Why men will ALWAYS pick 'curvy' Scarlett Johansson over 'size zero' Victoria Beckham
By FIONA MACRAE
Last updated at 12:06 PM on 28th October 2009
It's a good reason to ditch that diet and celebrate with a piece of cake.
A study has found that men really do prefer ‘normal’-sized women with a few curves to those who are fashionably thin.
They find a body like Scarlett Johansson’s or Kate Winslet’s more attractive than the angular frames of Posh Spice and Paris Hilton.
'Normal-sized' women like Scarlett Johansson were rated more attractive than super-slim ladies like Victoria Beckham in the study
The results will be welcomed by the millions of British ladies who are a perfectly healthy size but believe they would be more popular with men if they were thinner.
The research from St Andrews University, published in the journal Perception, involved a group of male students.
Researchers asked them to rate photographs of female faces for attractiveness.
The women in the ‘normal’ weight range were rated as better looking
than the skinny ones. Researcher Professor David Perrett said: ‘This sends out a strong message to all the girls out there who believe you have to be underweight to be attractive.
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‘The people making judgments in our study were all between the ages of 18 and 26 and they did not rate the underweight girls most attractive. They preferred normal-weight girls.’
Overweight women were also rated as being less attractive, and judged to be in poorer health. This perception of their health was backed up by asking them about their medical history.
Lead researcher Vinet Coetzee said: ‘Those students that were rated as more overweight reported more frequent and longer-lasting cold and flu bouts, used antibiotics more frequently and had higher blood pressure than those students considered normal weight.
'Even at this young age, their health was already suffering because they were overweight and what is more, other people can spot this in their face.’
Obesity is linked to a host of other health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, some cancers and fertility problems.
Women who weigh too little risk problems with vitality, mental health and fertility and are more likely to die at any given point than someone of normal weight.
Professor Perrett said: ‘A take-home message for young people is that maintaining normal weight benefits current health and will improve good looks.’
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