According to the Guardian, new research - to be published in a few months - suggests that female shoppers are more likely to buy products modeled on women who resemble them.

Ben Barry, a PhD student at Cambridge University, thinks that his findings will eventually impact the way women are portrayed in fashion magazines and advertising, reports the British newspaper.

Barry questioned 3,000 women in the UK, US and Canada using mocked-up fashion adverts. "... the vast majority of women significantly increase purchase intentions when they see a model that reflects their age, size and race," he told the Guardian, adding: "If you speak to consumers on the street about my research, nobody is surprised - consumers are light years ahead of the fashion industry in that they want to see diversity."

The latter is a fact that Barry wishes the industry would reconsider: "[It] operates in its own bubble, but advertisers and magazine editors need to be mindful of who their target market is and how the models reflect that market, catch up and change."

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