Who said that being thin was the female ideal? While women tend to embark on diet after diet in an effort to achieve the rail-thin bodies of celebrities, new research has found that men actually prefer women with meat on their bones.
The findings, which were published Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE, saw researchers at the University of Westminster in London subjected 41 men to a stress-inducing task. After this task, the researchers asked the men to rate the attractiveness of female bodies ranging from emaciated to obese.
Compared to a control group of 40 men who did not undergo the stress task, the stressed men rated a significantly heavier female body size as the most attractive, and they rated heavier female bodies as more attractive in general.
“Our body size preferences are flexible and can be changed by environment and circumstance,” explains Martin Tovee, one of the study’s authors. “We need to understand the factors shaping body preferences.”
Additionally, earlier research has shown that men also prefer heavier body sizes when resources are unpredictable or unavailable.
“If you live in an environment where food is scarce, being heavier means that you have fat stored up as a buffer and that you must be higher social status to afford the food in the first place,” Tovee explains. “Both of these are attractive qualities in a partner in those circumstances.”
So, in these economically challenging times, curves seem to be more in line with what the doctored ordered ….