The Preference for Thin and Fat Female Figures - Essay Example

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The author analyzes the study ‘By age three, girls already show a preference for thin people’ authored by Jennifer Harrige. The study indicates that children as young as three years prefer thin female figures as compared to fat and average female figures.   …
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The Preference for Thin and Fat Female Figures
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Research on the Preference for Thin and Fat Female Figures Jennifer Harriger carried out the study ‘By age three, girlsalready show a preference for thin people’. The study relates to the theory that thin is best as compared to fat and average sizes (Harriger 1). The study indicates that children as young as three years prefer thin female figures as compared to fat and average female figures. The author carried out an experiment to support the theory and the test included children between the age of three and five years from the southwestern side of United States.
The first test included three female figures and the difference between them was that one was thin while the other one was average and the last one was fat. The other aspects were homogenous. The children between the age of three and five had to experience twelve adjectives, six of which were positive, six were negative, and they were asked to describe the female figures (Harriger 1). The second experiment involved choosing a best friend from nine female figures, which grouped them into three classes of thin, average and fat. Again, the children had a mandate to choose a best friend from each of the three groups.
The results of the tests indicated that children preferred thin female figures to fat and average female figures (Harriger 1). In the first test, the children used more negative adjectives to describe the fat female figures and more positive adjective to describe the thin female figures. In the second test, the children’s first choice came from the group with three thin female figures while the second choice was from the average female figures. The results of the tests indicate that the children believed that thin is good compared to fat and that they would rather indulge themselves with the thin female figures.
The conclusion of the study was that the idea that thin is best has moved across to the children as young as three years (Harriger 1). However, the billboards and adverts that appear on our screens advertise and portray successful ultra-thin women that support the above hypothesis. From these, children tend to believe that only the thin females can be successful in life. The most interesting thing about this study is that children as young as three years who have not started schooling yet can choose to become thin yet they are under their parents care and control. Their parents control their lives and eating habits yet children can tell that thin is good.
The study that young girls are showing preference for thin people is valid and is clear where young girls want to be like specific public figures that are thin (Harriger 1). Most of these successful women are thin and hence children of nowadays tend to believe that it is the fashion or style and hence they tend to go an extra mile of starving just to acquire the thin figure. However, the study could have included several age brackets in order to get results that are more reliable. The study only focused on children between the age of three and five. The author could have included the age of up to about twenty-five years in order to get a clear view of the theory.
Works Cited
Harriger, Jane. By age three, girls already show a preference for thin people. 2014. Web. 8th April 2015. <>Read More
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