One of Beauty’s Drawbacks

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
March/April 2000 Volume 11, Number 2
©2000 Gürze Books

Physical beauty has many benefits; however, it may also have at least one serious drawback According to results of a recent study, beautiful women may be at increased risk for disordered eating (Int J Eat Disord 2000; 27:67).

A group of 203 female university students (mean age: 21 years) were first rated on facial attractiveness; these data were then added to self-report measures of perfectionism, neuroticism, and weight preoccupation. The hypothesis was that weight and diet concerns would be greater among beautiful women than their less-attractive counterparts.

Just as the authors predicted, the more attractive women in their study reported a significantly greater degree of preoccupation with their weight than did the less-attractive participants. The study also confirmed earlier evidence that the relationship between general perfectionism and disordered eating only occurs when combined with an underlying tendency to be anxious and hypercritical.

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