Search icon


16th Jul 2017

Study finds that this is the female body shape that men find most attractive

It was conducted across ten countries.

Darragh Berry


We’re big champions of body-positivity here at Her – so we raised a bit of an eyebrow to this latest study on what men find attractive in women in terms of shape.

The study was conducted in 10 countries and all their answers were the same: guys prefer bodies that suggest youth.

In the study, men were asked to rank a series of body shapes from most attractive to least attractive and what was popular among all of the participants was a female body shape with a BMI of just 19.

This seems in contrast to the global fawning that surrounds the likes of Beyonce’s figure: the singer is slim and fit without being skinny and is often cited as the “ideal” shape that a lot of us would wish for.

Meanwhile, having a BMI of 19 means you’re on the borderline of being underweight – but this recent study says there was a correlation between higher BMI and perceived lesser attractiveness.

The people who undertook the study believed that the preference for a lower BMI was because it suggested that the woman was aged 17-20 hence preferring body shapes that suggest youth.

Professor John Speakman, the leader of the study, explained: “Fitness in evolutionary terms comprises two things: survival and the ability to reproduce.

“What we wanted to investigate was the idea that when we look at someone and think they are physically attractive, are we actually making that assessment based on a hard-wired evolutionary understanding of their potential for future survival and reproductive ability?”

One of the study’s authors, Dr Lobke Vaanholt, also commented: “Although most people will not be surprised that extreme thinness was perceived as the most attractive body type since this prevails so heavily in media, culture and fashion, the important advance is that now we have an evolutionary understanding of why this is the case.”

The study was published in PeerJ.

What do you guys reckon?