THE ATTRACTION TO THE FEMALE WAISTLINE 8
TheAttraction to the Female Waistline
Numerousdebates have been held pertaining to the varied aspects of a womanthat individuals, especially men, would find appealing. In the recentpast, there has been increased attention on the attraction of thefemale waistline or rather the waist-to-hip ratio in women as opposedto other parts of the body such as breasts. This paper explores thisparticular aspect and studies pertaining to the attractiveness of lowwaistline. On the same note, it examines the reasons why a lowwaistline is seen as more preferable than high waistlines.
TheAttraction to the Female Waistline
Issuespertaining to human interaction have always been extremely crucial asfar as understanding the varied dynamics of the society is concerned.Indeed, scholars have immensely been concerned about the basis ofrelationships between human beings especially where opposite gendersare concerned. Studies have, since time immemorial, acknowledged thatthe physical features of a woman play a crucial role in determiningthe how attracted a man would be to her. However, further studieshave acknowledged that there are variations as to the appeal thatdifferent body parts have in a particular women. While differentparts would have different degrees of appeal in a woman, it isevident that the female waistline has been the primary or center ofattraction.
Inwestern countries, research has shown that men are attracted to womenwho have a considerably low waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), which iscommonly seen as an hourglass shaped body. An ideal ratio in healthywomen who are yet to attain menopause ranges between 0.67 and 0.8,which is produced by waists that measure between 24 inches and 28inches with about 36 inches in the hips, or waists that measurebetween 27 inches and 31 inches with about 40 inches in the hips. Itis worth noting that the waistline as an attraction did not startwith the contemporary human society (Dixson et al, 2010). Researchershave carried out a study on this phenomenon through analyzing thewaist-to-hip ratio pertaining to playboy centerfolds, as well as MissAmerica winners. These studies have strongly shown that there isconsistence with regard to preference for this ratio, which can betraced way back to the 20s. As much as they may have found that theoverall size of the body for these beauties reduced significantlyover time, there was a remarkable element of consistency in thewaist-to-hip ratio (Orgel et al, 2005). Recent studies were carriedout with the sole aim of determining the importance of thewaist-to-hip ratio to men through tracking the eye movements of men.In essence, the researchers aimed at determining the places where mentrained their eye sight when checking out their female counterparts.In order to carry out this experiment, the researchers presentednaked images of ladies in upright poses from back or front (Orgel etal, 2005). The women, most crucially, had varied waist-to-hip ratios.Irrespective of the pose, women who had a .7 waist-to-hip ratios wererated as more attractive. Indeed, the results showed that men weremore attentive to the buttocks and midriff of women in instanceswhere the images showed the women from the back (Dixson et al, 2010).In instances where the photos were shown from the front, the men paidattention more to the breasts before they shifted to the midriff.These results pertaining to the eye-gaze show how important thewaistline or waist-to-hip ratio is in accentuating a woman’sattractiveness especially when observed from the behind. Cementingthe results of these studies is the fact that there is a relationshipbetween waist-to-hip ratio and sexual behavior. Indeed, females thathave more desirable ratios (or hourglass figures) have a highernumber of sexual partners and start engaging in intercourse at asignificantly earlier age (Singh et al, 2010). Further, they have ahigher likelihood of engaging in sexual intercourse outside the mainor primary relationship.
Ofparticular note is that men and women are indistinguishable in theirchildhood as far as waistline is concerned. However, there is achange in their body shape after puberty as the sex hormones startfunctioning and directing the body in a different manner (Orgel etal, 2005). Oestrogen, a hormone that is responsible for the variedfemale sexual traits, becomes concentrated on the hips and buttocks,while testosterone, the masculinising hormone encourages theformation of fat around the waist (Singh et al, 2010). Similarly,testosterone encourages the burning off of the buttocks while theoestrogen eliminates the fat from the abdomen.
Variedreasons have been advanced as to why a lower female waist-to-hipratio is seen as more attractive. Researchers have noted thathourglass figure represents reproductive femininity and fitness.Indeed, the hourglass shape of any woman would be highly attractiveto men who particularly crave to have children at one time or another(Singh & Singh, 2011). As noted earlier, healthy adult women havebalanced hormonal levels coursing via their body at varied points oftheir menstrual cycles in an effort to store, as well as maintain fatdeposits on the buttocks, hips and breasts. The simple fat depositsenable a woman to store nutrients for potential birth ad nursing ofthe baby (Singh et al, 2010). In instances where the woman undertakesbreastfeeding, she uses the extra fat deposits on the lower body soas to support the baby’s nutritional demands. Any developing babyrequires immense amounts of proteins, in which case it is onlysensible that curvy, hourglass women would appear more attractive toany healthy man.
Onthe same note, there is a close connection between low waist-hipratio and fertility. Indeed, research shows that women who have lowwaist-to-hip ratios start ovulating at a considerably younger age,while those who have high ratios have difficulty becoming pregnantand often have children much later (Singh et al, 2010). Similarly, anarrow waist serves as a visual cue indicating the absence ofpregnancy and, essentially, current fecundity which ancestral menusually sought after in women. Indeed, this may come as an especiallycrucial cue in human beings especially considering that women rarelysignal their current fertility in any other technique that is easilyperceptible (Dixson et al, 2010). Similarly, in instances where fatis deposited around an individual’s hips instead of the waist, itfacilitates or enhances the bipedal stability of the lactating orpregnant women, while also incorporating fatty acids that are ofbenefit to infant’s or fetus’ brain development. Scholars havenoted, that it may dishonestly or inappropriately be a sign of abroad pelvis, as well as absence of pregnancy thereby making a womanbecome more attractive (Dixson et al, 2010).
Onthe same note, there is a close relationship between the waist-to-hipratio and the risk of an individual contracting a major ailment(Singh & Singh, 2011). These may include conditions such asdiabetes, asthma and even heart diseases, which are oftenclosely-related to the distribution of fat in a woman’s body.Further, such a waistline is often related to reproductive fitness.This would, therefore, be considered as more attractive to men.
However,some researchers have opined that there is a cultural perspective tothe attractiveness of the female waistline. They note that culturaltransmission has an impact on the development of preferences andattitudes pertaining to waist-to-hip ratio, which makes it plausiblethat visual experience plays a crucial role in the process (Singh &Singh, 2011). For instance, children may notice that women who havelow waist-to-hip ratio evoke considerably more favorable responsesfrom their peers and their parents both in the media and the naturalenvironment, which also causes them to have a favorable attitude tothe same hourglass shape.
Inconclusion, issues pertaining to human interaction have always beenextremely crucial as far as understanding the varied dynamics of thesociety is concerned. While different parts would have differentdegrees of appeal in a woman, it is evident that the female waistlinehas been the primary or center of attraction. An ideal ratio inhealthy women who are yet to attain menopause ranges between 0.67 and0.8, which is produced by waists that measure between 24 inches and28 inches with about 36 inches in the hips, or waists that measurebetween 27 inches and 31 inches with about 40 inches in the hips.Varied reasons have been advanced as to why a lower femalewaist-to-hip ratio is seen as more attractive. Researchers have notedthat hourglass figure represents reproductive femininity and fitness.Indeed, the hourglass shape of any woman would be highly attractiveto men who particularly crave to have children at one time oranother. On the same note, there is a close relationship between thewaist-to-hip ratio and the risk of an individual contracting a majorailment. Further, the attractiveness of the waistline may beattributed to cultural perspectives, especially considering thatchildren may observe the attitudes that adults or even the mediaespouse pertaining to the waistlines.
Dixson,B. J., Grimshaw, G. M., Linklater, W. L., & Dixson, A. F. (2010).Watching the hourglass: Eye tracking reveals men’s appreciation ofthe female form. HumanNature, 21(4),355-370.
Orgel,M., Jacqueline, U., & Alan, S. (2005). “Surveying a Cultural“Waistland”: Some Biological Poetics and Politics of the FemaleBody.” In Complexities:Beyond Nature and Nurture,132-56. Chicago : University of Chicago Press.
Singh,D., Dixson, B. J., Jessop, T. S., Morgan, B. B., & Dixson, A. F.(2010). Cross-cultural consensus for waist–hip ratio and women`sattractiveness. Evolutionand Human Behavior, 31 (3), 176–81.
Singh,D., & Singh, D. (2011). Shape and significance of femininebeauty: An evolutionary perspective. SexRoles, 64(9-10),723-731