Beautiful Women’s Hips Are Thinner Than Their Heads?

Are women more beautiful when they are thin, thin, thin?  Are they more beautiful when their hips are thinner than their heads?

Ralph Lauren apparently thinks so. Check out these images of model, Filippa Hamilton before and after photoshop:


         Before photoshop                       After photoshop          

Ok, I’ve definitely been duped by insane notions of beauty. But these go too far.

I don’t care how much the camera gazes at this eerie image, telling me it’s beautiful, I don’t buy it.

Oddly, this bizarre figure is making me rethink the attractiveness of considerably less touched-up photos.

Does Britney Spears really look better thinner? Many will say yes, but (surprising even myself) I don’t. I’m happy to report that I think Britney looks just as beautiful smaller or “bigger” (she’s not really that big).

Google images

Recently the new Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, was photoshopped making her tiny waist appear impossibly thin. Is the new wasp-waist more lovely? I think not.

Kate Middleton's waist was slimmed down on the cover of Grazia magazine. Photos by Getty Images; Grazia.

Fortunately, Germany’s most popular women’s magazine, Brigitte, has chosen to stop using professional models, keeping to real, non-starving and non-photoshopped women. What a breath of fresh air! They may be more attractive, taller, and thinner than average, but at least they’re not abnormal.

      Click to view image       Click to view image

Who’s more beautiful, a Ralph Lauren fake lady or a Brigitte real woman?

I vote for the real woman, any day!

A version of this piece was originally published Nov. 1, 2010.

Bad news to update ladies. Looks like two years late Brigitte recanted their decision. Kinda sucks.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on August 22, 2011, in body image, feminism, gender, psychology, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I’ve never heard of a human being with hips that small, and your Photoshopped images confirm my knee-jerk reaction that the idea is just warped.

    • Thanks Michael. Warped, indeed. And there’s a lot of $$ to be made when we buy into these ridiculous notions of impossible “beauty” standards that can never really be met.

  2. Narrowing the model’s torso without shortening it makes her look like an insect. i.e., the distance from waist to crotch is too long. The Duchess of C already looks anorexic. I guess the new idea for a woman’s body is a Bratz doll.

  3. I like the Demi Moore picture, where a Photoshop job was only partially done, making the editting VERY obvious! That, or, she has a chunk of her missing:

    http://www.popeater.com/2009/11/19/demi-moore-photoshop-controversy/

  4. How is it that a woman who looks so thin she seems unhealthy, attractive? I’ve never seen a woman like that ever! On the other hand, Catherine Middleton is already the most gorgeous queen I have laid my eyes on with no doubt a magnificent body and the magazine felt the need to photoshop her waist?? This is so crazy, I can’t believe it! I’m so glad to see that Brigitte has stopped the madness. Personally I think curvy women are the way to go. They hold so much power when they show off their body no matter the size and it speaks volumes as to how much woman they hold within themselves. It’s fantastic and I think it’s horrible to make any woman with their natural bodies seem anything other than natural.

  5. Women do this to themselves.
    Thin women are everywhere, but not that thin unless they have an eating disorder. The thing is women do this to themselves because they think it looks good but do they really think men like that? For instance, if an annorexicly thin woman walked by a group of men would they get checked out more or less than a curvey woman? I’ve seen this in action and curvey women always get the longer stare because those my friends, are some baby making hips.
    Men LOVE the hour glass figure, they want something to grab on to and feel. I mean you never cuddled with a glass vase before have you? No it was your favorite soft and squishy teddy bear. So really think about it, we don’t starve ourselves for men, we do it for other women. But I mean if you are a heterosexual woman, why the hell would you want to impress another girl anyway!?

    P.S. Thank you Germany. <3

  6. I can’t believe the first set of pictures was the same woman! She looked gorgeous in her white dress, and looked just sick in her ralph lauren picture. Her neck looked sucked in and her jaw looked completely jutted out. I recently got to see my own body with the “model body.” This was purely unintentional, I was sick with a kidney infection and a UTI at the same time and couldn’t keep ANYTHING down, including water because my antibiotics (ciproflaxin) made me so sick. I looked so gross. Like a walking skeleton. And I still was on the overweight side of the BMI scale for my height. I can’t comprehend this except to believe that I have big or heavy bones for my height or something. Because that’s all I had left on me, skin and bones.

  7. It’s all cultural as far as I’m concerned. American men favor skinny women. What’s their motivation? Is it because they’re truly attracted to women or is it just a covert ploy to control women. I don’t know but as a result, models who go anorexic are more popular and then this influences women in general.

    Personally, I think they look gross. I like women with some meat on their bones. I myself have a small waist and I like it because it feels elegant even though I’m a guy so I understand it feels good to be skinny but not THAT skinny. I hope if I ever have a daughter she doesn’t get trapped in this cultural nonsense of anorexia.

    I used to date a girl who was anoerexic not because of culture but because of her drug use and she was so skinny she couldn’ even run for like a minute because she had no leg muscles. Well, she was also not getting enough calories so that’s also a factor but anorexia is physically and mentally unhealthy so don’t let these ads fool you.

    • The control probably comes from the culture rather than individual men (who often prefer less-skinny as they say). But both men and women learn the preference.

      A lot of it comes from the desire to sell products. Create an impossible image to live up to, and that creates a lot of products to by in hopes of achieving the idea.

  8. I don’t understand why anyone would photoshop a women if they were already skinny. In my opinion making them look supper skinny looks gross and not attractive whatsoever. They should not be photoshopped because they look more unattractive and unhealthy. The first picture of the model Filippa Hamilton on the right looks great, but the left is terrible. She definitely looks anorexic and needs meat on her bones. I understand some men like women very skinny, but to me they don’t look healthy looking like they have no fat. Unfortunately, when women see a skinny model they want to be just like them and start hurting their bodies by not eating which is devastating.

  9. The images above are really quite shocking. I even had to call my sister over to make her look at how ridiculous the media is getting. Just today I had an English final and the topic of the article that was given was society and the ideal body type that women are supposed to fulfill. The article even mentioned something very interesting. Only 5% of American women fit the description of a perfect body and only because they were born with it. I feel that everyone’s body shape and size or however on would like to refer to it, is different. There will be different curves, lengths, dimensions on everyone. To feel the need to fit a perfect body is preposterous. Its completely absurd for men and some women to expect that. I would love to see a man fit into a size 2 dress. Oh wait, that’s right. They have different shapes, which is my point exactly. Everyone has a different body type. Its sad how many women develop psychological and physiological problems because of feeling the need to be a perfectly shaped woman. The message that media is portraying towards women is totally unhealthy not only for the current generations but for the ones to come. If this is how bad it is now, how bad will it be in 15 or even 10 years??!! I think everyone is beautiful in their own way, but that is really only true if the one holding the beauty believes it as well.

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