I recently ran across a study that caught my attention. While far from scientific, it was intriguing nonetheless.
The online magazine FHM surveyed 60,000 men. The men’s mag found that when shown pictures of three women in teeny bikinis, 4 out of 5 men said they were more attracted to the size 12 and size 14 women than the gal who was a slimmer size 8. The majority of votes went to the size 12 woman, with 41% saying that she had the body shape of their “ideal girlfriend”. Nearly as many men voted for the size 14 model. “A piddling 20% of readers selected our size 8 model pictured as their ideal girl-physique,” wrote FHM editor Ben Smithurst.
Did you assume guys would be attracted to the thinnest of the three? That’s what many ads and fashion magazines would lead us to believe– but not this time.
The Bottom Line?
There is more to being healthy than being thin. There is more to attraction than can be measured with a scale.
Regardless, no matter if you’re a size 2 or 20, seems as though women will forever ponder the question: “what exactly is the ‘perfect’ weight?”
The answer? It depends who you ask. What I can tell you is the average American woman is 5′4″ and 140-150 lbs– just about that size 12-14 the fellas in FHM’s survey were so excited about. Ideal? Those digits teeter on the top of the BMI (Body Mass Index) scale I’ll soon discuss.
Everyone seems to want to set the example, give an opinion or become a poster girl for the perfect figure, but the right size for the right height comes down to two things: love and numbers.
Whether or not you are working towards a more fit body– ya gotta give yourself a little L-O-V-E. If you are having trouble facing yourself in the mirror, toss aside those fashion magazines. Talk to a friend, maybe a therapist or do a little research. There’s certainly no lack of online encouragement when it comes to accepting ourselves for who we are. Take a peek at The NOW Foundation’s “Love Your Body Campaign” for a little boost of encouragement. They encourage men, women– even kids to take back control and get real about all those retouched images in the media. Or scan the web for how Photoshop affects many of the pictures we see. Trust me when I say this revelation will shock and amaze you.
It’s not always easy. I’m definitely the Domestic Square Peg of the gym. My saving grace is I eat well, but I would rather watch a movie than work out. This being said, if you’ve ever forced yourself to exercise, you know how good it feels after you’ve finished– and that dedication will show in these numbers:
BMI: It’s critical you know your Body Mass Index (BMI) and a fabulous place to figure it out is the BMI Plus Calculator on WebMD. An average adult wants to be in the 20-25 range.
Body Fat: The easiest way to measure body fat is with a professional at a health club. Average women should keep their body fat in the range of 20-29%. After menopause, it can rise to about 32.
Waist Size: Measure across your belly button and around your waist. Your goal here is a waist measurement less than 35″.
Once you have your results, you can set your goals. Keep in mind, good health habits matter and will influence these numbers, so do all the things you’ve likely heard again and again: eat right and exercise. This makes a difference no matter what your body size or shape.
Now, getting back to that original study. Think about the results and forget about the exact percentages. What matters is there were men who liked every shape of women shown. There is someone for everyone.
There is no mold you must fit into, only a mirror to peer into and applaud what you see!
View all posts by: DSP Nurse Kris.