If you are a woman with a less attractive spouse, the odds are that you will be happier. And it might have everything to do with body image.
An interesting study was done by two scientists from Florida State University who investigated the impact a relationship had on body image.
We live in societies that place a lot of importance on body image.
But body image is a vast concept, and in addition to physical appearance, it also includes your feelings about your body. For instance, you have to consider how you feel about your shape, weight, and height.
All these factors have an effect on your body image.
And don't think you start to have a body image once you start taking fashion shows and magazines seriously. It turns out that body image starts to form early on based on our moods, parents, and friends.
During this formative period in a person's life, a positive or a negative body image can take root and remain with a person throughout their lives.
The study had a look at the connection between women, the attractiveness of her partner, and their desire to diet.
The motivation for dieting is low among men
To start off, the study discovered that men and women had very diverse reasons for dieting.
A total of 223 pairs of newly married heterosexual couples were used in the study.
In general, the study discovered that women who had husbands who were considered attractive had greater motivation to diet, lose weight, and be thinner.
The pressure is even worse for women who were not particularly attractive.
However, this is not a problem women considered to be more attractive than their partners had.
But for the men, it did not seem to matter. Their diet motivation did not vary depending on the attractiveness of their wives.
The desire to get on a diet and have healthier weight was consistently low among this study's male subjects.
What does that tell you?
Women are more concerned about their looks. They have fears regarding their body image as they are concerned that they might not meet their partner's expectations.
But the study also does reveal one important secret. Women who are more attractive than their partners tend to be much happier. This is because they do not have to constantly worry about their looks and pursue weight loss goals based on a negative motivation to become more attractive to their partners.
Poor body image is never good. As a matter of fact, it can be quite unhealthy. People with this problem tend to compare themselves to others and have eating disorders.
Ugly husband, happy wife!
It is already well-known that women are prone to extreme weight-loss behaviors. These can result in psychological issues like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, distress, and, you guessed it - reduced levels of happiness.
Women overestimate how thin their spouses wish they were, making them go high extremes to diet and lose weight.
This study also found that marriages that were more successful and fulfilling had a woman who was considered more attractive than the husband.
Otherwise, the women who feel insecure about their appearance need reassurance from their spouses. If they hear they are beautiful despite their body weight or type can help keep them from slipping into unhealthy dieting behaviors.
Such reassurances can make these relationships more successful. The focus can also be placed on other areas the women are good at, such as their kindness and intellect.