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Self/body-esteem problems in relation to the promotion of feminine beauty

This is being posted with revised and updated FAQ and solutions pages.  The solutions page addresses steps that can be taken to solve the problems that this site is addressing.  In attempting to solve some problems, this site will be unintentionally creating problems of a different nature, which would need to be taken care of.  A previous entry sketched the outline of how one could promote feminine beauty and avoid increasing or diminish discrimination against unattractive women.  This entry addresses body image problems among women resulting from the choice of models in glamorous settings.

Whereas the purpose of this site is to address the looks of models and beauty pageant contestants, it is difficult to get women in general to avoid evaluating their own looks in light of the discussion here.  I recall a conversation with a woman a couple of years ago when I was explaining the facial features of fashion models vs. normal women, and she started touching her face, apparently to see how she measured up.  It was awkward for her and me, but how does one get women to judge models and beauty pageant contestants but not themselves?  Anyway, to get to business...

The Dove campaign for real beauty

The following image shows some models that Dove has used to address body image problems -- among girls and women -- related to the dominance of skinny fashion models.

Dove campaign for real beauty models: Shanel, Julie, Lindsey, Sigrid, Gina, Stacy

What are the prospects that using models such as above will improve body image among girls and women?  For starters, the ordinary-looking models would need to possess high status among female models in order to have a significant impact.  However, one can forget about the fashion industry voluntarily switching to the model types shown above; the only way to make the fashion industry comply would be via legislation, which could be justified in so far as enforcing the minimum body mass index (BMI) demarcating the medically underweight from the medically normal goes (BMI = 18.5) , but not for compliance with other aspects of looks if one is to use the thumb rule that minimal involvement of the government in people’s affairs is desirable.  Of course, apart from the BMI issue, it would be difficult to drum up support for legislation forcing compliance with other looks norms.  If a BMI cutoff of 18.5 is used, the fashion industry will surely not use models exceeding a BMI of 19, i.e., Dove’s models above would be rejected.  In addition, the prospects of Dove’s ordinary-looking models ending up being popular with heterosexual men are nil, which eliminates an alternative possibility of making the ordinary-looking models acquire high status.

The high status issue is important.  Women influenced by fashion imagery and at risk for developing anorexia are often looking for standards of perfection to emulate, which they happen to find in the typical skinniness of high-fashion models, and this is because of the high status of high-fashion models.  In short, Dove is wasting its resources in so far as doing something about the body image issue goes.  Saying that “Every girl deserves to feel beautiful, just the way she is” sounds nice but good luck trying to get every girl to feel beautiful.

If one could create a competing standard of “perfection” that cannot be achieved via unhealthful practices, then at least the problem of models inducing unhealthy behaviors among some women is reduced if not solved.  The most obvious competing standard of “perfection” that cannot be achieved by negative health behaviors is the feminine beauty ideal, which is something that most people intrinsically harbor, which in turn implies that to attempt to create a feminine beauty competing standard of “perfection” is to do so only in the public realm, not also in the personal realm of most people.

Cosmetic surgery in relation to the promotion of feminine beauty

Negative health behaviors such as unnecessary dieting, overeating, excessive exercise and smoking diminish femininity.  Therefore, the promotion of feminine beauty should diminish the incidence of negative health behaviors; at least no negative health behaviors could be indulged in to acquire feminine beauty.  However, will such promotion increase dissatisfaction with one’s body and prompt an increase in breast implants and other cosmetic surgeries?  Whereas one would expect increased dissatisfaction with one’s body on the part of many women, cosmetic surgery is a different matter.

Large breasts are neither necessary (Table 1) nor sufficient (Table 2) when it comes to looking feminine and attractive.  Femininity/beauty does not lie in a single variable or a handful of variables, but in overall appearance, and beauty is more than the sum of its parts. 

Table 1.
Jana K. from Twistys
Jana K. from Twistys Jana K. from Twistys Jana K. from Twistys Jana K. from Twistys Jana K. from Twistys
Natala from Domai
Natala from Domai Natala from Domai Natala from Domai Natala from Domai Natala from Domai

Table 2.
Kerry Marie
Busty Kerry Marie Busty Kerry Marie Busty Kerry Marie Busty Kerry Marie

A rudimentary attempt to provide examples of feminine beauty is the attractive women section of this site.  The models shown within this section range from small- to large-breasted.  Therefore, women going through this section will not come up with the impression that large breasts are the key to feminine beauty, and many women will realize that even with extensive cosmetic surgery/pharmaceutical treatment, they will not end up with the looks that would place them within the attractive women section.  Since at the time of this writing one is forced to select the majority of the models shown in the attractive women section from nude models, the quality of the women shown within this section isn’t as high as what it would be if there were a mainstream outlet for the appreciation of feminine beauty.            

Now, we consider an extreme example of body makeover in a woman, comprising of liposuction, chronic hormonal treatment, facial feminization surgery, breast and buttock implants, and leg bone lengthening via a bone implant.  If there were a mainstream outlet for the appreciation of feminine beauty, the beautiful women showcased would, on average, look better than the women currently showcased in the attractive women section of this site, and the vast majority of women looking at the beautiful women would know right away that even with the aforementioned extreme body makeover, they will not come close to matching the attractiveness of the beautiful women.  Of course, even with the financial means, few women would be willing to put up with the pain and time involved in the extreme body makeover, and very few women would have the financial means to undergo the extreme body makeover to start with.  Just as breast implants have not helped masculinized Victoria’s Secret models look feminine (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), women would know that only a few of the procedures involved in the extreme body makeover would be of almost no help.  Therefore, it is unlikely that the promotion of feminine beauty with an emphasis on high aesthetic standards will be prompting a sharp increase in cosmetic surgery given current medical technology.  If I were responsible for setting up a mainstream outlet for the appreciation of feminine beauty, I will exclude women with breast implants, nose jobs and other cosmetic surgeries, which will take care of the possibility that some women will try to be included among the beautiful women showcased via undergoing cosmetic surgery. 

If a cheap medical technology with minimal side effects existed in the form of implantable bone devices that can mold any bone from inside or gene therapy to help women acquire a feminine form, one could expect the promotion of feminine beauty to cause a notable increase in women undergoing such procedures, but then something like this will happen even if there is no promotion of feminine beauty given the cheap costs and minimal side effects.


This site does not morally judge women who undergo cosmetic surgery to improve their looks; it simply argues that these women do not belong among beauty pageant contestants and women who are supposed to be examples of feminine beauty.  I will rarely and reluctantly add women with breast implants to the attractive women section, and only if they have otherwise outstanding features, but there will be a policy against using women that have undergone cosmetic surgery when it comes to a mainstream outlet for feminine beauty appreciation.

One should also note that a number of people who undergo cosmetic surgery do not do so for vanity purposes or under societal pressure, but because they harbor high standards for themselves and are disappointed when they fail to meet their own standards(1).  A psychological examination can reveal who are the right candidates for cosmetic surgery improving not just their looks but also their self-esteem.

The roots of body image problems among women

People have a basic aesthetic sense, and those who fall short of their own aesthetic standards will not be pleased with their looks.  This should be intuitive, and should not be blamed upon society:

In a number of societies such as the typical Middle-Eastern society, marriages are arranged and the women wear a veil in public.  These women should not be too concerned about their looks, but is this the case?  Abdollahi and Mann compared eating disorders in 59 female Iranian students from a major public University in Tehran (BMI = 22.36, SD = 3.32) and 45 female Iranian students from a major public University in Los Angeles (BMI = 20.66, SD = 2.44) who had resided in the U.S. for a mean of 14.8 years (SD = 5.0 years, range = 4-22 years)(2).  The two samples were hardly different with respect to eating problems even though the Iranian women in Tehran were living in and had been raised in a society where Western media had been completely banned and women forbidden from putting on any apparel that may attract male attention. Where differences emerged, Iranian women in the U.S. were more likely to have eaten an unusually large amount of food during the past month, while those in Iran had desired an empty stomach more, exercised more vigorously to control weight or shape, and expressed less satisfaction with their body size.  This example alone should suffice to show that some sense of aesthetics is innate in women.  Even if one were to argue that a number of the sampled women in Tehran may have somehow managed to view Western media, the women fully well knew that altering their looks would not raise their status in the very least given the veil they have to wear in public.  Besides, what is so infectious about Western media that brief exposure to it would counteract years of social conditioning?

A basic aesthetic sense can be honed by exposure to better looking people, which is inevitable given enough time, especially in modern society.  Apart from a basic aesthetic sense, inter-female competition for access to men of high quality(3) is another factor implicated behind body image problems.  For instance, one expects body image issues to be less of a concern for women in a stable relationship than in single women.

The typical heterosexual woman generally harbors high standards for a male mate, and these high standards are mostly shared with other women, forcing women to compete with each other to access high quality men, of whom there are few in number.  These high quality men have their choice of women, and will naturally choose the most attractive ones, which in turn forces women to improve their looks.  It is futile to blame heteropatriarchy for this.

The problem is that if one hones the aesthetic judgment of the general heterosexual male population, which would be inevitable if feminine beauty is promoted with an emphasis on high aesthetic standards, the pressure on women to conform to high looks standards will increase, which they will resent.  Imagine a scenario where men considered highly desirable – by the vast majority of women – generally have a poorly developed aesthetic sense.  If not-so-attractive women can bump into these men, their chances of getting such men interested in them and eventually having these men emotionally bonded to them is greater in this scenario than if these highly desirable men generally have a well-developed aesthetic sense.  Therefore, women in general should resent a system that hones the aesthetic judgment of men in general.

When looks are of limited use in attracting highly desirable men, women have the option of using their sexuality, i.e., become looser with their sexuality.  Basically, men are less particular about looks when it comes to casual sex than when it comes to a long-term stable partner.  Therefore, a not-so-attractive woman could try her hand at, say, bumping into attractive men at nightclubs and being easy for them, hoping that the sexual contact may help emotionally bond a desirable man to her.  However, this option will generally not appeal to women.  It is in the best interests of single women to restrict their sexuality as it increases their value by 1) forcing men to acquire resources to impress them, thereby allowing them to avoid the “losers” who are either unwilling or unable to acquire the resources to impress women and 2) to obtain men who are genuinely interested in them rather than in sexual contact only (related:4, 5).  Increasing one’s value by restricting one’s sexuality is an option most extensively available to attractive women since they attract many male suitors, i.e., the less attractive women will have to be somewhat looser with their sexuality if they are to end up with highly desirable men, but honing the aesthetic judgment of men in general serves to more assuredly send not-so-attractive women toward the option of becoming looser with their sexuality in the hope of ending up with highly desirable men.

Even if I were to argue in my defense that regardless of whether men in general have a poorly or highly developed aesthetic sense, given that men considered highly desirable by the vast majority of women are few in number, the vast majority of women will not be getting them, it can be seen that the odds that a woman at random will end up with a highly desirable man are greater if men in general have a less developed aesthetic sense.  Therefore, a number of women should dislike the feminine-beauty-promotion part of this site and in general any system that hones the aesthetic judgment of men.

I had planned on adding a prominent “deception” section to this site, which would address tricks employed to present women as more glamorous than they are, with the intention that this would help promote high aesthetic standards, but have decided against this section.  The major and often exclusive shortcoming in the looks of many models and beauty pageant contestants is their masculinization, and this site should be focusing on the deception used to present masculinized women as feminine rather than other types of deception.  Women use make-up/hairstyling tricks to camouflage their flaws/make themselves more appealing; it is in their best interests to not have men see through the deception, and there is no need for me to make it harder for them.

Some ways of ameliorating poor body image or the problems underlying body image issues

An obvious way of improving one’s body image is to improve one’s looks.  There are a number of ways one could improve one’s looks in a manner that benefits health, too.

The body image problems of some people are related to mental illness, and professional help from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is needed for such people.  Mental illness can be suspected by a layperson if the affected person believes that a minor aesthetic shortcoming or normal physical feature represents a grotesque deformity.

The typical woman desirous of having a child wants a highly desirable man for, among other things, providing quality genetic material.  The problem of obtaining quality genetic material for the typical woman can be solved in at least three possible ways in the absence of a highly desirable male long-term stable partner:

  • An ovulating woman can come onto an attractive man in a nightclub.  The obvious negatives of this option are risk of catching venereal diseases or HIV, and not being able to judge the man’s quality properly.  After all, the man picked could have some personality problems or hereditary diseases that have not affected his looks.
  • A second option is in vitro fertilization after finding a suitable donor from a sperm bank.  The shortcomings of this method are that the woman does not get to examine the donor up close and there is a slightly increased risk of birth defects among children born of in vitro fertilization.
  • Another option is currently not available, but it awaits an entrepreneur to set it up.  This option would provide the equivalent of a live sperm bank, i.e., an agency will maintain a list of men that it has screened, using high standards, for diseases, personality, intelligence, looks and other variables that women are interested in, and set up a female client on a date with a man in its database that has caught her fancy.  If the woman determines that this man is capable of providing the quality genetic material she is looking for, around the time she is ovulating, she can have the man masturbate in private and immediately thereafter use the ejaculate to inseminate herself; the idea is to avoid sexual relations, which is not necessary, but if the woman in question has a boyfriend/husband, then by avoiding sexual relations she will only cheat on her partner reproductively, not also sexually.

As a side note, it should not be assumed that high self-esteem is necessarily good(6, 7).

A brief defense of the main goal of this site, i.e., promotion of feminine beauty

Promoting feminine beauty and high aesthetic standards among models and beauty pageant contestants can be justified on multiple counts:

  • Given the unlikely scenario of a general education curriculum in school/college teaching about the gay factor in order to counteract the negative influence of skinny fashion models, it is imperative that high aesthetic standards be emphasized toward the promotion of feminine beauty so as to establish a powerful competing standard of “perfection” in the public realm; most people already harbor a feminine beauty ideal in the personal realm.
  • Heterosexual men have a strong interest in feminine beauty and have a right to appreciate the highest expression of it.
  • The achievements of top-ranked athletes and outstanding intellects are beyond the capability of most humans, yet are well-rewarded in the form of Olympic medals, Nobel prizes, etc., and can hardly be said to denigrate human athletic ability and human intelligence, respectively, since they represent the relevant human abilities at their best.  Likewise, notwithstanding the fact that great beauty is beyond the achievement of most humans, it represents the human form at its finest and should be fully honored.  Some religious individuals are not pleased with the focus of beauty contests on flesh, but focusing on flesh in some situations does not undermine the importance of spirituality.  Besides, the Gods have not created beauty for it to be kept under wraps.  There is much destitution and misery in the world, and the Gods have surely meant beauty to partly function as a sight for sore eyes.
  • Advertisers have a right to use attractive individuals to add glamour to their products and make them stand out.

This site is attempting to solve a number of problems but is unintentionally creating some problems, too, but successful implementation of its goals will, in my opinion, solve more problems than it creates, and the problems solved will be of a more serious nature than the problems created.  There is no reason why one couldn't simultaneously promote feminine beauty and diminish discrimination against unattractive women.  The only problem that cannot be fully solved as a result of the promotion of feminine beauty is reduced body-esteem among a number of women, but unlike the fashion industry at least this site is not promoting a body type that is at odds with the preferences of the vast majority of people and also at odds with health.  

Many people have a reasonably correct idea of where they stand on an attractiveness scale, and those who incorrectly estimate their attractiveness disproportionately overestimate it rather than underestimate it, i.e., exposure to very attractive women is not going to make most women feel less attractive than they are, though being disappointed with their looks is another matter.  Regarding being dissatisfied with one’s looks, to some extent one can improve one’s looks, and to the extent that one cannot, one should remember that almost everyone falls short of most of the best achievements/characteristics found among humans, and one has to learn to make the most of what one has rather than sulk about the hand dealt by nature.

An apology

There are a number of unflattering comparisons within this site and what would appear to be extensive criticism of the looks of a number of models and beauty pageant contestants, but the actual criticism is of the circumstances/people that have been responsible for putting these women in scenarios where they don’t belong; there are not a whole lot of nicer ways of bringing the aesthetic issues to public attention.  I have nothing personally against the women whose looks have been “critiqued.”  A woman mentioned hurt feelings after going through this site, and this is something that I dislike about this site, and hence apologize to all women who are disappointed to learn after going through this site that they don’t meet high standards of feminine beauty.  These women should hopefully understand that this site is not anti-women or even anti-masculinized women; it is just there to establish mainstream feminine beauty appreciation, which is not the same as some kind of denigration of masculinization in the looks of women, though people inclined to see a half full glass as a half empty one will probably see it as some form of denigration.  What can I do?  Leave comments if you have suggestions for improvement.


  1. Davis, K., Reshaping the female body: the dilemma of cosmetic surgery, Routledge, New York (1995).
  2. Abdollahi, P., and Mann, T., Eating disorder symptoms and body image concerns in Iran: comparisons between Iranian women in Iran and in America, Int J Eat Disord, 30, 259 (2001).
  3. Campbell, A., Female competition: causes, constraints, content, and contexts, J Sex Res, 41, 16 (2004).
  4. Baumeister, R. F., and Twenge, J. M., Cultural suppression of female sexuality, Rev Gen Psychol, 6, 166 (2002).
  5. Baumeister, R. F., and Vohs, K. D., Sexual economics: sex as female resource for social exchange in heterosexual interactions, Personal Soc Psychol Rev, 8, 339 (2004).
  6. Emler, N., Self-esteem: the costs and causes of low self-worth., York Publishing Services, U.K. (2001).
  7. Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., and Vohs, K. D., Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles?, Psychol Sci Public Interest, 4, 1 (2003).


I showed my husband the picture of all the Dove models in their underwear and he thought ALL of them were attractive. Maybe it was because they're in their underwear. Or maybe because they ARE attractive.

And for the record, my husband is no slouch. He's build like an NFL running back and I often get comments from other women on how good-looking he is.

That being said...I look those Dove models. Always have. Sort of like the second to last one but with red hair (and now with the striations of childbearing on my stomach).

So, perhaps my husband is just one of those guys who likes girls with meat on their bones....

I don't know. Maybe your husband is the exception rather than the rule. Or maybe he just told you that because you look like them.

Erik, with your Dove ad example above, you state that if legistated, gay fashion designers wouldn't choose more than a 19% BMI, rejecting all of the women in the Dove ad. Then you state, "In addition, the prospect of Dove's ordinary-looking models being popular with heterosexual men are nil, which eliminates an alternative possibility of making the ordinary-looking models acquire high status."

You are stating here only gay or heterosexual men have the ability to give women "high status." Listen to yourself!

While you state, against gay designers, that women's fashion is supposed to have the purpose of marketing clothing to women, you have stated that only models who are attractive to heterosexual men should be allowed to achieve "high status." Your agenda is very clear for switching back to hour-glass models, but you can't then use the argument that fashion is supposed to be about marketing clothes to women! I'm an hour-glass, but believe me, I know how rare natural hour-glass women are -- you yourself said only 8%!

Well, how about this! How about men staying out of women's fashion all together, and ordinary women give ordinary women "high status," for being an actual reflection of reality. The Dove ad is great! It is great for women to see themselves. If the audience is truly women for women's fashion, rather than gay men or heterosexual men, then why should male opinion, including yours, matter?

How about kicking men out of women's fashion & letting women's fashion be for women, how about getting rid of porn that is disrespectful to girlfriends, wives, mothers, sisters & daughters. How about the most revolutionary move of all -- how about heterosexual men focusing on the body of the woman they love as the most beautiful! How about that body being the first and only female body a heterosexual man sees nude! Wow! What a concept! Marriage rates would soar and divorce rates would plummet, and men & women could actually have a chance to achieve sacred love.

Sandi: BMI is not expressed as a percentage, but usually as a unitless number. The unit is kilograms per meter squared. I do not recall saying what proportion of women have hourglass figures; the 8% statistic you took was likely from a reader comment/posted article. However, it is obvious that hourglass figures are uncommon.

I have not stated that ‘only models who are attractive to heterosexual men should be allowed to achieve “high status.”’ Those who please others with their looks will naturally acquire higher status with respect to looks, and this high status will translate to public prominence if the pleased individuals are in the right powerful positions.

I have cited plenty of evidence within this site that men and women generally judge female attractiveness similarly. Therefore, mindful of the necessity of high-fashion models conveying a sense of exclusivity, regardless of whether you put heterosexual men or heterosexual women in charge of the fashion industry, the looks of high-fashion models will occupy a narrow range of feminine beauty. Whereas using Dove’s models above as fashion models will be a welcome relief for many women disturbed by the sight of skinny fashion models, you could not use their looks to suggest exclusivity, and the elite looking for exclusive clothing will still have to turn to gay fashion designers to buy their clothes, which wouldn’t help because these gays will remain on top and dictate the norms among high-fashion models. In short, you could use ordinary-looking women to model and sell clothing no doubt, but high-fashion is a different matter. The models needed for selling haute couture need to suggest exclusivity with their looks, and for both aesthetic purposes from a general population perspective and to minimize the prompting of negative health behaviors on the part of girls and women inspired by fashion models, high-fashion models should ideally be exemplars of feminine beauty.

If you are offended by the nudity here, please understand that I have little choice presently. If I am successful, there will be no need to use nude models to illustrate examples of feminine beauty. Regarding a man focusing on the body of the woman he loves as the most beautiful, there is no need for this as love makes the loved one the most beautiful of all and beyond compare.

It sounds like you need to focus on the users rather than the sellers, then.

I just don't buy that switching from size 0 to WHR 7 is really changing the landscape, though it undoubtedly would make you very happy to sit back and watch.

If rich women don't have anything better to do than look for exclusive clothes, how about they fly to a developing country and hire some poor women to make exclusive clothing for them. Then they would have exclusive clothing no one else in the world has (with much more realistic ideals of beauty -- I love watching Bollywood movies, for instance, and seeing "real" women instead of sticks)-- and they would be helping these women tremendously!

I would do that in a heartbeat and have considered doing it. Hmmm...

Sandi: The typical poor woman in a developing nation would not have the ability to come up with highly aesthetically appealing apparel, and if some of them did and were asked to design clothing, they would not be poor for long and quickly end up selling high-priced clothing. Exclusive clothing had better look good. Anyway, the use of models ranging from ordinary to mildly pleasant in looks would work as a fashion alternative, and I believe it would be great to have this alternative, but high-fashion is a different matter. Dresses that costs thousands of dollars are not entirely justifiable in terms of the materials, stitching, feel or looks, but one pays a premium for brand name. To build a brand name, you need to suggest exclusivity on most counts, and the use of high-fashion models with looks that cover the range found in most women will not help. A feminine beauty high-fashion model alternative – having a narrow range and with an emphasis on high aesthetic standards – would be consistent with the suggestion of exclusivity, and is the only form consistent with majority preferences and also health, fertility and fecundity, i.e., it cannot prompt indulgence in negative health behaviors.

Erik -- look at your assumptions! Ha! Ha! "A typical poor woman" cannot be creative enough to design "asethically appealing apparel"?

Hmmm... you'd better go tell Pier 1 Imports and all other high end importers that quick where wealthy women shop to decorate their homes! (I have a client who just paid $45,000 for a tapestry handcrafted in Iran by these poor, uncreative women!) You'd better go inform the global artisans who design jewelry that the same women clamor for! Wealthy women are already flocking to developing countries for their handcrafted furniture, art & jewelry -- fashion's not far behind! You're unreal!

Once again -- males (gay or straight) need to be relegated to spectator status on this issue -- period. You have no more authority than gay men in telling women what size to be.

Sandi: All people in developing nations are not poor; some are better off than many in Western nations. The destitute person that you alluded to in your previous comment would typically not have the skills to come up with artistic products that would fetch a decent price in the West. On the other hand, if designing requires more skill than producing a product given a specified design, then a Western architect can design a product and outsource the labor or his non-Western counterpart can come up with the design and pay lower class people to put in the labor. You need to consider the designers, not the ones who stitch the fabric/provide manual labor, and focus on clothing, not handicrafts. Even a profitable company like Victoria’s Secret sells lingerie made in developing nations, but the design originates in Western nations.

There is nothing within this site telling women what size they should be.

Again, you assume a woman does not have the ability to be creative enough to design clothes for Western consumption because she's poor and lives in a developing country? That's ridiculous!

She knows more about your hour glass designs than anyone in the Western world does. All of these statistics you and others are stating here are based on the US. If you look at women globally, hour glass figures are the norm -- women in the US and Western Europe are "odd" by comparison. Look at the average woman in Sri Lanka, for instance -- very much hour glass. Africa, India, South America, Southeast Asia, Meditteranean. Most of the rest of the world is what you call "natural hour glass," whether they're poor is irrelevant to whether they could design clothes for their own bodies. A design is an idea and ideas are not dependent upon wealth. Where do you come up with this stuff?

You're not telling women what size they should be?

You're stating that gay designers are defining what size women should be (0) as bad, and you're countering with a different size (WHR7) as good -- what do you call that?

You're stating that the women in the Dove ad do not meet your criteria -- what do you call that?

If you're going to say that you're only speaking about a very small percentage of women who would qualify to be high fashion models, as if that minimizes the impact of creating an alternative box for women to step into, you then also minimize the impact of your entire argument about gay men prescribing size for women.

You just don't get to have it both ways!


First, sorry for the name confusion: I have posted under "Sandy" for some time now and don't fancy a new pseudonym for myself.

I disagree that women in Southeast Asia are typically hourglass-figured as I lived in the region for many years and most are not. Yes, they are slim and many are very small-waisted, but typically the hips and bust are small as well and they tend not to be as curvy as the typical western woman. There are exceptions of course and some have really stunning figures.

I think that part of the problem in the US and in Europe as well are increasing waistlines as we get more obese in general. I know the average waist measurement has gone from about 26-27 inches in the '60's to more than 32 inches today. Of course a thicker waist translates into less of a visible hourglass shape and holds health risks as well. So while the typical skinny fashion model is unhealthy, so too are many American and European women today, just in different ways. There seems to be a fine line to walk in terms of health. A normal BMI -- not skinny, not fat -- is key.

I do think women are confused in today's world however. Even sizing has changed dramatically to add total confusion to our lives! As an example, in High School (many moons ago) I wore a size 6 and I was quite small. Today, at slightly more weight, I am either a size 2 petite or a size O (in intermediate priced stores). That's just crazy and this so-called "vanity sizing" is a gross disservice to women in general. Women have always been jerked around when it comes to clothing....sizing is too variable for us, while a man knows what size he wears, without ambiguity.

Lastly, I personally don't think that the hourglass figure or a strictly-defined WHR is the be-all and end-all of female beauty and that too much emphasis on this one aspect of attractiveness takes away from many things that are more relevant and far more important. Even this website features women who do not quite meet the hourglass definition, although all have WHRs that gives them discernible waistlines and curvacious figures. At any rate, all women have figure flaws; a more rectangular shaped women may have better legs than the typcial hourglass for example, and it is the overall look that matters in my opinion.

Sandi: I have been using the word “typically.” Do you seriously believe that just about any poor woman in a developing nation will have enough skills to come up with designer clothing? Why are some people poor? In many cases because they lack the skills to get a job that pays well enough, and many of the latter cannot be made to acquire the requisite skills.

Hourglass figures are by no means the norm anywhere in the world, and when found, they are most extensively found among European women, especially Northern Europeans. I have cited international waist-to-hip ratio statistics, and although I haven’t cited breast size statistics, the largest breasts among European women are disproportionately found among Northern Europeans (top three: England (average size C-cup), Denmark, Netherlands).

I haven’t talked about a 0.7 WHR as an ideal, and have actually critiqued this notion in a separate entry. The women in the Dove ad do not meet the attractiveness criteria of most people. You could use these women as fashion models, but not as high-fashion models if you wanted to set up an alternative to the gay-dominated fashion industry. Besides, by putting feminine and attractive women next to skinny and masculine high-fashion models, as within this site, even in the absence of an alternative fashion industry, many girls and women at risk for developing anorexia or bulimia will see the light and stop considering skinniness desirable. It is necessary to set up a competing standard of attractiveness in the public realm, which is ideally a feminine beauty standard since it is consistent with health and most people naturally harbor it, and this is not to convey “this is how women are supposed to look like,” but “this is how women considered attractive by most people look like.”

So let me get this straight.
1) The fashion industry promotes a skinny, rather androgynous ideal which most women don't conform to.
2) This gives millions of women body-image problems.
3)You don't like this at all; you think a better solution is to promote an hourglass ideal, which, again, most women don't conform to.

How exactly is this going to help? Even if you changed the thinking of the entire world, you've just sorta shuffled the image problems to a different, but certainly no smaller, demographic.

At least if the ideal is super-skinny, anyone can achieve it through diet and exercise. How the hell do you work on your waist-hip ratio?

You may not think so, Erik, but you are, unfortunately, a misogynist.

actually, I've thought about it and changed my mind. (cheers for the great excuse to procrastinate!)
You are, of course, perfectly entitled to prefer strongly feminine women; the problem I have is with your attack on any other preferences - because there isn't really just one universal definition of beauty. I fully accept that most men will find that highly feminine look (most accurately described as Playboy circa 1960) very sexually attractive. However, the girls do all kinda look the same, and it does get a little boring after a while. That's why unusual looking girls like Gemma Ward and Lily Cole are regarded as beautiful - they are something different, but still aesthetically pleasing. (Even if you personally don't think so, many do, and you are not the global arbiter of taste.)

Also remember that beauty and aesthetics are not all about sex; those highly feminine figures and faces might turn you on the most, but that is not the be all and end all of aesthetics. I can like a pretty flower, or a stylishly decorated room, without it turning me on sexually. And because the overwhlming majority of the world's population is NOT looking at these girls with an actual view to mating with them (ie their phone numbers aren't jotted down in your little black book with a cute little "call me" in the margin) then pure sex is not the only factor influencing what is judged beautiful.
I'm not saying that the 1960 Playboy model-look isn't beautiful, I'm just saying that there are other looks out there which are also considered attractive by many people, and just because you admire the former the most doesn't mean that it is the only way to be beautiful.

I agree with you on one point at least though - I, too, am slightly mystified why Miss America pageant contestants always look like they do; I personally don't find them very attractive, but it seems someone must because it's always the same look that they come up with. Thank God I don't look like that, is all I can say.

Millie: You haven’t gotten the matter straight. The issue is not just body image, but also women being prompted to indulge in negative health behaviors to acquire the looks of models and aesthetics considerations. Feminine beauty in the limelight will cause body image problems in some women, no doubt, and this is what this entry is about, but feminine beauty is better because it will not be leading to negative health behaviors, will aesthetically please the majority of humans, and will not bother many women because most women already harbor a feminine beauty ideal. I don’t see how this argument makes me a misogynist.

I am not exactly attacking others’ preferences, but when the preferences of a small minority of humans -- gay fashion designers -- are imposed on the majority and the majority is unable to appreciate what it likes, i.e., feminine beauty, then it is time to do something about it. If you think that feminine beauty gets boring after a while, you should look at this collage of high-fashion models and tell me whether they all look strikingly different. The solution to monotony is occasional deviance from the norm, which the fashion industry indulges in, and there is no reason why one couldn’t set up a feminine beauty norm that one occasionally deviates from. I have posted pictures of Gemma Ward; look at them carefully and tell me if you think most people in the general population would find her attractive.

Of course, beauty and aesthetics are not all about sex. It has been repeatedly shown that even though most women are not sexually attracted to women, women and men generally judge female attractiveness similarly; both typically prefer feminine beauty. When it comes to physical attractiveness, there is no one formula that fits all, but most people mutually agree about what constitutes beauty and most prefer feminine beauty in women.

Why are you mystified by the looks of beauty pageant contestants? Read more of this site, and you will understand that gay aesthetic preferences are involved, though in an indirect manner.

OK - this will be my last post on this thread, because I don't think there's really any way to avoid causing body esteem issues for women, no matter what ideal you advance. But I'm sure I'll be back somewhere else - I'm a model so I feel like a bit of a traitor to my tribe, but I find your site fascinating.

But first I'd like to explain the misogynist call. Granted, I probably went too far there. But what I'm getting at is that if you did succeed in replacing all present beauty ideals with the feminine ideal, you would massively disempower women.

It's only natural for us to want to improve our attractiveness. In the eyes of society, a woman's worth is significantly based on her physical attractiveness (whether we like it or not, it's true WHERE cid= '; hence the problem with the current skinny trend causing health problems. But at least women can work towards improving their "worth" by working out and eating healthily - just like men, whose attractiveness is based much more on success, power, and financial security, can actively work to improve their worth in the eyes of others. If a feminine physique became the only ideal of female beauty - and hence the primary indicator of their worth - women would lose any control over their own worth. Nothing you do will give you an hourglass figure if you weren't born with one; your worth in society is determined by your genetic inheritance, and no amount of personal endeavour will improve it.

So making the feminine ideal the only ideal for beauty isn't doing women any favours.

Like I say, promoting any ideal is bound to cause self-esteem problems in women who don't match up; I'm not asking you to solve the problem! But I don't think you can claim this ideal provides a better deal for women.

Millie: You have come to the correct conclusion that body esteem problems cannot be resolved in all cases, and this holds regardless of what the ideal is or even if there is no ideal because people are born with a basic aesthetic sense, and some are bound to find themselves short of their own standards. It is not my intention to replace all female looks ideals with a feminine beauty standard, and this is not possible either. Feminine beauty would be inappropriate in numerous scenarios, as in obtaining models to market sporting goods. I wish to see at least one mainstream outlet for feminine beauty appreciation. Given the gay domination of the fashion business, the only realistic prospect of typically seeing feminine women used for high-fashion modeling is to come up with an alternative fashion industry, a long shot but not impossible.

You claim that in society, a woman’s worth is significantly based on her physical attractiveness, but women are themselves part of this society, and as explained above, are directly responsible for the pressure many women feel to look attractive. High worth for men, involving riches and power, is beyond the reach of most men, and men, though less inconvenienced by a need to look attractive, are a lot more inconvenienced than women with respect to acquiring riches.

As I mentioned previously, one cannot indulge in negative health behaviors to acquire feminine beauty, and a feminine beauty ideal is naturally harbored by most women, i.e., seeing it in the limelight will not be disturbing for most women. Therefore, if one had to choose between a skinny fashion ideal and a feminine beauty ideal, the feminine beauty ideal is clearly more natural and healthy, thereby being a better deal for women. Attempting to acquire the skinny looks of high-fashion models would undermine health and disempower women on several counts since the process would take their time and they will have less energy left to pursue other endeavors to empower themselves. Even if feminine beauty cannot be acquired by modifying behavior, many people have the maturity to realize, and others should try to understand, that one should not derive a sense of worth based on how one looks. Good looks and youth do not last forever. Some things can be done to improve looks, but beyond this, it is highly recommended that people derive their sense of worth through means such as behavior and accomplishments. It is by no means the case that the only route to empowerment is improving one’s looks.

Once again, this site is aiming toward setting up a competing looks standard in the limelight, not replacing all "ideals" with feminine beauty.

not all men are like you, who think that "ordinary" women would not be popular or attractive to men. you are such an asshole. you act like women should be here for the pleasure of men. women are humans, they are not here to be pleasing to your eye, they are not here to cater to what you want. seriously do something better with your time than telling other people what you think should be attractive in women. what people find attractive is different everywhere and a very broad spectrum. you have no proof backing your "what most life-time exclusive heterosexual men find attractive" statement. i guarantee that most men don't agree on all the aspects of beauty. not only that you have no proof AT ALL backing the idea that most men find your type of women attractive. you simply state it, but it is purely made up.
your extent of criticism is sickening. it's bad enough women are portrayed as sex objects everywhere but here you are just reinforcing that. all these women are beautiful so stop insulting them. THEY ARE WOMEN and that makes them FEMININE.

BTW. the above post by Sandi is exactly what should happen. I hope you realize that what you are doing is not helping the world one bit.

Pisham: The issue that you are responding to is not that “ordinary women would not be popular or attractive to men,” but that ordinary-looking women would not be appropriate for high-fashion modeling since their looks would not convey exclusivity. I do not believe that women should be there to please men. I am not telling others what I think “should be attractive in women,” but what most people find to be physically attractive in women. You have already commented on an entry summarizing evidence for the powerful effect of femininity on facial attractiveness; there is a lot more research cited within this site; please look around. It is not enough to be a woman to be feminine. The typical woman is feminine in comparison to men in general, but only some women are feminine in comparison to women in general. If you read carefully, you will observe that I am critiquing the people/circumstances responsible for putting up masculinized women where they don’t belong, not the looks of women, which would be a useless endeavor.

A website does not have to exist to make the world a better place. On the other hand, the long-term impact of my work remains to be seen. I believe that it will be more positive than negative. If feminine beauty could be made more prominent in the public sphere, you will see a drop in the incidence of anorexia, surely a big plus.

Will you create a version of this site that compares the attractiveness of men? I am a woman. I am somewhat offended, but I find some of your ideas interesting. At least if you make one of men then both genders will be equally offended. I always thought attractiveness was about proportions. I like proportionate faces/bodies in men. I also like masculine faces in women, but I'm straight. There are alot of men that like fashion models, masculine faces and no curves to some degree. There are different kinds of physical beauty, but I look at the whole package including personality to see if I really like someone as a mate. I think we are taught what to like from an early age by the media and by our culture. Maybe you can make a site about what personality traits people look for in partners. Also I think we look for features that remind us of ourselves or family members. What do you think about that?

MV: I don’t have much of an interest in male attractiveness and do not have the time to come up with an equivalent site addressing men, which is less needed than this site. I agree that it will be fair to come up with a site on male attractiveness, and that this will offend many men, too. I remember teaching a class on exercise where I mentioned some facts about how to tell more masculine from less masculine men, and you could see some of the male students not being too pleased; one looked at me with hatred.

If some women wanted to set up a site like this on men, I will offer my help. Alternatively, if I get around to contributing to a site on women’s studies, then it will have a big section on what women find physically attractive in men, and this section will have plenty of data to offend many men.

Proportions are obviously important to attractiveness. Personality is important to mate choice and exerts a halo effect on how physically attractive someone is seen as. Media and culture influence what people find attractive, but there are many intrinsic preferences, too. It is true that some features people are attracted to are those seen among self and immediate family members, but this is a principle that applies to other sexually reproducing species in general, and increases the odds that one mates with not too genetically distant individuals so as to avoid negative outcomes in offspring. This influence is countered by other factors that make one attracted to features different from self and family members, which increase the odds that one does not mate with blood relatives so as to again avoid negative outcomes in offspring.

How do you define "high quality m,en"'? Is there any study you reference? As far as I know Higher quality men can be found more among "non-lifetime exclusive heterosexuals" or men that "narrowly escaped non-heterosexuality" and therefore would be more appealing to women to garner as lang term partners. For example Donald Trump (certainly not my choice) would be appealing to women in regards to his wealth and his choice of women seems to be fairly masculinized.
Also, what do you imagine as a "mainstream outlet for feminine beauty apreciation"? The only thing I could think of is either a high profile nude magazine or an alternative women's fashion industry.
As it is now the people in charge (who rightfully earned their dominating status) are the one's who make the call about which women represent them.
What I want to know is why you think that taking the time and energy to make this site is in any way useful as opposed to, for example, starting your own pin-up magazine/site representing a high standard in feminine beauty without all the complaining, verbal discrimination and gay conspiracy theories which make this site offensive and readily dismissed by many readers as the rants of a bitter misogynist. Presentation is everything and you are doing it the wrong way if you want your opinion to be recognized in a positive light.

Susie: Do I really need to define what are high-quality men from the perspective of women? This should be obvious: financially well-off, good looking, tall, well-built, kind hearted, pleasing personality, etc. If you are a typical heterosexual woman, chances are that you would prefer a lifetime-exclusive heterosexual man whose developmental pathway never came close to deviating from a heterosexual orientation, especially if you are aware of the nature of nonheterosexuality.

How can a mainstream outlet for feminine beauty appreciation be in the form of a high-profile nude magazine? Nudity isn’t mainstream. Outlets for mainstream appreciation of feminine beauty can be in the form of an alternative fashion industry, beauty pageants focusing on feminine beauty and magazines featuring bikini-clad feminine beauties.

Why have I set up this site instead of starting my own pin-up magazine/site? Do you have any idea how many websites/magazines post pictures of scantily clad and nude women? If I were to set up such a site, how many people will come across it? It will be largely lost amid the huge number of other similar sites unless I featured very attractive women, which are very difficult to obtain among nude models. In other words, I would need a budget of millions to place advertisements seeking bikini models, pay them well in order to get very good looking ones, and advertise my site/magazine. I would also need to recoup the costs by having a pay-for-access website (unless I were extremely rich), which wouldn’t be helpful because many people will not pay to access it. I don’t have millions to spare, and hence it is best for me to come up with and work on a freely accessible educational website while simultaneously working on acquiring sufficient riches to ultimately recruit attractive bikini models.

I have clarified before that I have never argued for some sort of gay conspiracy. The homosexuals are not conspiring against heterosexuals but simply doing what pleases them.

And how can you accuse me of misogyny? I have not espoused anything suggestive of a dislike of the behaviors or mannerism of women in general. I have been addressing looks, and have shown an appreciation of feminine looks. How is this misogyny?

I am sorry to take up so much of my time here, because I don't particularly find you worth it, Eric, and I know you'll just come up with some crackpot biased response that belittles me even more...BUT I feel like I need to speak out just to those women who have perused this website and have found it as damaging to their own self esteem as it was to mine at first. I'm a 21 year old with a WHR of about .85, so by that and several other standards you have presented here (foot size, broad shoulders in particular), I felt like I could barely be found attractive by ANY man, if what you say is true. I felt horrible looking at your catalogue of "ideal" women, because of course, I agreed with you! I saw myself in many of the high fashion models, and I looked in the mirror with shock and horror, because I had previously been so proud of my body.

Indeed, the women you are championing are hot, feminine, curvacious. I would love to have their bodies if I could. BUT I CANNOT. Sure, I could remove some ribs. See how well that worked out for Cher?

You don't seem to get that women's happiness suffers with the onset of so much pressure to conform to standards of beauty, whether they are instituted by the high fashion or glamour industry, and it's so pathetic and damaging to your credibility to all but the most ignorant visitors of this website. Women suffer from depression almost twice as much as men! You fail to offer any comforting words for those women who don't really want to undergo extreme measures such as surgery, or take over their entire lives trying to change their muscular structure through ridiculously detailed exercise routines, to achieve what will most likely be disappointing results.

While I think you speak the truth overall, and while I'm sure many men would agree with you on what constitutes ideal feminine beauty, I think it is mean and ugly of you to go to such lengths to slander women who appear to be anything less than your absolute ideal (see the section on Miranda Kerr). Not to mention women who fall well outside your ideals...God have mercy on them, huh? Might as well enter a convent, every one of them. And forget about romance, happiness, social acceptance even!

It is DISGUSTING that you imply that women take such drastic measures as surgery to alter their looks in order to conform to your impossible standards of beauty. This is an epidemic in our society as far as I'm concerned. Beauty fades!! Why spend $5,000 on a nose job when you could spend it pampering the body you have (and will ALWAYS HAVE) with beautiful clothes, makeup, education about nutrition, a gym membership even.

At some point, we just need to understand that almost all of us were born with bodies that are capable of astounding physical feats, childbirth among them. And we are all capable of finding absolute love and acceptance in this world. The world is not as harsh a place as this silly man would have you believe. Whether you're blessed with a feminine body or not, whether you're young or old, thin or fat, you should do whatever you can to feel healthy and beautiful, and THAT is the message of the Dove beauty campaign! You will NEVER feel beautiful if you continue to pursue these harsh and demeaning paths to scrutinize and perfect the minutest details of your appearance -- things you WILL NEVER be able to change as much as you would like. There are lots of people out there who are absolutely turned on by the types of bodies that high fashion models have -- and whether that's "gay" or not, I'm sure they're not lacking sexual intimacy!!

Just be happy with what you've got. You only live once!!! addendum, if you'll allow it.

I just realized that you are not in fact promoting cosmetic surgery. I apologize for reading through this section so hastily. I was eager to voice my opinion because the rest of your website made me feel...well, horrible. I realize that you're trying to offer an "out" for women who don't want to feel pressured to alter themselves to look like high fashion models, but I still disagree with you on many points.

In particular, I take issue with one statement on this page: "good luck trying to get every girl to feel beautiful." Why give up on that goal? Isn't that the goal in life, to feel self satisfied and happy? And isn't women's happiness more important than YOUR satisfaction in seeing more and more "perfect" women saturate our media? The standard you are promoting is not much easier to achieve than the high-fashion standard. At least not for me, and I'm sure many, many, many other women would agree. I know you will not agree with me here, but I think the Dove beauty campaign is exactly what women need to be exposed to, considering that media will not subside anytime son. In the times before magazine ads, billboards, etc., women didn't necessarily have any other standard to look up to besides what they saw within their own communities. They could shield themselves from self esteem issues by simply not paying attention to their own beauty status. Not so today.

I undeniably agree with you that there are intrinsic ideas about feminine beauty, and you attempt to address these in excruciating detail. But it is not much help to women to introduce yet another impossible-to-achieve standard. Take someone like me, for example. I have been told that my face is a little flat. I also have a scar on my chest from early sun damage. Both of these "problems" have come up when I have obsessively probed boyfriends about what features they dislike about me. In order to feel better about the way I look, I have begun a series of steroid injections for the scar, free of charge through insurance, which should clear it up in a few months. My face, on the other hand? It would take potentially massive reconstructive surgery for me to correct that "deformity" as you call it. This wounds me deeply, to think that I am to have less acceptance from men because of something so completely out of my control. Should I go through life feeling like a freak? Should I stop feeling beautiful and desirable, even though I have had a boyfriend who fell head over heels for me from the beginning, looks included? ....And though I have had two other men consider me attractive enough to pursue me for months despite repeated rejection? I don't think most men would rate me very highly according to your standards, and yet I have felt so much love from the man I adore. ...Yet I cannot escape suffering from major depression, and am in constant self conflict regarding my appearance. If I existed in a society without our current media saturation, I don't think I would have nearly the difficulty I have now. That is just a fact. I would probably feel even worse if the media were saturated with your ideal women.

I do appreciate that you made a thoughtful attempt to apologize for whatever damage your site may have done, but I think you should put your apology in a more prominent place on this website. This page is relatively remote. If you really meant it, then needs to be read, because I think that THAT message is really important to the female visitors to this site in particular, especially young females such as myself.

Women who do not fit the definition of feminine appearance presented in this website always think that Erik is giving us another standard to conform to when in reality he is only presenting facts. The fact is that both men and women in general find Erik's definition of a feminine woman as attractive, and they find masculinized women generally attractive. A masculinized woman is still a woman, but her looks are nearer to the masculine norm than to the feminine norm.

Erik is not telling us to try to achieve these standards. It is our innate vanity and desire to look good that makes us want to be the ultimate attractive feminine woman. And we are hurt by this site because, though we try hard to deny it, we do realize that this site speaks the truth; and that if we look masculinized, we are more or less unattractive according to almost everybody. And if we steer clear of cosmetic surgery, there is very little we can do because this standard of feminine beauty is hardwired in the human brain. There are a lot of scientific studies that support this.

We should not hate Erik for presenting us these facts. Yes, they hurt, but it's the truth and the truth hurts. What can we do?

And the Dove campaign? I think it's silly and futile. If you know you look unattractive and you try to convince yourself otherwise, who are you kidding? Just because Dove started this campaign doesn't mean we can change our hardwiring in just a snap. I think that we should just focus on improving our inner beauty instead of trying to convince everybody that all women are beautiful physically. I think we all have noticed that at least once in our life we have fallen for or at least liked a person who is not really physically attractive just because of that person's character. Inner beauty has just as much weight as physical beauty. Do not discount its importance.

Marie, if there are men who like the way you look, then I don't see what your problem is. Be grateful and work on your self-esteem.

Ugh. Thanks, brenda. Wow, I had no idea that I needed to work on my self esteem!

I'm making the same point you are in your last paragraph, I'm just trying to be optimistic. I hate the way this site made me feel. Of course I have self esteem issues, but things like this simply feed into them. I don't think anyone else deserves to feel the same way I did when I first encountered it, so I think Eric would get a lot less hostility from women if he just made the message of neutrality more clear, possibly by adding it to his main page? Just an idea. I think the organization on this site is pretty awful. It was hard to find this page, and most people are not really going to take the time to read through everything he has to say to locate his tiny, feeble apology. I think there is something cold and calculating in his style and approach that makes him seem like a bit of a nut. That's just what I gather from the many comments people leave him, and from my own gut reaction to this site. If he wants to reach people, he needs to fix that.

About the Dove campaign...I think they are just trying to rectify the self esteem issues which undeniably cause a lot of women to suffer and ultimately to give up entirely on looking presentable and feeling good about themselves (aka healthy and vibrant and not anxious about their looks). I know women will always try to work towards that ultimate goal of femininity, and will inevitably feel disappointed when they can't achieve it, but I think there is definitely an implication in the media that we should be obsessed with appearance...that you cannot rest until your skin, hair, boobs, waist all conform to the ideal. The reasons for this are obvious -- it pays to make women feel bad about themselves. I don't totally respect Dove the way I might respect a nonprofit organization, but at least they are trying to remind the public that perfection is elusive and that although femininity and thinness may be the ultimate or most widely popular form of beauty, it is not the only one and it is not the be-all-end-all of female existence. Women should not feel the need to take drastic measures to alter their appearance, because lasting self-esteem comes from inner peace and self acceptance, and from meaningful relationships. They are trying to bring to light the fact that the perfection and beauty that sells in the advertising industry is an illusion, and if you look carefully at their ads you will notice that they are not saying that ugliness is beauty, they are just saying that in a society with such high beauty standards, we need to be able to just CALM DOWN about it. Eric is not calm -- his goal represents yet another force trying to cattle-prod us into obsession. The Dove fund is called the self esteem fund! What can you possibly criticize about that mission statement?

I think most visitors to this site will agree that Eric's presentation of the "facts" is sketchy, and that he often replaces hard data with his own personal preferences and labels them the "consensus" when that is really not the case. He is excruciatingly picky -- I think most men would LOVE to get in bed with Miranda Kerr, and yet he specifically targets her and points out what he calls a "deformity" in her nose, calling her beauty and perfection into question because of it. I think this kind of scrutiny is harmful, and if you disagree, then there's nothing I can do.

Why can't Eric just appreciate beautiful women he sees on the street and in glamour ads? I am bisexual, and I appreciate them. I like to look at them. I'm glad they're out there. I guess if you could immediately replace all stick-thin masculinized women in the media with feminine ones, I would be just fine with it. Happy, even. But he has no method to his madness, he just has some crackpot site that he's put probably hundreds of hours of effort into, that causes many people to feel hostile and insulted with their first impression. I guess I can see why he would see his ultimate mission as unharmful and possibly even helpful to women (after all, most women do look more feminine than masculine, and it helps to be reminded that you're not a freak and that curves are normal), but he needs to do a better job presenting his case. Eric, every time an argument pops up in my head, I suspect there is an answer to it somewhere on this site, and being an obsessive person, I seek it out. However, your explanations somehow seem cold and impersonal, and beyond that, they are not very easily accessible. Your mission seems all over the place to me. That is just my opinion. This site was really hurtful to me, partly because I didn't take 20 hours to read through EVERYTHING you had to say, to be able to really understand you. After reading a lot (not all), I think I feel less badly about it, but it still gives me that repulsed gut reaction. I think there may be many others who haven't commented but who have felt the same way, to a lesser extent. Don't you feel bad about that?

I hate women people (in particular men) put down one type or group of women (usually models) to uplift another. Not every woman was born with an hourglass shape and there is nothing that they can do about it. Why do you make them feel even worse about there apperance? Those models are beautiful and I'm sure if given a choice, a lot of women would look like them and you would be proud to have one of them on your arm!

It's not always caucasian girls have big breats and wide hip, take a look at this arab woman is the same shape as majority of erik's models. I hope u will like this arab woman, erik. howeve I do not like women with big breats and wide hip because they remind me of the cow. I prefer modesty lovely skinny women.

More of arab.


I don't understand why you try to promote feminine women when most likely these women will be the ones turning you down. Instead why not go along with the rest of the world because maybe then you will have a chance with any woman at all, even if she is masculine?

but have you ever really wondered? Would a truly beautiful feminine woman want to be with me? Because she obviously offers what is ideally attractive in her group but do you offer what is attractive from your group?

Therefore this whole website could be working for those women and accomplishing what you want to accomplish, however, is it working for you? Is it increasing your chances of getting the perfect mate? Chances are NO!

So then why do you have this website? What are your motives for this website?

* What makes us so much more intelligent than our cousins, the primates, is the fact that we had this ability to reason and no longer depend on instinct alone. So, if evolution served us right than what we are attracted to should be based on a lot more than our instincts and therefore you can do all the research you want but it won't truly be accurate enough to ever accomplish whatever goal it is for you to accomplish because these days men are not running with their instincts alone whether you would like to believe it or not. You claim that homosexuals are brainwashing us etc. etc., well I have to say that a perfectly normal healthy individual of average intelligence with a healthy self-esteem cannot be swayed. You may claim: Well these people are very rare... and that is true but I personally do not believe you are one of them because you feel you can sway people with your idea of beauty which cannot be proven. Here are some interesting articles that you might write off to politics or pseudo-science:,2933,461105,00.html#

It just goes to show however that you are not the only one studying beauty, and which way is it really going? What are we truly discovering about beauty? Is there more to the picture or is there more brainwashing? But who is doing the brainwashing? You or them? Or both? Or neither?

In the section on Some ways of ameliorating poor body image or the problems underlying body image issues: you include the following:

"The typical woman desirous of having a child wants a highly desirable man for, among other things, providing quality genetic material. The problem of obtaining quality genetic material for the typical woman can be solved in at least three possible ways in the absence of a highly desirable male long-term stable partner." You then go into the ways a women can find a "highly desirable" or "quality" man to be a sperm donor.

Perhaps there was a reason, but I don't understand why this information is in this section.

As a sidenote, I'm not sure what bearing this has on anything. I don't think women sit around coldly thinking of ways of finding quality genetic material as a means of having a perfect specimen of a child. More than anything I think many women are driven by the desire for a family, children, husband/partner, amongst many other things. I would think many would simply ask a friend, or an old boyfriend in those cases and perhaps a sperm bank as a last resort. Whatever they (we) do, I don't think it's the scenario for ameliorating a poor body image.

Uh, hasn't the fashion industry ALWAYS been dominated by homosexual men? How then, do you explain high fashion model Suzy Parker and all of her hourglass colleagues of the 50's? They wore the designs of almost exclusively gay men. How do you explain Christian Dior's wasp waisted curvy models of the 40's? He was a gay man. Preferences for body tyes change and the current standard of beauty in the high fashion industry is a tall, slim, long legged woman who is not super shapely and has angular features. Athletic looking women are also in vogue. This is very much as it was in the 1920's If you live long enough Erik, perhaps things will turn your way and a preferences for Playboy Bunny tyoes will return. Until then, you're out of luck and you can't blame it on gay men. I also think that the women on your attractive women short list loook rather mehhhh, with the exception of Charlize Theron's heavily photoshopped image.

Jasmin: Because of increased negative attitudes toward homosexuals around the mid-20th century, homosexuals could not be as flaming homosexuals as they could be during the 1920s and 1990s. This explains why there were more curvaceous fashion models around the mid-20th century. More on trends:

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