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Emily
4th March 2009, 02:02
Kristen Houghton writes a syndicated column about relationships that takes a very pro-curvy stance.

This piece that she wrote recently was very insightful about romantic relationships between full-figured women and their admirers. She advises curvy girls to get over their body-image concerns, and to look at themselves in as appreciative a light as the men in their lives do.

http://www.examiner.com/x-538-Relationship-Examiner~y2008m12d22-Sex-Appeal-and-Real-Women

Here are a few excerpts, but I encourage you to read the whole article.

If you ask the husbands if there is anything they would like to change about their wives, the answers have nothing whatsoever to do with her body!

Men say:

“I wish she was more understanding; had more time for me; was willing to travel to an exotic location for vacation; etc., etc.” Most men have no complaints about their wives physical attributes.

So why are women so disparaging of their own bodies? A lot of it has to do with the images we see in the print media and on TV today that project “what women should look like.” While some women laugh at the “perfect” female form represented this way, a surprising number of women feel physically inadequate because of this misrepresentation.

There are women who see extra pounds and curves as detracting from their sex appeal. Actually the opposite is more likely true; it adds to their sexuality. Unless you have a real idiot for a husband who thinks all women should look like the models in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, you will find that men see a fullness of figure on their wives as beautiful.

Pictures of women from the 1950s show well-endowed and sexy bodies. Visit a museum and look at any Italian, Greek, or French sculptures and paintings of women-breathtakingly beautiful, all of them.

When I asked [a friend] if there was anything she would like to change about herself she replied that she wished she hadn’t worried so much about her weight when she was younger.

Going out with her and her fiancé for dinner is a joy because she enjoys the meal and doesn’t worry about the calories.

“I like being voluptuous,” she says. “I feel sexy and pretty.”

Houghton also wrote another column recently in which she discussed a survey that revealed that men are definitely more attracted to full-figured women.

http://www.examiner.com/x-538-Relationship-Examiner~y2009m3d3-Sumptuous-women--yes-men-love-them

Here are the pertinent points. Note in particular the revelation that men who do prefer plus-size women are more inherently masculine that those who don't.

The survey from Australia says that the interviewed men were from all walks of life and ranged in age from their twenties to their fifties. The type of women in whom they were interested were those who had a fullness of figure and who were a size twelve to fourteen. They were not interested in the starved look of a size zero.

And here’s something else that’s noteworthy. Researchers have found that men who desired a fuller woman were exceptionally comfortable with their male sexuality and had a strong sense of their own “maleness.”

Comments from the men interviewed were direct.

“The “head on a stick” look on women is not attractive. I never understood why women starve themselves to look like that. They don’t look good, they look starved!”

“A skinny woman...looks too much like a little girl. That is not something most men want.”

“I definitely want to feel flesh not bones on a woman.”
Wonderful information in both articles -- information that explodes many media myths. It can now be said, quite literally, that real men prefer full-figured women.

Hannah
10th March 2009, 15:33
I looked up the study that the Examiner writer cited in her second article above, and I found it really interesting.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/strongfiguresstrong-most-men-will-plump-for-a-curvy-girl/2008/04/05/1207249548553.html

The pertinent passage:

When it comes to women, the vast majority of blokes prefer them well rounded.

They like women buxom, bosomy and bountiful.

According to the figures, the jury is in: men will choose a Rubenesque size 14 over a stick-figure size 8 when it comes to their ideal woman.

It is based on an online survey of 60,000 men conducted by laddish men's magazine FHM. The relevant issue is published tomorrow. The mag found that when shown pictures of three bikini-clad models, four out of five men said they were more attracted to the size 12 and size 14 models than the model who was a slimmer size 8.

"A piddling 20% of readers selected our size eight model pictured as their ideal girl-physique," wrote FHM editor Ben Smithurst.

"Which proves one thing, ladies: crack a beer, hoe into a hamburger and we'll love you just as much." Or maybe even more.

Professor Marika Tiggemann from Flinders University said that the results supported academic research on the topic. "We find women want to be thinner than what men find attractive," she said. "Men's idea of what is 'thin' is larger than that of women."

The editor of women's magazine Cleo, Nedahl Stelio, said that most women did not diet for men but for other women.

"Most men I know would go for more boob over thinner thighs, but women, by nature, are competitive with other women," Stelio said.

"And if the society and celebrity ideal is thin, that's what she's going to aspire to, just to get one up on other women."
All too true, I'm afraid.

Feminists have obscured this with their whining about a mythical (and nonexistent) "patriarchy," and blaming every social ill on men, but the truth is, as study after study has shown, that women are imposing this underweight ideal on themselves.

And that is truly tragic. The valorization of emaciation, as if starving yourself is some kind of "accomplishment," when it's really the shallowest and silliest thing that any woman could do, has got to stop.

Kristina
12th March 2009, 21:36
I don't understand why so many women don't see that thin equals flat-chested.

M. Lopez
14th March 2009, 10:15
I personally put no stock in material explanations for human behaviour. People are who they are most because of biology and a bit of social conditioning, not material circumstances.

However, that doesn't mean that I won't embrace studies like the one described below when they offer good news.

According to a recent study, as the article notes, in times of recession, men prefer fuller-figured women.

http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-study-confirms-as-economy-bottoms-out-curves-make-a-comeback/

Excerpts:

Study Confirms That As The Economy Bottoms Out, Curves Make A Comeback

In this economy, while men are worried about losing their jobs, they’re looking for something to hold onto. And that something is a curvy woman! Finally, this gray economic cloud officially has its silver lining, thanks to a recent study conducted at New York University. Their findings confirmed that when times are lean, men tend to describe their ideal mate as extra [curvy]!

Men who felt broke tended to go for heavier girls. “...[T]hey seek out signals of lushness or opulence and heaviness in the female might be such a signal,” Dr. Nelson theorized. In an economic downturn, bigger women make men feel like they’ve hit the jackpot.
It's an amusing way to put it, but the findings are undoubtedly true, even if the rationale is false. In difficult economic times men aren't as diverted by financial gamesmanship, and therefore they start to rediscover the things that truly matter to them. They acknowledge their preference for fuller-figured girls - a preference that they've had all along, only have never admitted to themselves. And in depressing times, they seek out sources of true happiness, including establishing a relationship with someone they're truly attracted to.

But as I said, if the powers that be want to put a material spin on this study, so be it, because the conclusions could have a positive social effect.

Here's an example of how. A female columnist uses the study's findings as a springboard to write a size-celebratory article encouraging women to embrace their naturally generous appetites.

http://www.examiner.com/x-1403-LA-Relationship-Examiner~y2009m3d13-During-the-recession-eat-up

As she writes:

During the recession, eat up!

Jessica Dean
March 13, 4:33 PM

I'm in luck! Dr. Lief Nelson, an experimental psychologist, told the Daily Beast, "When the economy is clearly and uniformly tanking, what will emerge is some kind of shift to more of an ideal of a fuller, plumper woman."...

Now people, I have been saying this for years! What is so attractive about a stick thin model who looks like a twelve year old boy? That is not a real woman. Let's talk real women: America Ferrera, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jessica Dean--enough said. It takes a recession for men to figure this out? I always knew we were the more powerful counterpart.

If there's any time to rejoice upon life with eating a little extra cheese, it's now. Eat up, ladies, and remember--real women have curves!
So as I said, if women and the media take these findings as a justification to embrace a fuller-figured ideal, nothing could be better.

vargas
16th March 2009, 23:30
The problem as I see it is that men who prefer fuller-figured women don't feel the need to constantly broadcast their preferences. They like what they like and that's that. As the article states, they are confident in their own "maleness" and have no need to broadcast their opinions or preferences to everyone so it's good to see studies and article like these to help reaffirm the truth about what real men want in women.

On the other hand, it has been my observation that immature idiots who prefer stick-thin women (often they don't even like "regular" sized women) tend to be very vocal (unfortunately) and mean spirited about their unnatural preferences and this gives the impression to some that ALL men feel the way they do. Thankfully, they are in the minority.

MelanieW
17th March 2009, 11:21
The problem as I see it is that men who prefer fuller-figured women don't feel the need to constantly broadcast their preferences. They like what they like and that's that. As the article states, they are confident in their own "maleness" and have no need to broadcast their opinions or preferences to everyone so it's good to see studies and article like these to help reaffirm the truth about what real men want in women.

On the other hand, it has been my observation that immature idiots who prefer stick-thin women (often they don't even like "regular" sized women) tend to be very vocal (unfortunately) and mean spirited about their unnatural preferences and this gives the impression to some that ALL men feel the way they do. Thankfully, they are in the minority.
That IS a significant problem. Those men who do prefer the natural, timeless, full-figured aesthetic, yet keep quietly to themselves about it, are basically cowards, and are almost as much a part of the problem as the minority who push the anorexic standard.

By their timid silence, they allow that warped androgyny-pushing minority to create the culture in their own image, and to distort the idea of "normal" into a look of starvation.

The men who prefer plussize women but dares not say so are like plutocrats who live in a country that is sliding towards totalitarianism but dont fight it because they are wealthy enough to live in their own little gated communities, and meekly watches the rest of the nation decay into a living hell, content to live behind their protected walls. Its selfish and cowardly.

Their silence lets the anorexia-pushers have free reign over society.

What good does it do women to know that there are a few men out there who quietly, secretly prefer the full-figured ideal? What women see every day are the magazines, the TV shows, the billboards, everything telling them that emaciation is the only acceptable look. THAT is what they end up being tricked into considering normal.

Worse yet, because of this distortion of normality, women come to believe that there is something wrong with those men who do prefer curves, and they start to think that the warped minority of men who favour skeletal women are actually the "normal" ones!

No, a real man is one whose sense of honour and right wont allow him to sit silently by and watch the culture be destroyed, and watch womens lives be ruined. A real man does everything he can to change the culture for the better, to save women from the oppressive starvation standard, to deny the smirking androgyny-pushers their monopoly over public discourse.

A real man speaks up about his preference every chance he gets, and lets no opportunity slip by to point out the degeneracy of the modern ideal. A real man fights to free society from the tyranny of the minority.

B. R.
19th March 2009, 01:32
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum, and I suppose this is as good a place to jump in as any.

As a man who is married to a plus-size woman, I've observed that the vast majority of men out there do speak up. The real problem is that no one is listening. Radical feminists, weight-loss corporations, and gay fashion designers don't want to hear what real men have to say. Sadly, too, even many women out there don't listen. They continue to buy into these false messages, even at the expense of their own health and happiness.

For those men who don't speak out, one likely reason is because they are under tremendous social pressure too. There is a sort of legalized, socially-accepted bigotry in which not only larger women, but also the men who admire them, are stigmatized. For a man, the stigma comes from being treated as though his natural taste for full-figured women is somehow deviant. This is a real problem that is not often addressed.

Robert
29th April 2009, 10:31
Hi, I am also relatively new here. I was "away" for a while while my wife was dealing with (and overcoming!) breast cancer.

I have always spoken out against the tyranny of societal shape stigma. You can find me over at HuffPost weighing in when they show anorexic models in the style section. I am unabashed in public and have never been afraid of stigmatization (and I agree it's out there). I think it's a matter of having one's consciousness evolved to the point where you realize that this is actually a very important issue. I think that while most men inherently tend to like fuller figures, they have not evolved enough to understand the manipulation being imposed by society, and go along with what is offered as Beauty instead of realizing what it truly is on their own.

As far as stigmatization goes, I'm finding that quite often, being the one guy in the room to stand up to it often results in the other men coming to some form of agreement with me. Yes, there are always some die-hards out there who somehow equate flesh with something evil, but at least they generally respect a different point of view if offered logically. And I have always found this particular forum to be a treasure trove of logic. My best arguments for plus size beauty come from here.

I hope the tide is turning.

Anyway, to get back to the point, I quote R. D. Laing:

"It is quite certain that unless we can regulate our behaviour much more satisfactorily than at present, then we are going to exterminate ourselves. But as we experience the world, so we act, and this principle holds even when action conceals rather than discloses our experience.

"We are not able even to think adequately about the behaviour that is at the annihilating edge. But what we think is less than what we know: what we know is less than what we love: what we love is so much less than what there is. And to that precise extent we are so much less than what we are.

Yet if nothing else, each time a new baby is born there is a possibility of reprieve. Each child is a new being, a potential prophet, a new spiritual prince, a new spark of light, precipitated into the outer darkness. Who are we to decide that it is hopeless?"

(From "The Politics of Experience")

When we can all see the truth of Beauty, we will all take a giant step forward. By denying ourselves the timeless ideal, we stunt our growth and spiral downward. The false divisions our culture produces hurt us spiritually, and most of us do not realize it.

I suspect I'm preaching to the choir here, but I'm nothing if not passionate about this subject. Thanks to everyone here for their insight. Beauty is truth, truth beauty, "That is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Luminosa
2nd May 2009, 20:09
Well, one thing is for sure, the subject of size acceptance can and does produce very strong feelings. I think that if each and every one of us does what we can within our sphere of influence, it can make a difference. It does take courage to speak up when you are in the minority. If I can be honest here, I myself at times have been reticent to say what I feel in the face of stigmatization. As a full-figured woman, I have been trying in my own way to ease the fears and pressures women are under to look a certain way. Many times, in my place of business, I hear and see women depriving themselves of the little indulgences that can get us through our hard-working days. So I say, "Go ahead, have that chocolate chip cookie if you want it, eat the truffle, Live!!" We can make a difference, one encounter at a time.

Maureen
3rd May 2009, 15:21
Robert, thank you for defending the timeless ideal. I'll bet you've inspired some men to "evolve."

Peter
5th May 2009, 17:48
Hello,

I just wanted to make a quick contribution to this thread because as we are all too aware, relationships can sometimes be affected, even subliminally, by dogma-driven fashion and misconceptions about how women think others want them to look.

I am in a new relationahip with a lady who for years has battled against a naturally buxom and curvacious figure (and I am happy to say never won that battle), who is well endowed with dimples of cheek and arm, and yet felt guilty about looking like this.

My constant praise to her about her (in my eyes) wondrous figure and face, has actually boosted her confidence, she now tells me, because no previous partner ever made her feel good about her figure or the way she looks. And rather than hide her generous curves she is now starting to be proud of what Nature has endowed her with.

This in turn has boosted our fledgling relationship as I reinforce through constant affirmations that buxom and voluptuous is beautiful.