Instead of hurting egos, super-thin models featured in beauty magazines boost "thinspiration", the belief of normal-sized women that they can make themselves look just as attractive as the models they see in these magazines, finds a research.
The researchers found that the women buying beauty magazines to look thin are less likely to engage in weigh-loss activities.
"Women get the message that they can look just like the models they see in the magazines," said Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, author of the study and professor of communication at The Ohio State University.
"It makes them feel better at first, but in the long run women are buying into these thinness fantasies that just won't come true," Knobloch-Westerwick said.
The study involved 51 female college students.
The study found that women who felt greater "thinspiration" by viewing images of thin models were actually less likely to engage in weight-loss behaviours.
"They felt better about their body instantly when viewing the images and related content. They were not thinking about what they had to do to look like these models," Knobloch-Westerwick pointed out.
The study appeared online in the journal Health Communication.