The commonly accepted belief held is that normally sized women succumb to eating disorders and lower self esteem when they see super thin women on the covers of magazines and in advertising.
However, the belief was put to the test and according to this study done by researchers from Germany, The Netherlands, and Arizona, normal sized women suffered lower self esteem when seeing advertising with fuller sized women. Why? Because the normal sized women thought that they were overweight when they viewed ads of larger women.
Digest that for a moment.
According to this study, women suffer from low self esteem when they see superthin women AND when they see larger women.
This study mentions the effectiveness of ad campaigns (such as the Dove Real Women campaign) given such findings. Apparently these kind of campaigns don’t work because women are less enthusiastic about the product once their self esteem is lowered.
So basically, women are going to have a negative emotional response to an ad with another woman of ANY size in it.