A study conducted at University of the Sunshine Coast challenges the belief that images of fit females promote exercise, suggesting that similar to images of thin fashion models, they only add to body image strain.
“We found the women who viewed the fitness models actually felt worse about themselves than did the women who viewed the traditional models,” study lead, Dr Kate Mulgrew said.
Dr Mulgrew said that despite fitness models being presented in contexts to do with health and exercise, they are still slim, toned and attractive (similar to fashion models), which is a body type that is extremely difficult for an average woman to achieve.
She concluded that although exercise and being fit are important things, perhaps we should shift the focus from just appearance to the functionality of the models’ bodies.
“Women should engage in a healthy lifestyle, but don’t take fitness models as another ideal to aspire to,” she said.
Read more here: University of the Sunshine Coast.