Wednesday, 16 Sep, 2009 Health & Fitness

Smiling Improves Women's Self Esteem and Appearance, Scientists Say


Recent study claims that a woman can significantly improve their appearance by simply smiling. Researchers discovered that the smile improves the appearance of women who feel unhappy about their look.

A considerable improvement in self esteem brought psychologists to the idea that feeling confident about your appearance is associated with social acceptance. Scientists performed their study, led by psychologist Carolien Martijn, with women of normal body weight, who showed different degrees of satisfaction with their appearance.

"The positive effect we witnessed for women with a high level of body concern supports the idea that body satisfaction may be linked to the idea of social approval," said Carolien Martijn. She added that by simply showing women pictures of themselves followed by a happy face, considerably improved their self esteem. Scientists mentioned that the experiment is worth carrying out on people, who were clinically diagnosed with eating disorders.

In their research, scientists analyzed the degree of body satisfaction and self-esteem of 57 women with normal body weight index. They also took pictures of each study participant. Then women were shown photographs of themselves among pictures of other women and each picture was followed by a photograph of either by a smiling, frowning or neutral face.

The participants were then divided into two groups. Women from the first group were shown pictures followed by a smiling face, while those from the second group were shown pictures followed randomly by neutral, frowning of smiling faces. Afterwards women were once again examined for body satisfaction and self esteem.

Those who were shown a smiling face after their photograph, showed an increased body satisfaction. According to Miss Martijn, women with high concerns about their body showed a significant improvement in body satisfaction. In addition, these women had the level of their self esteem considerably increased as well. The same results were reported in the second group.

According to researchers, they will carry on with their experiments together with experts from the University of Sheffield and develop specific strategies to improve body image.

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