A survey of women concerning Facebook bummed me out today. The researchers found that 14% of women surveyed have untagged themselves in photos that they didn’t think were flattering, and 13% avoid being photographed altogether with the onslaught of social mediaing. Even worse, 1 in 10 women surveyed said that they used pictures of things other than themselves for their Facebook profiles (pictures of cats, cartoons) because they don’t want other people to see how they look.
Then we move on over to the researchers of Arizona State University, who had skinny, average, and overweight women look at ads featuring skinny, average, and overweight women, and then asked them how they felt.
Skinny women felt great no matter what ad they were shown.
Overweight women felt bad no matter what ad they were shown, but identified more with the bigger models.
And the average women?
Normal-BMI women had the most shifts in self-esteem, depending on what types of images they saw and could therefore be the most influenced by pictures in ads. For example, if they viewed a moderately thin model, they felt similar and good; if they saw a moderately heavy model, they worried they were similar and overweight.
It’s kinda hard to call it self-esteem when it seems to be coming from everywhere but the self.