If you are a woman with a less attractive spouse, odds are that you will be happier. And it might have everything to do with body image.
The interesting study was done by two scientists from Florida State University who were out to investigate the impact a relationship had on body image.
We live in society’s that places a lot of importance on body image.
But body image is a very broad concept, and in addition to physical appearance, it also includes your feelings about your body. For instance, you have to take into consideration how you feel about your shape, your weight, and even your height.
All these factors have an effect on your body image.
And don’t think you start to have a body image once you start taking fashion shows and magazines seriously. Body image, it turns out, starts to form early on based on our moods, parents, and friends.
During this formative period in a person’s life, a positive or a negative body image can take root and remain with a person throughout their lives.
The study had a look at the connection between women, the attractiveness of her partner, and their desire to diet.
To start off, the study discovered that men and women had very diverse reasons for dieting.
A total of 223 pairs of newly married heterosexual couples were used in the study.
In general, the study discovered that women who had husbands who were considered attractive had greater motivation to diet, lose weight and be thinner.
The pressure is even worse for women who were not particularly attractive.
However, this is not a problem women considered to be more attractive than their partners had.
But for the men, it did not seem to matter. Their motivation to diet did not vary depending on the attractiveness of their wives.
As a matter of fact, the desire to get on a diet and have healthier weight was consistently low among the male subjects in this study.
What does that tell you?
That women are more concerned about their looks, and they have fears regarding their body image as they are concerned that they might not meet their partner’s expectations.
But the study also does reveal one important secret – that women who are more attractive than their partners tend to be much happier. This is because they do not have to constantly worry about their looks and pursue weight loss goals based on a negative motivation to become more attractive for their partners.
Poor body image is never good. As a matter of fact, it can be quite unhealthy. People with this problem tend to compare themselves to others and have eating disorders.
It is already well-known that women are prone to extreme weight-loss behaviors, which can, in turn, result in psychological issues like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, distress, and, you guessed it - reduced levels of happiness.
Women overestimate how thin their spouses wish they were, and this can make them go high extremes to diet and lose weight.
This study also found that marriages that were more successful and fulfilling had a woman who was considered more attractive than their husbands.
Otherwise, for the women who feel insecure about their appearance, reassurance from their spouses that they are beautiful despite their body weight or type can help keep them from slipping into unhealthy dieting behaviors.
Such reassurances can make these relationships more successful. The focus can also be placed on other areas the women are good at, such as their kindness and intellect.