A woman’s body is her own best tool to shape her personality, according to a new study published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly.
The research shows that while women are more likely to express admiration for their bodies, they’re less likely to find their bodies attractive, even when they’re being complimented.
Researchers found that women with positive feelings toward their bodies were significantly more likely than those with negative feelings to see themselves as attractive.
The results are significant because it’s the first study to show that positive feelings for your body can predict whether you’re seen as attractive, according a press release from the University of Utah.
“It is possible that people who have positive body image thoughts are more comfortable with their bodies and that this may be one factor that is responsible for the positive attitudes,” said study co-author Susan C. Kuk, a professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo.
Researchers said their study also suggested that people with positive body images may have a better ability to attract men, but they also had a higher likelihood of not getting married.
The findings of the new study were published online in Psychological Science.
The University at Boulder and the University College London, which also participated in the study, did not immediately respond to request for comment.
According to the study authors, positive body-image thoughts can have negative consequences.
The researchers said that positive body thoughts can cause people to believe they’re beautiful and to view themselves as better looking than others.
The negative consequences are not limited to people who believe their bodies are perfect.
“Body image and body dissatisfaction are associated with higher levels of loneliness, lower self-esteem, and poorer self-efficacy,” they wrote.
“We hypothesize that these negative effects might be particularly salient for people who are currently in relationships with multiple partners, and who experience the same negative outcomes as those in their romantic relationships.”
“It’s important to note that the positive effects of positive body self-concepts do not imply that people are more desirable or more attractive,” the authors wrote.
“We suggest that positive self-image is a consequence of positive self image.”
Researchers said that while people with negative body image often feel rejected, the negative consequences of this attitude are not.
“The positive effects were only observed in relationships where people were willing to try different approaches to dealing with the body image issues,” Kuk said.
“If we want to encourage more women to engage in healthy relationships, we need to develop more ways to reduce negative body-related outcomes.”