These findings are wonderful, but not at all surprising. Studies in evolutionary psychology, which continually find parallels between the archaeological record and the legacy of human art, have conclusively established that the natural preference for plus-size beauty is as old as humanity itself.
Last year, we discussed
a fascinating book titled The Nature of Paleolithic Art,
which demonstrated that the majority of prehistoric artistic endeavour was devoted to the celebration of full-figured beauty.
Another recent book, titled Time and Power
by Leonard Shlain, argues that the essence of male attraction to the female of the species is grounded in the passion engendered in men by the sight of soft curves:
Instead of gorgeous colors, fantastic markings, sleek hides, sumptuous fur, bright feathers, or polychromatic scales, Mother Nature decided to use f**. . . . Positioned alluringly beneath the skin in just the right proportions and in just the right places, oleaginous avoirdupois can drive a man wild with intoxicating desire.
No other female creature uses adipose tissue as an infrastructure of its primary sexual signaling device. Few animals, other than sea mammals, even possess subcutaneous f** deposits. Human sport ten times more f** cells under their skin than other land animals... (354)
Far from being a marginal preference, Shlain argues, this is the norm of male attraction, and has been since the dawn of time:
The human male is a consummate hunter. His success depends on his constant alertness for the slightest movement occurring in the periphery of his field of vision. The motion sensors out in the extremities of the male retina can detect a nearly subliminal shudder at the edges of his line of sight. . . . This attribute, so essential to hunting, was shanghaied into the service of Natural Selection. The Red Queen engaged a man's hunting rods to attract him to a woman. "She caught my eye," he means it both literally and figuratively, whether it is the slight jiggle to a woman's breasts when she walks, or the curve of her ankle, calf, and thigh.
[By contrast,] f** plays a lean role in a male's attractiveness to a female. Chiseled muscular definition and washboard abdomens devoid of subcutneous f** are the physical features most likely to "catch the eye" of a woman.
Shlain provides a convincing rationale to explain why men are hardwired to find the well-fed female figure so attractive:
Mother Nature's peculiar choice of f** to entice men is not so strange as it seems. Minus a clear signal from her that she was ovulating, the male of the human species must make an assessment as to the potential fertility of a female based on her appearance. The metabolic needs to gestate a human fetus are so great that Mother Nature will not allow menarche to begin until a prospective mother has enough of the yellow energy stuff in reserve. A girl cannot menstruate until a certain critical mass of f** has accumulated on her frame. These f** reserves could have been stored deep inside the abdominal or chest cavities (where they reside in most other animals). Instead, f** is strategically arranged just under the skin to round out the human female form.
Natural Selection put the human species in a precarious bind when Gyna Sapiens abandoned estrus signaling. The problem was somewhat ameliorated by the instillation in the male psyche of an attraction to a female exhibiting soft curves in all the right places. Feminine beauty and potential fertility are inextricably grounded in subcutaneous f**. (355-56)
In another chapter, Shlain relays the findings of a growing number of anthropologists who have determined that human interaction originated in a relationship between males and females in which the former provided the latter with meat from the hunt, for which the latter rewarded the former with affection.
He encapsulates this in a pithy anecdote:
Kung San tribespeople of the Kalahari, when asked why some men who were poor hunters could not convince a woman to marry, responded, "Women like meat." (112)
The growing consensus in the scientific community, then, is that from the dawn of time, human relationships were based on two factors:
(1) the male attraction to the soft fullness of the female figure (the fuller the figure, the greater the attraction); and
(2) an impulse on the part of men to provide women with food, and to delight in the latter's enjoyment of that provender.
Modern society--and specifically, the modern media, which is governed by alien ideologies that are antithetical to human nature--has suppressed and even stigmatized these essential human impulses, but they live on in the human heart. A great society would be one that would acknowledge these natural human drives, and celebrate them, for they laid the foundation for the triumph of humanity.
Sumptuously-proportioned Terra modelling for Penningtons, Summer 2006:
(Note the attractive detail of the dimples at the knuckles, which is a feature that one frequently sees in paintings of Renaissance goddesses.)