View Full Version : Men and women: attitudes to curves

5th April 2011, 14:00
The Daily Mail ran an article a few days ago which was picked up by Yahoo and posted on its front page. I think this is a pretty important story, more than it may initially seem, because it clearly shows the sharp differences between how heterosexual men view women's fashion and women's bodies, versus how women have been brainwashed into seeing themselves.


The most glaring divide: men love the sight of female curves, while women try to hide them.

Listen to the differences in attitude that one couple expresses:

CAROL SAYS: Mike thinks I should show off my figure more, but Im conscious of being "overweight" so go out of my way to hide my stomach, bottom and thighs. And, like most women of my age, I despair of my [full] arms.

I was thinner when I met Mike and I do worry he thinks Ive let myself goMIKE SAYS: Carol says shes plump, but I think her figure is a knockout. I wish I could burn those drab clothes she dresses herself in and make her wear something that shows off her curves. I hardly ever see her in a dress
Isn't that sad? Why can't this gap in communication be bridged? She is self-conscious about being curvy, so she projects that onto him. But he likes her because of her curves.

Something else emerges from that discrepancy: men want women to dress more feminine, while women resist this. Why?

Here's another couple's contrasting attitudes:

VANESSA SAYS: Mike hates the way I dress sometimes. He jokes that my jeans are less feminine than his. I suppose hes right.

I live in jeans, leggings and T-shirts. I am a size 16-18 and spend my life looking for clothes that will hide my [curves]. I know Mike loves my curves and wants me to show them off, so I imagine he is going to pick something too feminine and not me.MIKE SAYS: Vanessa is a beautiful woman and should be more confident in the way that she dresses. I think she has a similar figure to Christina Hendricks from Mad Men, and Id love to see her in dresses that really show off her amazing figure.

When women look in the mirror they see different things to men they are always criticising themselves and thinking they need to diet, whereas we love women with shape.

Vanessas current uniform is jeans and a polo shirt far too tomboyish.
It's incomprehensible. Why would women want to look androgynous? Why would anything be considered "too feminine"? Have women been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the fashion industry? That industry is, of course, not run by men who are attracted to women, so its advice is suspect, to say the least.

Here's another pair. This time, the issue is age (but the issues are related).

BETH SAYS: Christian says I dress like his grandmother. I tend to go for vintage dresses, chunky cardigans, tunics and brogues. He would like me to wear dresses fitted, short and cleavage skimming everything I hate.CHRISTIAN SAYS: Beths dress sense drives me mad. She is a beautiful young woman but dresses like somebody three times her age.
It really tragic. Where do so many women have the idea put in their minds that their gorgeous figures are something to be ashamed of? Okay, we know the answer: the media. But why do they listen to it? Why is a magazine, or some style "expert" (who likely isn't attracted to women, or, if it's a female, is a cold, Anna Wintour type) more persuasive to a woman than the man in her life -- the man who not only says that he prefers her curves, but proves it by what he wants her to wear?

Look at the images. The left-hand photos are the "before," showing the way that the women choose to dress, and the right-hand photos are the ones showing the "after," the way that their significant others want them to dress:

So much prettier in a dress:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/23/article-1369297-0B26F07600000578-683_306x611.jpg http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/23/article-1369297-0B26F61A00000578-461_306x611.jpg

Youthful and sexy in a dress:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/23/article-1369297-0B26F06600000578-258_306x515.jpg http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/23/article-1369297-0B26FC2000000578-363_306x515.jpg

She looks like a homeless person on the left, but so pretty on the right:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/23/article-1369297-0B26F0A200000578-993_306x543.jpg http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/03/23/article-1369297-0B26FE7A00000578-779_306x543.jpg

Can anyone deny that the women look better in the "after" photos, styled by the men?

I fail to understand why women can't accept that their curves are gorgeous, and that they look great when they show off their full figures.

14th July 2011, 01:34
I thought about this memorable topic again today -- the topic of the differences in attitude between men and women toward feminine curves -- which I came across the following article, penned by a clinical psychologist.


As usual, the article suffers from its share of mixed messages, but the salient points are quite important:

Gentlemen prefer bodacious
14 Jul, 2011

The pursuit of a slender figure has long has been a major preoccupation for women everywhere. But why do we aim for skinny, as opposed to maintaining a healthy weight?

If it's for the approval of men, then women seem to be putting themselves through needless worry and discomfort.

I work with a lot of women with body-image issues, so the question of what men find attractive and what women think men find attractive is of particular interest to me.

Many women suffer a great deal believing that they're not slim enough to be attractive to men. But are their expectations shaped by men? Let's take a look.

Numerous women have told me how they try to avoid being seen naked by their husbands or boyfriends. Other times I've heard women share that they believe they will never find a man to love them because they don't have the "perfect" body they assume men seek.

Research investigating what body shape most men prefer has revealed some interesting things. For example, it appears that:

- Men find a greater range of female body shapes attractive than women do.

- Men like curves. If you doubt it, consider actor Christina Hendricks, who stars in the television series Mad Men. Today's men find her shape incredibly attractive, even though the show is based on 1960's standards. Interestingly, in a study with blind men, the same ratio was found to be most attractive to the males in the study.

- The average man is less bothered by a few extra kilos on a woman than her being what he considers "too thin."

Apparently, Western women consider the most beautiful female figure to be one that is thinner than average, while their men prefer a more rounded shape. Could this be why fashion models are so thin?

So, who are women wanting to please? Is it men or other women? Do they even know? If it's men, they seem to be missing the mark. If it's women, why would that be? What would pleasing other women with respect to body size accomplish? If it's other women that women wish to please, why is it worth going through such pain? These are questions each woman ought to ask herself.

There are men out there who are already attracted to women who themselves are convinced that they aren't at all attractive. Perhaps these women could profit from looking at what they might be passing up and reconsidering their distorted expectations.

If you're feeling bold, try asking the men you know what they find attractive in women. I found an informal survey by MSN that indicated most men prefer women who are comfortable in their own skin to those who trowel on heavy makeup and are obsessed with whether their stomachs are flat.
The most significant point, I think, is that when it comes to female appearance, what men actually dislike is a "too thin" look, not "extra kilos." Women should realize that diet-starvation and exercise-torture make them less attractive to men than if they remain curvy or blossom into a fuller size.

Given that women seem to enforce emaciation upon themselves for the sake of other women, the article raises a crucial question when it asks, "Why?" Why is this so? Why do women obsess over what other women think?

And that also invites the question as to why women think that androgynous skinniness is better in the first place, when it so obviously is not. Is media brainwashing really that powerful?

The article clearly indicates why the increasing power that women have attained in the media over the past several decades has actually, paradoxically, had a detrimental effect on women's body image. When men were in charge of the culture, they instituted a pro-curvy aesthetic, which resulted in curvaceous non-waifs like Kim Novak and Anita Ekberg being the standard of beauty -- and this was a much healthier and more comfortable body type that what the media pushes today. But as women (and men who are not attracted to women) have gained control over popular culture, they have imposed an anti-plus standard based on their taste for androgynous emaciation, which has ruined the body image of most women.

When it comes to size acceptance, women are indisputably their own worst enemies. Surely this can change; surely it must.