence: The heartbreaking truth

Research body confidence

How do you feel about your body? The American Glamour compared their research from 30 years ago with the answers of their readers today. Guess what? We’re less happy today…

Thirty years ago the American Glamour asked their readers how they felt about their bodies in a groundbreaking research. The findings weren’t very uplifting. Women felt too fat and 41% of the women were unhappy with their body. Now, thirty years later, body confidence is a movement. Plussize models on the runways, Beyoncé who calls us flawless, new found feminism, make-up free selfies, women kick ass when it comes to jobs, etc. Glamour decided it was time to do a new research about body confidence. They asked a 1000 women ages 18 – 40 the same question: How do you feel about your body? And guess what? It’s has gotten worse compared to thirty years ago.

A staggering 54% of the women who participated are unhappy with their body. And 80% (!) says just looking in the mirror makes them feel bad. Self-hatred seems to be bigger than ever. More people are overweight nowadays but this doesn’t seem to be the reason for the decline in body lovin’. Almost half of the women at a healthy weight think they are too big. Glamour asked how much more they could weigh and still like themselves. 60 percent of all survey takers said five pounds at the most. More than a third said not even an ounce.

It looks like social media is to blame for our body hatred. These days we don’t compare ourselves to models and celebraties anymore, but to the girl next door. And she’s in our Instagram feed and on our Facebook wall. If she can look like that, why can’t I? That seems to be happening in a woman’s mind these days. We use filters and crop our pictures to look better but looking at pictures of other women we don’t consider them to do the same. In our feed we see thigh gaps, booty’s, legs, trained cores… and because of that we stop to see our bodies as a whole. Likes are today’s validation. When our selfies and pictures don’t score as high as expected we feel ugly.

Every day 1.8 billion photos are uploaded and shared on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Snapchat and WhatsApp. This literally feeds our approval seeking. The women in Glamour’s survey said they spend an average of 4,5 hours online. And the more time women spent online, the more self-concious they get about their body. Research also shows that women who don’t like their body focus on pictures that reaffirm their negative beliefs. The way we look at ourselves has a big impact on our lives. Bad body image has stopped 30 percent of the women who participated from having sex, 27 percent from meeting new people and 17 percent from dating. When women feel bad about their body, they feel bad about who they are in general.

Ofcourse there was also a group of women who were happy about their bodies. What are they doing differently? For starters, they don’t compare themselves to other women, and if they do they look at athletes. Women with a positive body image also have a positive way to decribe their body like ‘healthy’, ‘hot’ or ‘sexy’. Working out does wonders when it comes to positive body image said 97% of the women who are happy with their body. And crash dieting is the worst you can do according to 99% of the body positive women.

The verdict? Being nice and loving to yourself and your body is what every woman needs to do for herself. When you feel shitty about yourself when you look at pictures of other women online, go offline. Focus on you and the stuff that makes you happy. Look beyond your body when it comes to being proud of yourself. Your body is just a package. Take good care of it and cherish it. But know that what you give to this world and others is what truly makes you a beautiful person.

Source: Glamour

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