Researchers have tried to find a way to learn to love your body and accept it as it is. To do this, students had to write a letter in which they talked about their appearance.
In today's society, advertisements and social networks impose on us a standard of beauty that is complex for many people. Being dissatisfied with your body can lead to a loss of self-confidence, but also depression, anxiety and even eating disorders. How to improve the image we have of our body? Researchers at Northwestern University (USA) tested the effects of three different writing exercises on women's body satisfaction. The results were published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly.
A group of more than 250 female students had to write a letter from four different models. The first was a compassionate letter in which they spoke of their faults in general. The second, a compassionate letter, but directed specifically at the body. In these two letters, they put themselves in the shoes of a friend who saw their faults, but who expressed himself with kindness and benevolence. The third was a letter in which they wrote directly to their bodies, thanking him for all his qualities, in order to show their gratitude for all he does every day. The fourth, a neutral letter. Appraisal: The scientists found that the three letters significantly increased the image that students had of their body, in comparison with neutral letter.
"Stunning and moving letters"
"Devoting only 15 minutes to writing and proofreading one of the three types of letters can significantly increase women's body satisfaction, at least in the short term" says lead author of the study, Renee Engeln. "The letters that the women wrote in the study were astonishing, they were moving and inspiring, many brought tears to our eyes", She says. Following this study, scientists set up a platform that was very successful, where users could post a few sentences about their bodies. The authors want to create an official website or an application where women could share their letters.
In addition, on YouTube, a series of videos called "Dear Body", in which women are invited to talk about their bodies and among others their complexes, advocates self-acceptance. The project, directed by Léa Bordier, aims to decomplex women on their physique.