Proof Your Body Image Can Change in As Little As 2 Minutes

The body positivity movement is thriving more than ever these days, largely thanks to the openness of the internet and the willingness of both women and men everywhere to expresstheir own interpretations of what beauty means to them. It’s certainly veryrefreshing and inspiring to see so many people breaking the mold, but a lot of peoplestill struggle with feelingunfazed by certain beauty standards andexpectations they’re constantly exposed to by society.

A recent study conducted by Macquarie Universitysought to examine the ways in which the perceptual mechanisms of the brain adapted to images of the self and images of other people. Researchers found that the way people perceivedthemselves could be altered just by looking at images of themselves and of other people that had been digitally altered.

In one experiment, agroup of 24 people who participated in the studywere shown images of other people that had been Photoshopped to make them look thinner or fatter than they actually were. In another experiment, a group of 35 participantswere shown images of themselves that had also been Photoshopped to look thinner or fatter.

Most of the participants in both groups perceived themselves as “abnormally thin” when they were shown the images edited to make the subjectappearthinner.Likewise, they considered themselves to look “abnormally fat” when they saw the images edited to make the subject looklarger.

The researchers say these results confirm that our perceptions of ourselves can be adapted to images of people that have been digitally manipulated to look thinner or fatter, and it can be done in as little as two minutes. They suspect that if participants had been exposed to the Photoshopped images for a prolonged period of time, the aftereffects on self-perception (and others) would last much longer.

The researchers also noted the peculiar fact that some people simply don’t experience the same adaption and perceptive misconception when exposed to the same imagery as those who do. The reason why remains a mystery, but we can probably chalk it up to the complexity of the brain.

If a couple minutes of exposure to altered body imagery can have aneffect on how we perceive ourselves, considerthe implications of years of exposure to this sort of stuff. According to Dove’s recentGlobal Beauty and Confidence Report, which involved interviewing 10,500 young women from 13 countries, women’s confidence in their bodies is steadily declining. Lowbody esteem is now a global problem experienced by women of all ages around the world.

Societyas a whole certainly has a lot ofwork to do in order to catch up to the body positivity movement that’s been making waves online and in some partsof traditional media. Until then, women (and men too) who struggle with body image issues will have to be cautious about what they’re exposing themselves to on a day-to-day basis if they truly do want to feel better about their bodies. It’s one thing to support body positivity, but quite another to really feel its significance and impacton a deeper level.

If you want to change your own body image for the better, try these tips:

  • Ditch the gossipy magazines, shallowreality TV shows and otherentertainment sources you think reinforces any standard of beauty that makes you feel bad about yourself.
  • Make a daily habit out of checking in with body-positive role models (online or offline) who inspire you to accept and embrace what you perceive to be your worst flaws.
  • Practice self-compassion to naturally boost your self-esteem.

For more tips on how to be more body-positive, check out these 7 simple and realistic ways to improve your body image.

Related:
Looking at Trashy Online Content May Be Bad for Your Brain
Scientists Say Taking Photos of Your Experiences Enhances Happiness
Why Intelligent People Are Happier Spending Time Alone

Photo Credit: Franck Michel

69 comments

John B
John B6 months ago

Thanks Elise for sharing the interesting info and links.

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Philippa Powers
Philippa Powers10 months ago

Thanks.

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

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Laura A.
Laura Aabout a year ago

We as humans are naturally attracted to beauty. It is in fact engrained in our DNA. A person that possesses beauty is a sign of a healthy genetic structure which aids in selecting a life partner that will result in a healthier genetic mixture. Well sorry about the excessive science and stuff, for the more laid back reader I say that our culture is structured in such a way that beauty and physical attractiveness are rated very highly and people love to see and admire as what they perceive, beautiful people. This is a list in my opinion of the top 10 most beautiful women in the world at this moment. Well, each and every one of you has their own opinions and likings, but well you’re reading this for a reason weather to get my opinion or just to admire the beauty you get to see. I hope you enjoy this small piece I have to offer you.

Now we are off to a journey to see and find out a little about what in my option are 10 most beautiful women in the world. .
most beautiful women

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Elaine W.
Past Member about a year ago

Surprising!

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Brenda Towers
Brenda Towersabout a year ago

Noted.

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Elaine W.
Past Member about a year ago

Thanks.

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiranabout a year ago

noted

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