What Feminine Shape Is Most Attractive to Men?
As I get older, I'm becoming increasingly aware of the comments that men make about women. These generally refer to females' bodies, with certain features tending to dominate most conversations. When I was younger, the nature of these comments didn't bother me as much as they do now. However, as a larger woman, I'm aware that some men seek the perfect body when looking for a mate (think Sofia Vergara from Modern Family), while completely ignoring the unseen qualities a woman might possess.
Before I begin preaching about the injustices of men's desires from my virtual soap box, a disclaimer seems appropriate: research shows that some men are biologically programmed to prefer women with voluptuous figures rather than those without feminine curves. It's amazing that magazines and other forms of media don't capitalize on this. Instead, they continue to bombard us with photos of "perfect" women, never giving credence to full-figured women, who are undeniably desirable to many men.
Body preference is, in part, determined by the waist to hip ratio, which is figured by dividing the circumference of a woman's waist by that of her hips. In Western cultures, a waist-hip ratio of 0.7 is what men find most appealing, and research has found that this number is linked to optimal levels of female reproductive hormones and a lower likelihood of a variety of diseases. This seems to indicate that a classic hourglass figure can be just as attractive to men as the rail-thin image promoted by television and fashion designers.
It's also important to note that a certain level of healthy fat is necessary for fertility. Women's bodies were designed to carry a developing child over a relatively long gestational period, and, as such, women store fat naturally. More specifically, the weight a woman carries around her hips may serve as an indication of how much fat is available in her body for conversion into energy for fetal nourishment. Some researchers have even postulated that the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids contained in hip fat are actually critical for the developing fetal brain. Thus, a woman with some meat on her bones may be innately attractive to a man because her figure signifies that she is fertile.
This isn't meant to discredit thin women, but the reality is that being overweight can damage a woman's confidence, and it's easy to feel undesirable when men talk about the female body like it's carrion. At the heart of this is what so many overweight women wrestle with: the feeling that no amount of effort will ever be enough to satisfy society.
I know that I try to compensate for my less-than-ideal body by exhibiting a bubbly and outgoing personality. Neither of these traits comes easily to me; I'm normally quite shy around people I've never met because I'm not naturally a social butterfly. But every time I walk out my apartment door, I plaster a smile on my face and laugh heartily with those I encounter because I want to draw attention away from my body.The problem with this facade is that I'm not being true to myself in doing this, and the act can get very tiring.
If some men can find beauty in voluptuous women, why can't the world at large? I'm waiting for the day when all women will be looked on as equals. And, in return, we can view ourselves without judgment, but rather, in peaceful knowledge that we are accepted for who we are rather than what we look like.