Here is more evidence of how harmful are the media images that women are constantly being bombarded with; and how an unrealistic ‘thin’ ideal is being promoted to shape women’s perceptions about themselves and their body image.

A new study showed that when women were shown pictures of overweight women (not known to them) an activity in the brain that processes self reflection and identity was triggered.

When women with normal weight were told to imagine themselves looking like the image of the overweight women, their brain scans showed that they were distressed by this.

fatThough the women in the study were assessed as having very few body image problems, it was still found that they were distressed. Because underlying their confidence was a fear of being fat.

When the same process was repeated with men, they did not show any such response.

This shows that men and women perceive body image differently and there is great difference in how important it is and how the sense of self is linked to the physical image.

This difference in male and female responses also perhaps explains why women are so much more susceptible to eating disorders than men. This research is part of long-term project to improve treatment of eating disorders by tracking progress with brain imaging.

Source: Science Daily