It would seem like seeing images that associate certain body types with success—a thin actress or lawyer, for example—would increase our idealization of that weight, but a new study indicates there’s more to the picture. Our weight preferences are largely dependent on the images we see, but it has little to do with whether they’re associated with goals like high status or better health.
If you read a lot of magazines featuring skinny models, it could have a big effect on your weight goals—and not necessarily a healthy one. A better bet? Seek out images of women with trim physiques, but healthy, strong ones, too!