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New ASU Study: Models of All Sizes Drive Down Self-Esteem in Fat Women; Who Woulda Thought?

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A new study conducted by a researcher at Arizona State University, in collaboration with two  researchers at European universities, came to this conclusion about the female psyche: Fat women should never look at a female model advertising anything. Ever.

The study, published in this month's Journal of Consumer Research, finds that when overweight women look at models, their self esteem plummets. At the same time, the study finds that when skinny women see models of any size, their self-esteem actually increases.

Naomi Mandel, an associate marketing professor at ASU, and two colleagues, showed different groups of women photos of skinny models, average-sized models, and big ol' fatties and measured their self-esteem levels.

"Underweight women's self-esteem always increases, regardless of the model they look at," the authors explain. "On the other hand, overweight women's self-esteem always decreases, regardless of the model they look at."

The authors found that women in both groups showed roughly the same levels of self-esteem when they weren't looking at the models, regardless of how enormous or emaciated they may be.

In an effort to keep the fattest fatties from hating themselves too much, the authors offer a suggestion:

"We recommend that overweight consumers attempt to avoid looking at ads with any models, thin or heavy (perhaps by avoiding women's magazines)," the authors concluded.

We have an easier recommendation: Put down the cookies,girls!

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