While there has been plenty of coverage of magazines misrepresenting women since the advent of the airbrush, a study published recently by the University of Missouri shows that the sexy, idealized women in magazines may impact men just as negatively as they do females.
Women have struggled with unrealistic body image representations since the beginning of time (read: the birth of Photoshop). However, the University of Missouri study shows that men also find women between (and on) the covers of laddie mags, like Maxim, FHM and Complex, to be emasculating and intimidating, yet again pointing out the need for more “real looking” female models (or less airbrushed ones, at least).
While female readers may respond to photos of skinny, flawless models with negative feelings about their own bodies, the study’s lead researcher, Jennifer Aubrey, said, “Men make inferences that in order to be sexual and romantic with women of the caliber they see in Maxim magazine, they also need to be attractive.”
Pictures of hot women, the study found, were more disturbing to a guy’s body image than were pictures of men with rippling abs and bulging biceps.
Who would have guessed that Maxim’s Edyta Sliwinska’s sultry look could be more intimidating than Taye Digg’s ripped thorax? Feeling insecure about our bodies, it appears, is equal opportunity.