Ladies, if you feel less than stellar about yourself, specifically about your body or degree of sex appeal specifically, it might be a good idea to make some new friends, particularly with gay men.
According to a study published in “Body Image,” an international journal of research, conducted by psychologists from Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia, Canada and the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, a woman’s body esteem is positively associated with friendships with gay men.
The study consisted of 154 hetrosexual women who completed measures of their friendships with gay men, straight men and women, body image, relationship involvement and break-ups. The women who had friendships with gay men had better body image, specifically feelings of sexual attractiveness.
So why is this? Why do women with gay male friends feel sexier? It’s pretty simple. It comes down to feedback.
Forgive me for making a horrible generalization, but gay men tend to be freer with compliments and feedback (at least the gay men I’ve known have always been). That’s not to say straight men don’t notice things, gay men just seem to actually verbalize those complimentary things more.
Women are pretty good at complimenting each other, but it always means something different if the compliment comes from a man, even if he is gay. Furthermore, the compliment seems more sincere from a gay man than a straight man–a woman won’t wonder in the back of her mind if he had some secret ulterior motive, if he was essentially trying to butter her up for something.
If given the option between consulting with a gay male friend or a close girlfriend, especially on a day she is feeling less than great about herself, a woman will almost always choose her gay guy friend (and if not, according to this study, she probably should). Not only will she trust his judgments more, it will eliminate the primary downfall to a woman’s self-esteem, and thereby feelings of sexiness–comparison. It often doesn’t do a woman any good to talk to a gorgeous girlfriend when she’s feeling badly about herself, she won’t be able to stop comparing and will wind up feeling worse. A woman’s feelings of sexiness and body esteem stem directly from her confidence.
So there you have it, Gen Y ladies, there’s some scientific proof that it really is your best interest to have gay guy friends. And, Millenial guys, knowing a woman’s body image and feelings of sexiness improve when she has gay guy friends, you might want to encourage your girlfriend to spend time with the gay men she knows. Chances are she’ll leave feeling pretty awesome, (AKA pretty sexy), and you likely will benefit from that.
Yes, guys, you should have read that last sentence in a suggestive voice, full of innuendo.
For more info: This study was also mentioned recently on the Oprah Web site, “11 Ways to Feel More Beautiful.” The article by Jenny Bailly also suggested that women surround themselves with women who feel confident about themselves because you’ll wind up following suit. (I would just caution doing so on down days to avoid comparing, but under normal circumstances, this is unequivocally true). A full copy of the study can be downloaded here.
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