In a recent Psychology Today article called "Feeling Fat Thinking Thin," the subhead asks the question, "Why do women feel OK about their bodies until other women show up?" Unfortunately, there's no damn answer. It does, however, offer details in a study by psychologist Catherine Sanderson of Amherst. She found that women in college tend to believe that they exercise less and weigh more than the average person. (Sigh.) Sanderson also found that this warped perception increases over time: Seniors are much more likely than freshmen to misjudge the weight and habits of others. Fortunately, when the misperception was explained to the women who were comparing themselves to other women on campus, they adopted a more accurate outlook. [Psychology Today]
Ah, the ol' women's weight and self-esteem issue. I am overweight, and I know it without height/weight or BMI calculations. (I hate math anyway.) I also realize that for me personally, it fluctuates depending on how miserable I am and therefore how much food and booze I consume to self-medicate. (Yeah, I know, therapy, anti-depressants, exercise, blah, blah blah. Thank you.) What really fascinates me is how some young girls and women are totally, delightfully and defiantly indifferent to fashion and media standards and strut their Rubenesque stuff in revealing, form-fitting (some might say circulation-blocking and gangrene-inducing) clothes. True, there are definitely socio-economic and some ethnic indicators, but still. Brava, ladies, brava!!