Why is being slim/slender so much more visually appealing than being heavy?

Like. . . really. What is it about slender or small-waisted girls that is so much more attractive than larger sized, in general? I know this phenomenon exists, I just don't know why so. What's so sexy about being skinny/small? What's so unsexy about being large/heavy? Why do so many of our brains associate thin with attractive and fat with unattractive? It can't be ALL media messages, can it? There has to be something more to it than that. . .


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Well Slim/Skinny is the Buzz and I don't think its going to change in the coming times may be decades if not centuries.

    Why : Don't know the exact reason but yea Media is responsible to some extent, then there is the truth that slim/skinny people stay healthier and live longer (there are still few people and countries where people don't like being skinny/slim), last but not the least many large/heavy people also don't like other large/heavy people themselves (this should not happen in my opinion).

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What Guys Said 16

  • according to anthropologists, it's a response to an alpha partner. 200 years ago, wealth (ability to survive, was indicated by a body that looked well-fed). My personal feeling is that 1) I find it more attractive (which just reststes your question) and 2) I find lithe, slender girls to be more passionate and hyper-orgasmic

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  • I like seeing a body. Not a body with chunks of extra fat obscuring the details. I mean, I don't have a problem with a couple extra pounds. I don't expect every woman out there to have a flat stomach. At a certain point though it just becomes a deal breaker.

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    • But that's the thing--people can "overlook" a few extra pounds, but the small wiast/flat stomach is what is most attractive to people. Why is that? Why is a flat stomach better than one with a little pudge? A person can be in great health and still have a little belly.

    • I never said I could "overlook" anything. I find that little stomach pooch some girls have kind of cute

    • By saying "I don't have a problem with a couple extra pounds. I don't expect every woman out there to have a flat stomach", you are implying that having a flat stomach or not having a few extra pounds is ideal, albeit not realistic for everyone. I'm just wondering why this is a general ideal.

  • There is something more to it. It is obviously in our instincts to be attracted to slim and slender, well at least for most of us. I personally don't mind a little chubbyness, I actually like it. But I also slim and slender too of course. I guess I don't really have an answer to this but I think it is an interesting question that you brought up.

    Now enjoy this sexy slow motion video of a water balloon popped onto a girls chest
    http://youtu.be/gC6jRnekLc0

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  • There's a fine line between being skinny and being overweight. Overweight being a setup like ~190 lbs at height of 5'6"., and skinny being a typical 115 lbs at height of 5'8".

    Honestly, I associate both skinny and obese with unhealthiness. The middle ground is where my vote is laid down. =)

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  • I'm sure part of it is the brain washing the media has done on us.
    But taste is really subjective, we like what we like, no matter what.
    As for us people that largely prefer slim girls, I don't know, they're just attractive.

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  • I think part of it is that being obese is unhealthy. It's not unhealthy to be be skinny, unless it's emaciated-type skinny. So a healthy appearance is more attractive.

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  • It's because being fat is unhealthy and one would preferably want a healthy partner to mate with. (in primal terms) just as girls like ripped guys who can protect them. we are different/opposites, girls are to be small and weak, guys are to be strong and big thus protecting the weak female. this is natural, i'm not meaning this in a sexist way, just stating the facts about the differences in bodies between genders. just compare a female bodybuilder to a male

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    • Of course you're under 18. That reminds me of all the conceptual nonsense I used to believe back when I was 16; the cavemen and the protection and the primal thingy and all that. Luckily, civilization and the capability for complex thought enables us to look past these qualities and seek aspects of the persona and individuality, rather than "physical fitness for hunting boars".

    • Of course, but then again this question wasn't about anything regarding individuality. It was about the physical attraction to bodies. Thus I replied with an appropriate answer that is superficial as the subject is about you know, bodies. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the equality stuff but no matter how civilized you are, men will always be stronger. Unless evolution disagrees with me in the future when I'm dead. Please don't disregard my opinions based solely on my age.

  • Really not much more than that. May also have to do with the fitness trend. But for the most part that's just what we've been conditioned to view as attractive. Every era has their thing and skinny is just ours.

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    • Hmm...I don't know maybe your right, maybe it is just media.

    • Oh no don't get me wrong. Media may have helped the shift but it's normal people who are really the driving force.

      If people didn't like those images then the magazines and commercials wouldn't show them.

    • We condition each other. The media just happens to reinforce it.

  • there's nothing wrong with being fleshy or heavy at all. Why does this question bother you?

    There are even bbw models with lots of curve.

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    • Of course there's nothing wrong with being big. I just don't get why being small is preferable. Like what is it about being small that is more aesthetically pleasing to us than being on the larger side?

  • Besides the cultural thing it's a sign of fertility and health.

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    • I thought having wide hips was a sign of fertility, not being slim...

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    • Honestly, I wouldn't trust a 116 lbs 5'7" girl with being pregnant, like wouldn't she BREAK?
      140-160 lbs is more likely a sign of fertility and health than the slim skinniness that people seem obsessed with.

    • If a person gets too underweight that's true it can be unhealthy :) If you mean adding fat like so many do in this culture I think the fat is more of a liability strength wise.

  • It just is. We're hardwired for it. It's possible that it's a sign that woman hasn't been pregnant/isn't currently pregnant.

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  • I I know plenty of men who like bigger women and plenty of women who like bigger men. It's all personal preference.

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  • It's because it's a neotenous trait.

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  • Genetically we identify healthy Mates

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    • There's more to it than that. Some people are at their healthiest when they have 10 pounds more than the average person does. Some people are healthiest with 10 pounds less. However most people would gravitate towards the one with less weight. Why is this?

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    • Depending on how the weight is distributed on each, right?

    • Basically, do you find men with more weight attractive?

  • To me it shows a girl takes care of her body and has high self worth - that's why I like athletic girls not necessarily the scary skinny one. I don't need a gal to be skin and bones but generally I feel like if a girl is at a good weight rather than overweight their bodies come out better faces too and are not hidden in fat.

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  • It goes back to the hunter-gatherer days, the men knew the slim ones wouldn't deplete their hard-earned dinner so quickly. A matter of efficiency.

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What Girls Said 14

  • I'm sure you know that in some parts of the world as well as in Europe at some point in time chubbiness was, in fact, appealing (although the likes of Rubens were still made fun of). Now it's not. And there's a very good reason for that.
    People are, besides all other factors, attracted to STATUS. The higher your status, the more appealing you are. And what's a better mark of a high status than standing out in the crowd? Now, in centuries past it was very hard to actually gain weight. Food was expensive, people were continuously underfed and only the elite could afford to be fat - because they could eat however the hell they wanted and not do shit because they had servants for that. The tables have turned nowadays - in XXI century it's easier to pig out on fast food and acculturate fat than to stay thin, slender people tend to be more educated, rich and health-conscious, hell, some even have private fitness coaches. Thus, we associate physical fitness with wealth, high status (notice how celebs are always thin unless they're a particular type of comedy actors) and intelligence.

    Of course, there are some biological reasons why thin = attractive (past some point excessive deposits of fat are subconsciously associated with genetic illnesses that no reasonable individual wants in their offspring), but the reason I explained above is a biggie.

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  • Fertility (not the skinny part, but the part where a smaller waist and larger hips are a sign of fertility in women)...

    I don't know why skinny people are so much more attractive nowadays, they just seem malnourished to me.
    You are the perfect example of the perfect figure.

    by the way., you remind me of Tatiana Maslany. =)

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  • It isn't all media. It's instinctual. We've evolved into a much more complex mindset, but we are intended to procreate and increase the likely hood that our species thrives. Pretty much the same as any other animal. How do we ensure that our species thrives? We mate with individuals that appear to be healthy and with good features to try to make the strongest, healthiest offspring possible.

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    • I don't know about that...wouldn't guys go for the larger, stronger, sturdier girls than the more "frail, petite" girls if it were about evolution and species preservation?

  • There is no biological or physical reason, if that's what you're looking for. It's just what our society prefers atm.

    Actually there were 2 questions in your question. One was about being heavy, and well as I said just a cultural thing other times have and other cultures do prefer bigger women spinoza1111.files.wordpress.com/.../rubenesque.jpg www.metmuseum.org/toah/images/hb/hb_52.11.5.jpg http://www.wlgh.com/images/portrait_69.jpg
    There really is nothing but media messages there. I think the greek and roman had fairly healthy body ideals for both genders (second link) but our ideals today are not even healthy, so there is no logical reason for us to find that attractive, it's just the media

    Then second question is about small waists. Small waist have no purpose whatsoever, they're an illusion to make men thing we have wider hips. Having wide hips is considered a sign of fertility and youth. It's about waist to hip ratio and you can have the ideal one being chubby or being skinny. Just when it gets into obesity your waist disappears

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  • For me it is not visual appealing so see fat hanging everywhere and i'm referring to fat. I dont have a problem with some one who is alittle overweight according to the BMI, but you just let yourself go; to me shows a lack of self preservation.

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    • It's hard to be fit and lose a lot of weight

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    • For guys, your testosterone, really helps, the is one of the reason girls hate guys so much when it comes to weight loss. Its because they have a hormone that helps them loss weight easier

    • Now for that get heavier they can start producing too much estrogen and that can affect weight loss, but all you need to do is start slowly and gradually increase your cardio

  • I think it's the way people move, either gracefully or not, which is (I think) to do with the phrase "he carries his weight well"...
    Slim people tend to move more easily and look more graceful. Some bigger people are big naturally and look fine; others are overweight for their bodies and so don't look very good at that weight.
    Might be rambling a bit sorry - I'm tired.

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  • Human nature? The media plays only a small role in what we find attractive when compared to biological drives.
    We are attracted to what's healthy. We want to choose a mate that is healthy and can have healthy children. Heavier people don't send out that healthy signal... Girls are supposed to be slim but not bony, with curves, small waist etc and men are supposed to be tall, muscular etc if we want to get down to the science of attraction

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    • But someone can be healthy but not be small. It's like, just not fair to them...

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    • But some people who are heavier are exactly at the weight that is right for their body--they are genetically predisposed to be heavier than average and there's nothing unhealthy about that. I'm not talking about super heavy, I'm just talking about someone who's proportions are naturally larger than average. That's not unhealthy. That's being sturdy and robust.

    • Some people are attracted to heavier people. Some are opposed to it.

  • Survival of the fittest etc.

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    • I legit think if things became more barbaric/animalistic in our society girls who were larger/stronger would survive better than small girls though.

    • It depends on what you mean by larger. Larger muscles, yes. More fat? No.

  • its all thanks to media

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  • Great question. I've always been obsessed with being slender and slim since I was a kid. I was always afraid of fasting to much weight. I don't like the feeling of being heavy and since weight goes to a certain areas, I would notice when I gained weight and start to freak out. Also, I always wanted to model, so I feel like long legs and thin arms are attractive...I'm weird I know

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    • And also, I prefer t"ight" slender men too.. just a preference.

  • it looks graceful like a ballerina ♡

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  • well media does have an effect on us but personally I would go for someone healthy since I also try to stay healthy and healthy doesn't always have to respresent what we see on tv or magazines

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    • But the thing is, underweight people can be just as unhealthy as overweight people. Take someone 15% over their ideal body weight, and someone 15% under their ideal body weight, and I bet a lot of people will say the underweight one is more attractive. Like, they both are equally as "unhealthy", but one is still more appealing than the other. Why is that?

    • like I said, I'm only into healthy people. I dont know if that makes me vain though... but I wouldn't say underweight people are considered attractive.. but I dont know why. I'm sorry I couldnt help. But on the bright side, media is starting to change it's message so now curvy women are getting noticed more

  • Depends on if you are heavy and fit ( tight) , or heavy and fat ( loose and wobbly). People who are slim don't look greedy and unhealthy I guess... Whereas someone who appears to be overweight will generally be thought of as lazy and greedy.
    It's always an attraction if someone is particular about their body and shows that they take care of themselves..it commands respect! Someone who is fat will probably have a sedentary lifestyle.
    People look better in their clothes when they are trimmer.

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  • A certain hip-to-waist ratio is most attractive because it signals fertility. The extreme emphasis on thinness and even pristine fitness that's going on right now is more about status. Men and women, especially those on autopilot, want their partner to give them status.

    People who are more in tune are more moderate in their demands on an attractive partner. But being overweight just isn't attractive because it's unhealthy and humans are wired to seek healthy partners.

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    • I like your mention of hip-to-waist ratio as signaling fertility, it actually gives an answer to my "why" haha. And I agree with the notion that "thinness and pristine fitness" is a huge status thing. I like your answer a lot, thanks!

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