Curvy Belles vs. Stick Thin Waifs: Changing Male Preferences Explained
Almost every print and TV media ad in the world showcases thin, waifish women promoting cosmetics, perfumes, and household products. This is in direct contrast to normal women who usually are healthy, but curvy and ranging in size from a normal Size-5 to Size-18 or more. One would be inclined to think that reed-thin women are attractive to men but research states that men like curvy women!
So Thin is not in?
According to a study by the University of Texas, men seemed to prefer curvier women. They also seemed to choose women based on their body, rather than their face! This fact was reinforced by a recent poll carried out by the British weekly magazine Grazia. The poll showed that men preferred curvier women, and they choose women based on body type.
If Men Liked Curvier Women, Why Is It That Almost Every Woman Followed The ‘Thin Is In’ Agenda?
The most common body shape in women was apple or pear. In fact, the average body size of 90% of American women ranged from a normal Size-12 to a Size-14 or more. These body shapes and sizes, however, were not in favor with the media. Waif-thin models were the norm and most women worked out day and night to reach the waifish body shape that was predominant on every TV and print advertisement.
Image consultant Donna Cameron from Body Map also stated a simple truth. According to her, women lived in an era where women wanted to be skinny. Men preferred women to be curvier, but it was women who were much more critical of themselves and other women.
Professor Marika Tiggerman, prominent anthropologist, pointed out another fact. According to her, when food was scarce, people valued a plumper body. Conversely, when food was plentiful, people started to value a thinner frame. As we live in a time of conspicuous consumption, leaner bodies could have gained popularity for this reason.
Other than that, popular supermodels like Twiggy and Kate Moss had natural waifish body types, and they hit the peak of their popularity in the early 90’s. In fact, these supermodels went on to achieve mind-boggling fame and wealth due to their body types. This fact was attractive to women who wanted to achieve the same wealth and popularity.
Another factor that did come into play was general idealization and obsession. People read significant but unconscious meaning into body size and shape. For example, people who are fat were stereotyped as being lazy and lacking in self-control. Conversely, people who were thin and in-shape were associated with more self-control and discipline.
This is a fundamental reality that occurs in real life.
So Now Curvaceous Is In?
Although these above-mentioned facts do seem to back up the current zeitgeist of ‘thin is in,’ there does seem to be hope on the horizon for women who are plus-sized. The pressure to fit in, and reach size zero could change over the next few years. Most model agencies and magazines have bowed to the general public and they have started featuring plus-sized models in their ads and magazine covers. In fact, recently Sport Illustrated featured Ashley Graham in all her Size-16 glory, as one of the main center spreads of the iconic magazine.