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surprise! the body shape men really find attractive (hint: it is not what you think)

Apr 25, 2012 | By: Lisa Cohen Lee

Here’s some good news, especially if you’re struggling to lose those last five pounds:  Contrary to popular belief, a rail thin body is not in.  With the proliferation of waif-like models sashaying down runways and on the pages of fashion magazines,  it’s easy to assume that super skinny is the body shape  men find irresistibly desirable. But according to research in the real world, gentlemen prefer curves. “In cross-cultural studies, men are universally more attracted to women who have a lower waist ratio; ideally a small waist with larger legs and hips,” says William D. Lassek, MD, and the author of “Why Women Need Fat”. “When they see curvy women, like Playboy playmates, their brain’s pleasure center sparks up.” 

Yes, you can blame it on biology; an hourglass figure is more attractive to men strictly because of their desire to reproduce. “There’s a template that men are born with, that instinctively gravitates towards a body shape with a proportionate bust and hip size. Men don’t know why they have these preferences, but the basic reason is that women with bigger hips appear to have more reproductive potential,” says Lassek. Not surprisingly, men also found bigger breast sizes more appealing. But don’t think that automatically means double F cup sizes—it’s more important that the breast size is proportionate.  “The research shows that men liked the Playboy playmate hourglass shape because the bust size was almost always the same measurement as the hip size, with a smaller waist in between.” 

Yet, even though ultra-slim models rule the catwalks, it’s not always the case in the offices of cosmetic surgeons.  “I’ve definitely noticed an increase in women asking to accentuate their curves, rather than a skinny waif look that takes them away,” says Dr. Angelo Cuzalina, a cosmetic surgeon in Tulsa Oklahoma, and a past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.  In the last five years, he notes, more women are signing on for a fat transfer, which takes fat from the belly and puts it into the buttocks, resulting in a defined hourglass figure.  Likewise for Brazilian butt lift surgery and butt implants, both of which are prevalent in South America, and becoming more commonplace in the States.  And while breast implant surgery continues to be wildly popular, the look is more natural and proportionally size appropriate than even a decade ago. “For a while, it was how big can you go, but recently there’s been backing off a little as far as breast size. I’m also seeing women with implants who want to revise them and go a bit smaller.” 

Still, many women are idealizing an unhealthy and unachievable body shape perhaps due to a misconception about the opposite sex, says Dr. Lassek. “When women were asked to predict the figure men find most attractive, they consistently chose a much skinnier figure than the men actually preferred.  What these women didn’t realize was that their own body types were much closer to the mens’ ideal than the very thin ones.”  


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