According to a study, Kim Kardashian’s hourglass shape is even more damaging for women’s bodies than Kate Moss slim frame. 

Researchers in Canada showed women Instagram photos of either ‘slim-thick’, ‘thin’ or ‘fit-ideal’ body types. 

Slim-thick or ‘hourglass’, as seen in Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Beyoncé, is characterised by ‘a large butt and thighs and small waist and flat stomach’. 

The term ‘thin,’ which refers to slim, flat-bellied females like Kate Moss, is used in place of ‘fit.

The researchers found women exposed to ‘slim-thick’ photos experienced more dissatisfaction towards their own weight and appearance.

Social media has made it possible for women to have slimmer bodies.

However, the social pressure for young women to have a slim physique can be more damaging than that of society. 

Kim Kardashian (pictured) is an example of a woman with the 'slim-thick' or 'hourglass' body ideal - which researchers say is 'characterized by a large butt and thighs and small waist and flat stomach'

Kim Kardashian (pictured), is an example for a woman with the ideal body shape of either’slim-thick,’ or hourglass’. Researchers say this is due to a large waist and stomach and flat stomach.

Kylie Jenner (pictured here in Beverly Hills, California in February 2020) is another example of a woman with a 'slim-thick' ideal

Kylie Jenner is another woman with an ideal of being slim.

The new study was conducted by Sarah McComb and Jennifer Mills, two researchers at York University in Toronto, Canada.

They state that cultural trends in Western media recently have shifted to a curvier body type, called slim-thick. This is described by an enlarged waist, flat stomach and large butts. 

‘Heavier models with a large butt and thighs do not offer a healthier or more realistic body ideal than the “fit” or “thin” ideals, but may actually be the most harmful type of body-ideal to women’s body image based on the current findings.’ 

Much of the previous research into body image has examined the impact of the ‘thin-ideal’ on women’s body image – the ideally slim female body image like Kate Moss. 

British model Kate Moss (pictured here in Paris in January 2021) has a 'thin' body ideal. Thin-ideal imagery of women¿s bodies is ubiquitous in mainstream media

British model Kate Moss, pictured in Paris in January 2021, has an ideal body. Thin-ideal imagery of women’s bodies is ubiquitous in mainstream media

To learn more about the effects of ‘slim-think’, the researchers recruited 402 female undergraduate students, all between the ages of 18 and 25 years.

The women were either shown photos of women on Instagram with the three different body ideals (‘slim-thick’, ‘thin’ or ‘fit-ideal’) or were placed into a control condition. 

Participants in the control condition were asked to view 13 images sourced from attractive home décor and furniture pages. 

They say that the images are non-body-related content and would appeal to female Instagram users. 

Participants were then asked to draw comparisons between their bodies and the images.  


Examples of 'slim-thick' body types presented to the female participants for this study

For this study, examples of “slim-thick” body types were shown to the female participants

SLIM-THICKLarge butt, thighs, small waist, and flat stomach. A slim, thin body portrays an hourglass figure.

Examples of ‘slim-thick’ women include Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Beyoncé Knowles.

According to the researchers, “While slimming is gaining popularity only in media that is white-centric, it’s not new for other ethnic communities such as Latinos and Black communities.”

Examples of 'thin' body types presented to the female participants. This ideal has been dominant in Western media for years but seems to be getting usurped by the curvier 'slim-thick' ideal

Participants were presented with examples of ‘thinner’ bodies. While this image has been a dominant one in Western media for many years, it is now being challenged by the curvier “slim-thick” ideal.

THINKThese are very thin, slim and shapely with a flat stomach and small waist. 

Kate Moss and Kendall Jenner are examples of thin women.

According to the researchers, “Until recent, thin, thin, and flat-stomach females have been referred to in mainstream media as the cultural standard for beauty.  

Examples of 'fit' body types presented to the female participants, which are often portrayed on social media in a gym setting

Example of “fit” body types given to female participants. These are commonly displayed on social media at a gym. 

FITFemales who are more toned, athletic and have light muscle in the abdomen and arms will be more attractive.

Jillian Michaels is an example of a “fit” woman. She’s a US personal trainer and businesswoman.

Researchers state that the fit-ideal is defined as a slim, toned, but slender figure. This is different from the muscularity ideal, which is larger in stature and has more visible arms, legs, and abdominal muscles.   

All three forms of body-ideal imagery were found to have a greater degree of weight dissatisfaction than those in the control. 

However, the study also showed that comparing oneself to the thin-thin ideal led to a less attractive body image than the “thin” ideal. 

‘The study found that women exposed to the “slim-thick” ideal felt more dissatisfied with their weight and their shape, and experienced less satisfaction with their bodies overall,’ McComb told MailOnline. 

They felt the effects of thin ideal more than they did. 

“So, even though the thinner thin body is more attractive than the ideal body shape, it is less detrimental to your body’s image and not necessarily healthier.   

Researchers did not test the slim-fit’ ideal for comparison to the?fit’ ideal. 

The researchers say: 'While the slim-thick-ideal may just be gaining popularity in white-centred media, it is not new among other ethnic communities, such as Latino and Black communities' Pictured is Beyoncé Knowles in London, July 2019

The researchers say: ‘While the slim-thick-ideal may just be gaining popularity in white-centred media, it is not new among other ethnic communities, such as Latino and Black communities’ Pictured is Beyoncé Knowles in London, July 2019

Overall, the study suggests a modern obsession with achieving body ideals is shifting to a ‘slim-thick’ body, which maybe more detrimental to women’s body image than the ‘thin’ ideal. 

There may be several reasons for this, according to McComb. McComb suggests that slimming down appeals to more women of all ethnicities. 

McComb explained to MailOnline that “Past research has shown that Caucasian women desire the thin ideal” and that ethnic minority women prefer a curvier ideal. 

As body standards shift away from being “thin”, the “slim, thin” idea is gaining more popularity in mainstream media. We may also see more women wanting to be “slim”!

Slim-thick is being popularized by very influential beauty influencers and celebrities with massive social media followings, like Kim Kardashian.

‘We’re currently investigating if more women aspire to this ideal because they think it may be easier to attain than the thin ideal, which makes them feel disappointed when it’s more difficult to achieve than they initially expected,’ said McComb. 

The paper has appeared in Body Image.  

STUDY FINDS: Women feel more satisfied with their bodies from age 60 onwards. 

A 2021 study showed that women feel satisfied with their bodies as early as 60. 

In New Zealand, around 15,000 women and men were surveyed over six years to determine their body satisfaction. 

They found body satisfaction increased across the lifespan for both men and women, but women specifically started to love their body around the age of 60 and men between the ages of 59 and 64.  

It’s possible that a newfound appreciation for how we look around the 60-mark coincides with our health becoming more important than our looks – for both men and women. 

The researchers warn that for women, pregnancy and postpartum periods typically lead to physiological changes that can negatively affect body image.

They are inconsistent with strict beauty standards, which include weight gain, body changes, hair loss, and skin blemishes.   

Learn more: A study shows that women are happier with their bodies as they age.