In a study to be published next year in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, reality shows like How to Look Good Naked, which aim to boost body image, actually make viewers feel worse about themselves.
Over a hundred female college students were divided into three groups and surveyed about mood, body anxiety and weight dissatisfaction.
One group watched How to Look Good Naked, another watched Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model, and the third watched a nature documentary.
The happiest? Those who watched the nature documentary, of course.
Top Model viewers were more miserable after watching the show. While How to Look Good Naked viewers reported no change in mood, viewers of both reality shows reported significant increases in body anxiety and weight dissatisfaction.
“Because the focus is on the body, you become more aware of your own concerns and how you feel about your body,” lead researcher, Viren Swami, told the Huffington Post. “The women [on How to Look Good Naked] all have problems with their bodies and are trying to improve them. The implicit suggestion is that you should be doing the same.”
If you're deliberating, remote in hand, you're probably better off turning on the Discovery Channel or, better yet, turning off the television altogether.
Do you watch these shows? Do they make you feel better or worse about your body?