The greatest aphrodisiac, according to pop culture, is to be told never to change. Everyone from Bobby Vinton to Billy Joel to Bruno Mars loves you just the way you are. To the guy with the giant index cards, Keira Knightley was perfect. Kanye West, responding to the Internet breakage caused by his wife’s prodigious posterior, tweeted in affirmation: #Allday.
Real life is not always this body-positive. But a study recently published in the journal Personal Relationships suggests that, for women who do want to lose weight, hearing these types of accepting messages can lead to better success in dieting than being surrounded by people who point out their need to lose weight.
Over the course of the nine-month study, women who received lots of weight-acceptance messages shed about .17 units of body mass index, or BMI.
On the other hand, it could be that hearing critical feedback about their bodies led those women to feel like crap, a state of being that is often correlated with eating lethal amounts of Oreos. Either way, the takeaway is clear: If you’re concerned about how you look and want to make a change, surround yourself with lovers, not haters. #Allday
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*Image of “watermelon heart” via Shutterstock