04/18/2012 04:16 EDT

Like Shoes And Handbags? Study Says You May Be Insecure (PHOTOS)


If you're the type of woman who loves to splurge on shoes and handbags, it may be time to check in on how you're feeling.

Researchers in New Zealand have found women who feel more insecure about their bodies opt to buy shoes and handbags over dresses and pants.

According to lead researcher Jessica Boyce, of the University of Canterbury, women negatively compare themselves to the models they see in clothing ads. Because many women don't feel they measure up, they start to doubt their ability to fit into the clothes they see advertised. That then leads them to purchase accessories as a way to update their wardrobe.

"What the research suggests is that shoes and handbags are more appealing to insecure women because they increase physical attractiveness without drawing attention to one's figure. Trousers, on the other hand, tend to draw attention and that is why they are shunned by this group of women,'' she tells The New Zealand Herald.

The study involved over 1,000 undergraduate students, mostly from the University of Alberta.

With the proliferation of ever-shrinking models -- like Ioana Spangenberg and her 20-inch waist -- it's no wonder ads are impacting not only a woman's self-esteem, but also her shopping habits.

What do you think?

Here are a few stars who have shed (maybe too many) pounds in an effort to "keep up appearances."