Body Perception

Download PDF

Studies have been conducted on body weight perception which have come up with the same conclusion: body weight perception is not always in agreement with actual weight.  Really?  Maybe if more research was done on why scientists and academics conduct studies where the results are obvious, then maybe there would be more advances in the sciences.

There probably aren’t many people in the world who haven’t been told by another that they looked fine.  They may be happy carrying around twenty extra pounds while you aren’t.  Or maybe they really don’t notice your weight.  So how can you trust them to give an objective opinion?

On the other hand, look extreme anorexics.  They look like skeletons and yet if you show them a photo of an average-size person, they see someone who is fat.  Or think of a movie star or singer who is suddenly propelled into the spotlight.  We think they look fine—until they become a spokesperson for a weight loss program and drop several dress sizes.  Now they look even better.  Why did we think they looked good when they were really overweight?

What we interpret as too big or too flabby depends on what we compare ourselves to.  Forget about comparing yourself to a model.  They are paid to be underweight.  And don’t compare yourself to your sister or friend: everyone’s got different genes and metabolisms.  The only person you can compare yourself to is you.  And if you’re honest, the ideal weight needs to come with healthy eating habits.  Better health means better perceptions and choices.  Now that’s incomparable.

Leave a Reply