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Waist-to-hip ratio and attractiveness in women: addressing confounds

A number of women would be interested in what waist-hip proportions are “ideal” or the most attractive as far as heterosexual men are concerned.  The purpose of this entry is to show that it is meaningful to talk about an attractive range, albeit narrow, of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) – as far as the preferences of most people [in Western societies] are concerned – rather than a strict value.  In some comparisons, a woman with a slightly thicker waist/higher WHR would be more appealing.  This entry should once again help make the case that beauty does not lie in some simple rules of thumb.


Female waist-to-hip ratio preference among rural men in Bakossiland, Cameroon

A study by Dixson et al.(1) reported that when shown line drawings of women from the back, varying in waist-to-hip ratios (WHRs) from 0.5 to 1.0, rural men in Bakossiland, Cameroon, most often preferred a WHR of 0.8.


Female waist-to-hip ratio preference among Chinese men

A study by Dixson et al.(1) reported that when shown line drawings of women from the back, varying in waist-to-hip ratios (WHRs) from 0.5 to 1.0, Chinese men (college students) most often preferred a WHR of 0.6.


Functions of fat cells beneath the skin

The current edition of the journal Experimental Dermatology is featuring many articles on the functions of subcutaneous (beneath the skin) adipose cells (fat cells).  These cells are involved in numerous functions.  The articles suggest that the negative health effects of unnecessary loss of body fat – on the part of some women influenced by skinny high-fashion models – are greater than what most would assume.


Does beauty lie in the eye of the beholder?

Some readers have left comments saying that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.  Information addressing this issue has been scattered over multiple pages, but instead of linking to these pages everytime someone raises this issue, it is best to come up with a single page where a brief summary with links to the details is presented.  This entry will also be addressing some topics that have not been addressed previously.


"Beauty is good" vs. "ugliness is bad"

This is a follow-up on an entry addressing discrimination against unattractive women, and features a paper discussing whether beauty or unattractiveness has a stronger effect on how one is judged by others with respect to how helpful one is (altruism), how smart one is (intelligence) and how likely one is to have friends and be popular (sociability).  The general find, also reported earlier, is that adults and children judge not so much in terms of beauty being good but in terms of unattractiveness being bad.


Discrimination against unattractive women

This site aims to promote feminine beauty.  If it had a significant impact, a possible undesirable side effect could be increased discrimination against women that are not feminine and attractive.  The webmaster of, a new site aiming to combat discrimination against unattractive individuals, contacted me about issues related to the promotion of feminine beauty, and I agree with him that the discrimination issue needs to be addressed, especially in light of the scope of this feminine beauty site.


The influence of the thin ideal in fashion magazines on women at risk for anorexia

Anorexic women will be interested in reading the following paper on some cognitive processes behind the influence of beauty and fashion magazines on driving at-risk women toward anorexia. 


Anorexia statistics: Naomi Wolf’s Overdo and Lie Factor (WOLF)

The title is taken from a review, by Casper Schoemaker(1), of the gross exaggeration of anorexia statistics by Naomi Wolf in her book, The Beauty Myth.  Schoemaker computed a WOLF factor (Wolf’s Overdo and Lie Factor) by dividing a statistic from epidemiological reviews(2, 3) by the corresponding statistic in the 1991 edition of her book, The Beauty Myth.  He assigned a value of 1 to the WOLF if he could not find the relevant statistic in epidemiological reviews.  If Wolf reported a range such as 5-10%, then the average of the extremes was taken, 7.5% in this case.


Masculine vs. feminine face variation assessed via 3D laser scanning and geometric morphometrics

On the feminine vs. masculine page, until now I had mostly relied on the skull to describe variation in face shape resulting from masculinization and feminization.  I came across a new study that used 3D laser scanning and geometric morphometrics to describe the details of such variation in living people, and I added the finds to said page.  I am posting the data here for the readers who typically check the blog for site updates, and will be including additional information that will be of special interest to feminists.



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