There have been many attempts to measure a beautiful body for women. One of the most obvious ways was the weighing scales. Most women think that they will have a shapely body when they lose weight. Nothing could be further from the truth. For many years, the waist to hip ratio has been found to be the closest representation to measure a shapely body. There have been other proposed measurements but none have been as widely researched as the waist to hip ratio.
A big reason for not being able to sustain weight loss is because it is the wrong prescription for the problem. What everyone is looking for is a well-defined body shape. Unfortunately we are brought up in a society that worships the weight scales. In Part 1, we discussed on why the weight scales and the BMI scales are not able to define a beautiful body for women.
We have always advocated fat loss instead of just weight loss. Losing fat while holding on to your muscles is Correct Weight Loss!
So what should a well-defined and beautiful body for women really look like. Ultimately, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. It used to be difficult to verbalize and measure a beautiful body for women but modern science has now made this possible.
Table of Contents for Article
Assessing a Beautiful Body for Women
The hourglass shape is the ultimate that a woman can achieve from her weight loss efforts. But as you may have noticed, the hourglass is an approximation of what should be aimed for. If the waist is too narrow in proportion to the hips, the attractiveness factor reduces. The waist size has to be just right.
A study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1993. In that study, the researchers mentioned the waist to hip ratio as a measure of body fat distribution. The researchers presented 3 studies where men judged women with a low waist to hip ratio as attractive. Researchers found in one of the studies that 25 to 85 year old men found women with lower waist to hip ratio as more attractive, healthier and of greater reproductive value than women with higher waist to hip ratio. The researchers concluded that the waist to hip ratio was an important bodily feature that correlated strongly with physical attractiveness, health and reproductive potential.
The waist to hip ratio has been found by some researchers as a very good indicator of physical attractiveness for women. The waist to hip ratio or WHR is defined as the ratio of the waist circumference at the narrowest point to the hip circumference at the widest point.
The concept and significance of the waist to hip ratio as an indicator of attractiveness was first theorized by Dr. Devendra Singh at the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. For those looking for more information, read the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology “Adaptive significance of female physical attractiveness: Role of waist-to-hip ratio.“
Waist to Hip Ratio – The measure of a beautiful Body for Women Across the World
A study was published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour in 2007. In that study, researchers wanted to assess what Cameroonian men in Bakossiland found most attractive in the female physique. The men were asked in one of the studies to rate the attractiveness of back-posed female images varying in waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (from 0.5 to 1.0). A waist to hip ratio of 0.8 was found to be the most attractive to Cameroonian men.
A similar study was conducted with Chinese men in Xian. The findings were published in the American Journal of Human Biology in 2007. Chinese men most preferred a waist to hip ratio of 0.6 followed by 0.7. They found the waist to hip ratio of 0.9 and 1.0 as significantly less attractive.
A study was published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour in 2010. In that study, men and women living in New Zealand and California participated in studies regarding human physique and sexual attractiveness. In one of the studies, men were asked to rate the attractiveness of back-posed female images varying in waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (from 0.5 to 1.0). New Zealanders found a waist to hip ratio of 0.7 as the most attractive while Californians found a waist to hip ratio of 0.6 as the most attractive.
A study was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology in 2010. One hundred men, living in three villages in a remote region of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea were asked to judge the attractiveness of photographs of women who had undergone micrograft surgery to reduce their waist to hip ratios. Micrograft surgery involves harvesting fatty tissue from the waist and reshaping the buttocks to produce a low waist to hip ration and an “hourglass” female figure. Men consistently chose postoperative photographs as being more attractive than preoperative photographs of the same women. Some women gained weight postoperatively. Others lost weight. These changes affected the body mass index (BMI). Interestingly, changes in BMI were not related to men’s judgments of attractiveness. These results show that the hourglass female figure is rated as attractive by men living in a remote, indigenous community. The researchers further went to conclude that the waist to hip ratio plays a crucial role in their attractiveness judgments.
A study was published in the Journal of Biological Psychology in 2006. Men were rapidly shown figures of women. The researchers found that men made split second decisions to ascertain that the waist to hip ratio of 0.7 was representative of the most attractive body for women.
An article was published in the Journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in 2009. The researchers analyzed the body dimensions of the Miss Korea winners from 1971 to 2007. They also reviewed the measurements of the 60 candidates of the Miss Korea 2007 contest as well as the 30 candidates of Miss France 2007 contest. In addition to that, they reviewed the measurements of some 1700 women from the general population. The researchers found that the winners of the Miss Korea contest had a waist to hip ratio tending towards 0.7. Interestingly, the researchers found that women with a normal BMI had waist circumferences that were similar to those of the Miss Koreas from the year 2000 onwards. Only things was that they had relatively larger hip circumferences. This resulted in waist to hip ratio of less than 0.7. On the other hand, women with high BMI had larger waist and hip circumferences than the Miss Koreas from the year 2000 onwards. This resulted in a waist to hip ratio of more than 0.7.
An interesting article was published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour in 2011. The prominent factors that influence physical attractiveness is the waist to hip ratio, breast size and facial appearance. Researchers wanted to ascertain how men make such visual assessments. The researchers showed a group of man a number of photographs of the same woman. The photographs had been morphed to vary the waist to hip ratio from 0.7 to 0.9. Adjustments were also made to the breast size from small, medium to large. The researchers wanted to ascertain the visual fixations, dwell times and initial fixations when the men viewed the photos. Researchers found that the initial visual fixation involved either the breasts or the waist. This happens very quickly within a span of 200ms. Both these areas received more first fixations than any other part of the body, even the face. Not surprisingly, men rated the hour glass shape and a slim waist with a waist to hip ratio of 0.7 as most attractive, irrespective of breast size.
Another study was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2006. The paper was entitled “The shape pf beauty : Determinants of female physical attractiveness”. This was a review of relevant scientific papers published on the subject. A lot pf past research suggested that both WHR and BMI influence female attractiveness. The researchers investigated the effects of these two parameters in this study. Researchers found that both BMI and waist to hip ratio affected physical attractiveness. In addition to that, the researchers noted that curvaceousness was also a factor. Curvaceousness is the degree of “hourglass” shape as determined, by the size of the bust, relative to the circumference of the hips and waist, and the size of the buttocks.
Waist to hip ratio of famous personalities
Some researchers have found that the waist to hip ratio (WHR) is a significant measure of female attractiveness. Women with a waist to hip ratio of 0.7 are usually rated as more attractive by men from European cultures. Such diverse beauty icons as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Jessica Alba, Salma Hayek and even the Venus de Milo all have or had ratios close to 0.7, even though they all have different weights and heights.
The 0.7 waist to hip ratio apparently holds through even in different cultures. One thing to remember is that the measurement should be of the circumference and not a linear measurement from a photograph.
Women can use this as a benchmark for their weight loss efforts. They may not want to move to the ideal 0.7 but it gives a target to hit. Some women may be happy with a waist to hip ratio of 0.8 while others may gun for the ultimate 0.7. Either way, the waist to hip ratio gives a fast and fairly accurate assessment of a beautiful body for women.
Do note that dieters will find it very difficult to hit a waist to hip ratio of 0.7. A combination of exercise and proper nutrition is the ultimate sculpting tools for a curvy and sexy body.
Poll for Women : What helps define a beautiful body for women? Total Voters: 2,014
Poll for Women : What helps define a beautiful body for women?
Total Voters: 2,014
Poll for Men : What do men find attractive in a woman? Total Voters: 2,534
Poll for Men : What do men find attractive in a woman?
Total Voters: 2,534
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