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Women also fuel unrealistic body image standards, not just sexist men

I will be the first to come out and admit I judge other women’s bodies — both consciously and unconsciously all… the… time. I know for me (and probably for many other women), a lot of it stems from insecurities I have about my own body. I’m incredibly competitive, so my inclination is to size up the females around me, so I know were I stand on the spectrum of attractiveness. Mature, right? But, like any other habit, it’s difficult to curb, especially if you’ve been doing it all your life.

We give men a lot of flak for calling out women’s attractive (or unattractive) attributes, because sexism is alive and well. But did you ever stop to think how much you judge your fellow females’ bodies from day to day? Whether it be casually noting that a close friend has put on 5 pounds or eviscerating a Dancing with the Stars cast member for not fitting perfectly into her tiny costume, females are pretty merciless. Sure, we also rag on our own bodies quite a bit, but this type of girl-on-girl body shaming should not go unnoticed, especially since we live in a world rampant with eating disorders.

MoreBody shame is causing women more than emotional pain

According to a study that was recently published in the journal Economics and Human Biology, men are much less harsh when it comes to judging other women’s attractiveness than women. The study, which was conducted between the University of Surrey and the University of Oxford, factored in how a person’s BMI (body mass index) affects their level of attractiveness to men versus women. While it played no significant role in men’s perceptions of who they deemed attractive, it definitely did for women, whether they were judging men or other women.

The scarier part of the study is how unconscious we are of making these judgements sometimes. They apparently even bleed into our assessment of employees (heavier women tend to make less than thin women). It’s crazy that such biases can come into play without us even realizing it, but there is something we can do to change that — start realizing it.

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