Today women from all over the world have to worry every time they check their weight on the scale. And one of the reasons why these worries appeared is because of insurance companies. They were interested in the relationship between weight and human health, and soon they began to calculate body mass index in order to prevent unnecessary expenses on their part. As a result, we ended up using this measurement to measure how close or far to being perfect our body shape is, and torturing ourselves with excessive training and various diets.
zgrnews is trying to understand why the idea of the perfect human body keeps changing and figure out what it will be like in the future. Maybe it’s high time we stopped counting calories and made more free space for cake in our fridge?
Hunger makes men like plump women more.
There are many factors that affect the idea of the perfect body shape and one of them is the feeling of hunger. Research has shown that even modern men find plump women more attractive when they are feeling hungry. In the Ancient World wide hips, a big belly, and large breasts were associated with the sensuality and fertility of women. At those times people would often undereat, so women with a larger amount of fat had a better chance of giving birth to a baby and being able to feed them. That’s why men found them more attractive.
Fat women are still considered to be an ideal of beauty in Mauritania and in a tribe in Uganda where food stocks are limited. Moreover, they try to make women fat. Every day leading up to their wedding, Ugandan brides drink several jars of milk, which are about 5,000 calories each, to make themselves more attractive.
It’s society that determines what an ideal will be.
The idea of an ideal body shape is also affected by culture and society. In Ancient Greece, it was depicted by sculptors — feminine statues were not too slim and had an attractive shape. The breasts were not very large because sculptures used to be a symbol of perfection of the human body and not its sexuality.
In Medieval times, it was Christianity that dictated the canons of beauty. Pale and emaciated faces and thin body shapes which reminded people of fasting and abstinence became the beauty standard at that time.
In the times of the Renaissance, women’s body shapes became slim but most of them had a visible tummy. All because the interest in the human personality and body was awakened, so pregnancy was openly shown.
A woman with an hourglass body shape is an indicator of fertility.
The 16th century began the epoch of corsets that lasted through the beginning of the 20th century. Corsets used to enhance the waist and make the body look like an hourglass. And although this beautiful contrast between the hips and the waist was mostly dictated by the fashion of the times, men’s preferences, formed by nature itself, affected those standards as well. Research has shown that women with large breasts and a thin waist have a higher level of estradiol, while those with a sharp contrast between waist and hips have a higher level of progesterone. Both of these hormones contribute to successful conception. Therefore, women who have hourglass body shapes, have the greatest fertility or the ability to become pregnant.
In the 1950s, after famine and war, this standard of the female body was at the peak of popularity once again. Beauties like Marilyn Monroe, Betty Brosmer, and Jayne Mansfield were rocking men’s worlds with their perfect shapes at those times.
By the way, despite the fact that the Barbie shape is considered the ideal of fertility, in reality, a girl with this shape would be infertile. Moreover, she would be anorexic and only able to move by crawling. A student from Hamilton College showed what a life-size image of this beauty standard would look like.
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