These news might come as a bit of a setback to the growing group of anti-Photoshop and pro-plus size activists: German, Dutch and US researchers have found that it doesn't make a difference whether models are extremely thin or curvy, they all make overweight women feel bad about themselves.
United Press International (UPI) reports that according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, "overweight women's self-esteem always decreases, regardless of the model they look at."
Interestingly, the effect on underweight women is the contrary: "Underweight women's self-esteem always increases, regardless of the model they look at," the authors said.
Further findings included that overweight and underweight women had similar self-confidence levels when they weren't looking at the models.
The researchers' recommendation to overweight women was to avoid looking at fashion ads altogether, reports the UPI.
Recently, initiatives to promote 'healthy' and 'normal' women or plus size models instead of 'unrealistically skinny' girls, led by women's magazines such as US Glamour or the German Brigitte, have caused a stir in the industry.
Together with increasing discomfort regarding excessive retouching of fashion ads -- Ralph Lauren is currently at the center of a Photoshop 'scandal,' for example -- it is hoped by many that the way fashion advertising is made could change profoundly.