You know that one super-skinny friend with whom you dread going shopping because you know she’ll emerge from the dressing room with the uncanny audacity to ask, “Do I look fat in this?” Apparently, France is full of these bewilderingly weight-delusional women.
Of all the countries in Europe, France is the only one where more than 5% of the women are clinically underweight (according to World Health Organization BMI standards). However, according to a study by France’s National Institute of Demographic Studies, half of these femmes maigres don’t see themselves as too thin-or even just thin. Some believe they could stand to lose a few pounds.
The surrounding countries see themselves far differently, with the number of women who believe they are too thin far surpassing the actual number who are.
The study author chalks it up to France simply having a different body ideal. He suggested that if a French person were to visit the U.S., where obesity is much more prevalent, she “probably wouldn’t feel fat any more.”
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