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Got Body Image Issues? Draw a Nude Model


(Image: CBS)

Do you have doubts about the attractiveness of your own body? Then it may be helpful for you to attend a life drawing class and sketch a nude art model. That's the conclusion of a new study conducted by Dr. Viren Swami of Anglia Ruskin University in the UK. The Daily Telegraph reports:

Anglia Ruskin University asked 138 men and women to take part in life drawing classes and found that happiness with their appearance rose by more than 25 per cent.

Dr. Swami says that's because seeing actual human bodies may set a more realistic point of comparison than photoshopped bodies presented in mass media:

Life drawing sessions may also provide spaces for people to explore relationships with their own bodies and critically appraise media depictions of ‘idealised’ bodies.”

Amongst women, greater attendance at classes was significantly associated with higher body appreciation and a lower drive for thinness and social physique anxiety. For men, greater attendance was significantly associated with higher body appreciation.


The researcher says "seeing actual human bodies may set a more realistic point of comparison than photoshopped bodies presented in mass media". I can't find the paper to see if it factored in that some of the people in the drawing class might have a good idea of what 'actual human bodies' look like. For examples, the beach, the changing room at a gym or pool, or someone who works as a massage therapist or nurse/caretaker. I would also like to know how the anxiety of being a new student in a new subject, knowing there would be a nude model, vs. the relief and pleasure of having succeeded in doing the class, was a factor.
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