Why Seeing Plus-Size Models Is *So* Important

Representation matters.
PHOTO: Instagram/nadiaaboulhosn

I love Instagram, and I have zero shame admitting that fact, but there's no denying that for all it's pretty colored houses and marble table flatlays, a quick scroll through your feed can leave you feeling insecure.

There are the fitness bloggers who just had an acai bowl for breakfast before their pre-dawn run, while you had a couple of chocolate digestives and just made your train. On top of that, there are the makeup tutorials that involve products that you would have to rob your bank to afford and the millions of bikini clad models who have an envy-worthy body.

Which is why I fully encourage you all to start following curvy models. Instagram should be somewhere that inspires you. But don't just take my word for it. 

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A new study by Florida State University has revealed that after seeing "plus-size" models, women experienced "enhanced psychological health" which, let's be real, makes a lot of sense.

The study involved recruiting 40 college-age women (18 to 22), all of whom expressed a desire to be slimmer. The women were then shown fashion models of all different sizes on a TV screen.

After viewing each image, the women had to answer questions about their body satisfaction and how much they compared themselves to each model.

The research revealed that when slimmer models were shown, the women had lower body satisfaction. It also revealed that they paid less attention to the slimmer models and did not remember them as well.

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But when shown "average" and "plus-size" models, the women reported higher levels of body satisfaction. As well as this improved mental health, the women also paid more attention to these models and remembered them.

The study was carried out by assistant rofessors Russell Clayton and Jessica Ridgway who revealed their findings: 

 "We found overwhelmingly that there is a clear psychological advantage when the media shows more realistic body types than the traditional thin model," Professor Ridgway explained.

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With Professor Clayton adding: "Women made fewer social comparisons, felt increased body satisfaction, paid more attention to and remembered average and plus-size models. 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."

So there you have it, not only is the representation of curvy models good for our self-esteem but it's also good for fashion companies, as we're more likely to take notice of their campaigns.

Follow Laura on Instagram.


This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.


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