Women all over the world are constantly battling against extra weight. This is something that is of our time and culture, as it was not too long ago that bigger women were seen as incredibly beautiful. This is mainly seen in the paintings of Ruben. Indeed, the expression “Rubenesque women” still stands today. Additionally, there are still cultures today, such as in India, where a full-figured woman is seen as more attractive because it shows that she has wealth.
Unfortunately, being larger (with a high BMI – body mass index) is usually unhealthy. Hence, even if Rubenesque women would still be classed as beautiful today, or if the Indian culture would spread across the world, the reality is that women should not become as big as that because of the negative effects on their health. On the other hand, women are forced to have a morphed view of their own body and this is due to Size 0 models and Photoshopped images of celebrities. Women are always striving to achieve a weight so low that it is not good for their health either.
But what weight or body shape is actually seen as attractive? As it is clear that so many women would push the boundaries to extremes that are not good for their health either way (the rising numbers of people with bulimia, anorexia and other eating disorders demonstrates this), could it help to understand that society in general would see them as more beautiful if they had a certain body shape and weight?
Research and Findings
We know from research that physical attractiveness is incredibly important.
Attractive children are more popular, both with classmates and teachers. Teachers give higher evaluations to the work of attractive children and have higher expectations of them (which has been shown to improve performance).
This is something that stays with us throughout our lives. In the labor market, attractive people tend to have better jobs as well. They are also more likely to be found innocent in court and we seem psychologically predisposed to believe that someone who looks good must be good in other areas (intelligence, personality, philanthropy and so on) as well.
Interestingly, these distorted views exist regardless of age, ethnic background or sexual orientation. However, they are mainly present in women. Men are simply less concerned with the way they look and, believe it or not, with the way women look. At the same time, however, women know that they have a distorted view of their bodies and are pushing themselves into an unhealthy lifestyle just to achieve a certain weight.
What Men See
Many women try to achieve a certain beauty standard because of how they believe men will perceive them. What they don’t realize, however, is that men subconsciously look for the things that make women womanly.
This means when they look at you they instantly notice the things about your body that make you uniquely a woman. Breasts, hips, ass, curves… Even the way you walk.
Next, they look at the things that make a woman unique. Indeed, research has demonstrated that women who have a particular feature that is out of the norm often feel that this is something ugly about them. Yet, men see this as something that makes the woman unique. Finally, men see the things that women draw attention to. A woman who talks about her muffin top, her flat chest or her thighs covered in cellulite, for instance, will be noticed for those particular aspects of her body.
How to Look Good and Be Healthy
Since it is clear that being lightweight or, particularly, underweight, is not just unhealthy but it is also no more attractive than a woman who is overweight or simply has feminine curves, women should start to focus on what makes them healthy. Health is beauty, the type of beauty that truly shines through. This is why women need to understand what their body shape actually says about their health, and some say that the only truly important measurement for that is waist size.
A greater waist circumference is associated with a higher risk of death, regardless of your BMI, according to new research published by the Mayo Clinic.
The research, which was conducted on some 650,000 different women, demonstrated that women with a waist size greater than 37.5 inches are at an 80% greater risk of dying early than women who have a waist size of less than 27.5 inches. The reason for this is that one of the most dangerous types of fat is abdominal fat. This is the type of fat that builds up around internal organs, which means it is invisible but very much there. As such, even women with a BMI that would class them as being overweight, but who have a waist size below 27.5 inches are healthier than those with a normal BMI but a larger waist size.
So does this mean that the hourglass figure is the most attractive shape? Is that the figure that all women should strive to achieve? Experts say that it is important to move away from that idea as well. The taller the woman, the more of an hourglass figure she will need to have in order to stick to the lower waist size. However, a shorter woman may have an apple or pear shape and still have a waist size below 27.5 inches and therefore be healthy.
So, as a woman, if you want to become fit, healthy and, by default, beautiful and attractive, start working on that waist. Forget the media-enforced images of stick thin models who live on a celery stick every day. Real women have real curves, but they are healthy. They are not Rubenesque but they do not necessarily have an hourglass figure. Beautiful women are, quite simply put, healthy women and that is what someone who is attracted to them picks up on, not whether or not they have a six pack, definition in the shoulders or calves like steel. Workout those lateral abs, and you will become more beautiful instantly.