Skinny versus Curvy- It’s time to stop the battle ladies!!
Do we still judge plus-size people compared to skinnier people?
One might say that these days our world has become more and more inclusive towards body size and shape. There are already different types of top models included in the fashion world like Ashley Graham, Chloe Marshall and Victoria Lee who are known as very popular plus-size models. Thanks to them people already give more importance to personal style and self-confidence.
Nevertheless, people are still judging others, verbally and nonverbally. The latter is often unwilled and gives us a lot of information what an individual actually feels.
Referring back to the question in the beginning, Researchers Stuckenbrock, Adolphi, Ptak and Kurti from Maastricht University may found an answer.
They conducted a study in which the negative nonverbal behaviour towards overweight people was observed.
The researchers watched 80 introductions from candidates of talent shows like Americas got Talent or X-Factor. They made one group of 40 skinny individuals and another one with 40 overweight individuals. As they observed the behaviour of the judges, they counted how many times they expressed themselves with negative nonverbal behaviorl like eyes rolling, looking away or eyebrow-raising. Stuckenbrock, Adolphi Kurti and Ptak expected to find more negative nonverbal behaviour towards plus-size individuals than the skinny ones.
Did the Researches meet their expectations?
The results are very clear: out of the 137 observations of negative nonverbal behaviour of all the 80 candidates, 116 were aimed towards plus-sized individuals and ONLY 21 for skinny individuals.
However, the results need to be relativized because they came from TV shows and the researchers pointed out, this disproportionate amount of negative behaviour can be due to the editing of the videos. In addition, some participants had a bad hygiene or wore costumes and that may have played a part in some of the judges’ reactions.
Despite these limitations, this meme on the left is a good reminder to be aware of this nonverbal behaviour and to set body positivity over judgement.
Our society may be now more inclusive than 100 years before, but we need to change the mindset of the whole population to get even better.