German, Dutch and US researchers have found that it doesn't make a difference whether models are extremely thin or curvy, they all make overweight women feel bad about themselves.

United Press International (UPI) reported the findings of a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research where it was stated that "overweight women's self-esteem always decreases, regardless of the model they look at."

Interestingly, the effect on underweight women is the contrary: "Underweight women's self-esteem always increases, regardless of the model they look at," the authors noted.

Another finding is that overweight and underweight women had similar self-confidence levels when they weren't looking at the models and the researchers' recommendation to overweight women was to avoid looking at fashion ads altogether.

But is this possible?

Recent initiatives to promote 'healthy' and 'normal' women or plus size models instead of 'unrealistically skinny' girls, led by women's magazines such as US Glamour or the German Brigitte, have caused a stir in the industry although consumers seem to love the new approach.

With the mounting discomfort regarding excessive retouching of fashion ads, many hope that the way fashion advertising is made changes profoundly.

Is your self-esteem affected when you page through a fashion glossy? Share your thoughts on the topic in the box below.