Durham’s Quest For Real Women

A recent study by Durham University scientists has revealed just how heavily body preferences among British women are influenced by what is seen in the media.


A recent study by Durham University scientists has revealed just how heavily body preferences among British women are influenced by what is seen in the media.

The study suggests there are real benefits of using more normally sized models instead of the wafer-thin models known to grace the pages of countless fashion magazines.

Apparently it’s that easy to be taken in – the researchers found that seeing curves makes us want curves. Project leader, Dr Lynda Boothroyd, said the findings indicate, “Showing more ‘normal’ models could potentially reduce women’s obsession for thinness.”

The problem doesn’t solely apply to women either, with the Durham researchers working on a follow-up study that includes men. Scathing criticism of the use of airbrushed, super-skinny models fuelling eating disorders has been all the rage in the media lately. Durham’s Department of Psychology is looking to point out that it’s just as hard to be Ken as it is to be Barbie.

Plus-sized models are clearly becoming more popular; just ask Crystal Renn where she gets her alleged seven-figure salary from. Even fashion giants like Ralph Lauren, notorious for Photoshopping their models up to snapping point, are starting to buckle to popular pressure – with the big Vogue beauty Robyn Lawley becoming their first ever plus-sized model.

Some, however, have not taken the news so well.

A Castle second-year lambasted the findings of the research, raging about how the “absurd” use of plus-sized models had ruined her favourite magazines, such as ‘Look’, and casts a blind eye over the issue of obesity.

It remains to be seen whether this recent trend will stand the test of time.