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in the words of Balki Bartokomous: get out of the city!

Posted Jun 19 2010 9:47pm

distorted Scientists from University College London have proved once again we seem to need a study to state the obvious.


18 volunteers were asked to position their left hand under a board, then predict the location of their knuckles and fingertips using a pointer. In the end, the majority assumed their hand to be one-third shorter and two-thirds wider than its true shape.


in other words: how we image our body to be is not how it actually is.


Lead researcher, Dr. Matthew Longo, concluded this as, "a finding that might also apply to other parts of the body."

"There may be a general bias towards perceiving the body to be wider than it is. Our healthy participants had a basically accurate visual image of their own body, but the brain's model of the hand underlying position sense was highly distorted. This distorted perception could come to dominate in some people, leading to distortions of body image as well, such as in eating disorders."


granted, i'm no scientist, so please don't take this as a biblical truth (hey, that was a oxymoron, wasn't it?) and although i highly, highly suspect women don't actually SEE their bodies for what they really are, imho, i don't think this is the study to prove it. because first of all - what does 18 people prove? second, how does pour accuracy of your hand prove you'll be inaccurate of your entire anatomy? that's a big anatomy! how many muscles, bones, fat cells, organs do we have, like - a billion? you're going to generalize a billion body parts?


i guess if i were fair, Dr. Longo did use the word "might".


as for my own experience, well...i'm still figuring it out. i mean, how would you know if your self perception is messed up? when your mom tells you "you're too skinny!" while all you're thinking is  "i could stand to lose 5lbs in each leg" - how do you know who's right? is your mom just "being a mom", or is the problem you -  being too hard on yourself?


when i first moved away from my home town seven years ago, i relocated to the big city of Calgary, Alberta. (you know, the famous "Stampede"? Banff National Park? and, uh, the "Stampede"?)  being 1300kms away, i didn't see my friends and family very often, and as anyone knows, when you finally do see each other, you comment on each other's appearance. and for whatever reason, with me, it was always about my weight. and, uh, the word "skinny" might've been a part of it.


now i know what you're thinking: what jackasses - how dare they say such a thing!!!  but i mention this is not so you rally against them, but because honestly -  i'm not a skinny person. (and believe it or not, this is not something i'm ashamed of in the least, so please, don't get all worried about me now.)seriously though, when this first started happening,i stood 5'7" and weighed 140lbs. not saying i was fat - just saying i wasn't a size six either. i loved my Quizno's brownies just like everyone else did. 


but i guess the other part of the equation is that everyone's definition of the S-word is different. to me "skinny" is Miley Cyrus; Sienna Miller; basically anyone you think might eat edible paper. and being a healthy Canadian size 9 - that was not me. (again, i'm fine with this!) but thenhow would you  know if your loved ones were merely exaggerating/being-nice/not-meaning-skinny-so-much-as-skinniER - OR - it was your own distorted body image that refused to accept you were, in fact, the S-word? how does anyone know?


no seriously i'm asking. how does anyone know?

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