What’s The Sexiest Look?
Evolutionary psychology says some bodies are better than others, reflecting healthy, fertile genes.
Mostly, the focus is women’s bodies.
But if it’s true, why are men drawn to so many different body types?
And why is the preference influenced by culture?
West Africa’s obese ideal
First let’s go to West Africa where obesity is beautiful.
In Mauritania, West Africa a woman named Mint Ethmane told the Wall Street Journal that when she was eight years old her mother began force-feeding her.
She was required to consume milk and porridge morning, noon and night… not to mention pre-breakfast feedings. And she was awoken at midnight and forced to drink several more pints of milk.
If she threw up, her mother made her eat the vomit. If she refused to eat, her mother pinched her toes between wooden sticks creating unbearable pain.
Hmmmmm… and yet few Americans find obesity hot.
Maybe different body types are healthier in different places?
Today’s Western beauty ideal? It depends
Let’s take a look at three different cultures with a similar gene pool: modern America, modern Britain, and 1890s Europeans.
A recent survey found that American men today most want to sleep with these women (in order of preference):
Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Kaley Cuoco, Sophia Vergara.
Mostly, these women are curvy. So curvy is best (presumably the healthiest and most fertile)?
Yet skinny Mila and Ariana come in at #3 and #4? Hmmmm…..
So who do British men most want to sleep with?
Kate Middleton, Emma Watson, Kelly Brook, Keira Knightley, Charlotte Crosby, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller.
Now the data is reversed, with slim predominantly signaling the best (healthiest and most fertile) genes. But curvy is good too.
1890s erotic dancers
Whether curvy or slim is more preferred today, we are seeing just a few body types: slim all over, slim with big boobs, or hourglass with large breasts and large butt.
Now take a look at 1890s erotic dancers and the body ideal shifts again: some of the dancers do fit the modern western ideal. But others have a lot of junk in the trunk but not much up top.
The preferred body type
So far, the preferred body ideal appears to be obese, skinny, top-heavy, bottom heavy, and all points between.
Hmmmm, looks like we can all stop worrying about whether or not we (or our partners) fit some narrow beauty ideal.
Story of Mint Ethmane from the Wall Street Journal 12/29/04.