General Question

nikipedia's avatar

Do you find curvy women or slender women more attractive? (+follow up question)

Asked by nikipedia (28072points) July 24th, 2008

Most men I know claim they’re into curves (link not entirely SFW!). So why is skinny so popular in the media? Do more men actually find it attractive? Is there some kind of massive, Naomi-Wolf-esque conspiracy? Are men all in denial about what they find attractive?

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66 Answers

syz's avatar

I find women with athletic builds attractive, but then, I’m not a man, so I would probably skew your poll.

nikipedia's avatar

I’m interested in answers from women as well—I just mentioned men since I’ve heard more from them on the subject.

PupnTaco's avatar

I love curves, it’s the most striking visual feature makes a woman different from a man. I’m certain there’s something hard-wired in my brain about the ideal body shape.

Now… why skinny women in the media? They come & go. It may have more to do with the personal tastes of those who makes the decisions at ad agencies & publishers. Maybe they don’t want a woman who looks like a woman?

I’ll take Salma Hayek over Mila Jovovich any day. Not that they’d have me, but hey. I’m not complaining with the love I have that’s for sure. :)

marinelife's avatar

One explanation I have read, but I am not sure there is much evidence for this, is that many fashion designers are gay and prefer the boyish shape. Their choosing models influences clothing deisgn, advertising, which in turn influences the media as a whole.

Scrumpulator's avatar

Hips, Dips, and curves. the more the better. If I was drawing a woman, i would want as many curves as possible. no boxes. you can draw skinny, straight girls with boxes. but just like old men, a proper woman needs to bee drawn with as many circles as possible.

Have you ever seen a Roman statue of a woman that was skinny? No all curvy. and those people knew what good art is!

chaosrob's avatar

Cuuurves, please. Women should look like women.

poofandmook's avatar

my boyfriend and his friends are turning into (if not already) “chubby chasers.” Not even just curvy, but plus-sized. VERY refreshing.

Zaku's avatar

* Do you find curvy women or slender women more attractive?
I distinctly prefer curvy, up to a point.

* So why is skinny so popular in the media?
The media is a strange beast, and cameras tend to make fewer unflattering images of skinny people.
Also women seem competitive in many ways that have nothing to do with typical hetero male attraction (e.g. shoes, accessories – I don’t care – wear comfortable shoes, please).

* Do more men actually find it attractive?
I don’t think so, though some do. We tend to be attracted to health and studies suggest subconsciously fertility, and starvation/anorexia isn’t healthy or fertile.

* Is there some kind of massive, Naomi-Wolf-esque conspiracy?
No doubt. ;-)

* Are men all in denial about what they find attractive?
Not all…

girlofscience's avatar

Whoa, girl! Warn us about links! I didn’t want to be opening up pictures of butts at work. (I still love you.)

I think thin figures are more attractive. Perhaps this is because I personally am built small, and for me, being thin looks best. If I gain a few pounds, without clothes on, I look unfit / out of shape. Others may be capable of having curves that are fit. I think the goal should be to be fit, in accordance with your body structure.

I’ve heard men state that a “curvy” body feels better during sex, or even go so far as to insult thin women by saying something like, “I don’t want to be throwing it into a bag of bones.” However, I also tend to believe it’s possible that certain men (those who aren’t particularly attractive) are less likely to score with thin chicks, and so they’ve developed a taste for what they’ve been able to get.

waterskier2007's avatar

i personally find that the “skinny women” in the media especially are gross. skinny is not good. but curvy can still be somewhat skinny. i like curvy. i do not like voluptuous

scamp's avatar

Only a dog likes a bone, and when he gets one he buries it!

Harp's avatar

Both have their charms. Extremes in either direction are equally unattractive, but I find that some women on either side of the mean present a very harmonious and pleasing ensemble.

loser's avatar


dragonflyfaith's avatar

Curves. I’m damn proud of mine.

richardhenry's avatar

I guess both really. I’ve been attracted girls with curves, but I’ve also dated some pretty skinny girls too. I’m really a “face” guy, if you know what I mean, and then I tend to go for quite quirky bodies besides that. (Think Spore… no, not really. :)

poofandmook's avatar

@girlofscience: I sure hope you weren’t inferring that big girls are too needy to be choosy. Because it sort of comes off that way.

willbrawn's avatar

my girlfriend has curves and I love it. I like a real woman.

scamp's avatar

Here’s another one I found amusing: “She may be as big as a house, but every room is in perfect conditon!”

Lovelocke's avatar

If you can’t get supermodels, you settle for fat chicks. That’s why men like both, I believe: However I’m quite the deviant.

I like chicks in Nazi soldier attire, flat-chested Asian schoolgirls, women over age 40, and Frankie from “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends”.

I’ve had plenty of time leering over Emma Watson as well… even when she wasn’t so legal.

poofandmook's avatar

lovelocke, no offense, but you make me sick.

Lovelocke's avatar

Hey, it happens. In my defense, at least I’m honest… And you’ll get to my level someday.

nikipedia's avatar

@lovelocke: Dr. S, did you make that alter ego after all?

Anyway, what about the other half of the question? Since the majority does seem to lean toward curves, why so many skinny women in the media?

marinelife's avatar

@poofandmook I second that, but mine is with offense. Every single answer Lovelocke posts is full of venom toward others. It seems like childish attempts at shock value to me.

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: I was trying to be diplomatic, but really, I think you’re right… and there’s really no need to mince words.

scamp's avatar

If I couldn’t find real man I guess I’d have to settle for a moron. hmmm, maybe Lovelocke is available. Something tells me he is.

shilolo's avatar

@Niki. I’m shocked you would think that Lovelocke is me. For one thing, I’m not that crude, or childish. For another, if you check his profile, it says he’s into “gaming” and “filmmaking”, which wouldn’t really describe me accurately… Lovelocke seems like a reincarnation of someone who’s been here many times before…

Lovelocke's avatar

I, Lovelocke, am an independent filmmaker. I got back from teaching an HD filmmaking workshop in Dubai, and I’m flipping between the iPod and this script I’m writing at the moment…

Heh. In other words, this site is my amusement for now… Some people get the humor, others don’t, and that’s also fine: But don’t think I’m just some moron… I’m here to entertain myself and those of you who have fluttered my inbox with compliments about the jokes :)

poofandmook's avatar

@Lovelocke: The fact that your amusement comes at the expense of others makes you a reprehensible human being. Seriously, take it somewhere else.

shilolo's avatar

To answer your question, I’m all about proportionality, not about thin or curvy, per se. To a certain extent, I lean towards thinner women with “the right sort of curves”. With respect to the media, I’m not sure I agree that ultra-thin is “in”. There are plenty of examples of curvy women on TV and movies (Angelina Jolie, for example), so I don’t think that the fashion industry/media are leaning towards Kate Moss as a paradigm. (Though some might disagree about Angelina’s description; perhaps to some she is super thin, I don’t know).

kevbo's avatar

@poof, uh… other than the self-deprecating kind, where else does humor come from?

I like thickness most of the time.

poofandmook's avatar

@kevbo: It’s one thing to joke with people you know; you know where you can go without crossing the line. With people you don’t know, it’s flat-out mean.

chaosrob's avatar

@kevbo Jerry Seinfeld. Duh.

scamp's avatar

“But don’t think I’m just some moron… I’m here to entertain myself and those of you who have fluttered my inbox with compliments about the jokes :)”

I have a feeling the inbox is growing cobwebs as we speak.

kevbo's avatar

@poof, one nice thing about Fluther is that you learn what your buttons are and how to grow a thicker skin.

flameboi's avatar

Curvy girls please! The think about the media and the skinny girls is designers need a manequin to show their creations, and a manequin is supposed to be “not voluptuous” So, a skinny model is not what people see, we actually like the clothing, but one day the manequin started to get media atention, even more than the creation or the designer, so the media is guilty for conspiracing against what we really like (I was a model, I know what I’m talking about…)

poofandmook's avatar

@kevbo: I have very few buttons, and I do have a very thick skin. However. Lovelocke is a pig. Period.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

“I, Lovelocke, am an independent filmmaker. I got back from teaching an HD filmmaking workshop in Dubai, and I’m flipping between the iPod and this script I’m writing at the moment…”

And what exactly does all that self love have to do with the question? Unless you’re telling me you don’t need a woman because you love yourself so much I don’t see how that was relevant.

And I’m saying ”love” because I for one am trying not to be too crude here.

tinyfaery's avatar

I think I’m the first girl who likes girls to answer here. I like ‘em all, from those that look like Shane on the L Word, to what America refers to as plus sized. Women are beautiful! The more comfortable a woman is in her own body, the more attractive she appears on the outside.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

Thank you Tiny!

nayeight's avatar

Angelina Jolie is really skinny, she just has big lips. I think that all women are beautiful but I think that sizes 8 and up look alot better. 6 and below is on the thin side and that’s nice but I think most men would like “more cushion for the pushin”. But actually now that I think about it most white men I’ve encountered prefer thin women while most black men prefer thicker women. Anyone else?

girlofscience's avatar

@nayeight: I don’t understand how you can make a blanket statement like that about sizes. As discussed in another recent thread, height is not taken into consideration in women’s sizes! Which is exactly why I don’t understand people who make statement such as these, “I prefer women who are between sizes _ and _.” A girl who is 4’10’’ would probably look pretty atrocious if she were a size 8, but a girl who is 6’2’’ may be extremely skinny if she is wearing a size 8. So basically you’re saying, “If they’re short, I like them fat. If they’re tall, it’s okay for them to be skinny.”

poofandmook's avatar

@girlofscience: “a girl who is 4’10” would probably look pretty atrocious if she were a size 8…” So, you don’t like when people make blanket statements about sizes, but you’re fine with saying fat girls are atrocious?

nikipedia's avatar

@poofandmook: I think the “probably” negates the “blanket”.

poofandmook's avatar

@niki: My point is, it looks kind of silly if you get on someone for being general when you’re saying something that’s basically 4’10/8” = fat, 4’10/8 = “atrocious”, therefore stating that “fat” = “atrocious.” Pretty damning if you ask me.

nikipedia's avatar

To clarify, then, your problem with her statement is equating fat with atrocious rather than the blanket statement part?

poofandmook's avatar

@niki: I have a problem with the fat/atrocious more than anything, but also that “probably” doesn’t completely make it a non-blanket statement. Did you see The Pursuit of Happyness? There was a great little scene in which the difference between “probably” and “possibly” is discussed.

nikipedia's avatar

I thought the definition of a blanket statement was one that was making an absolute, categorical statement. I can’t find a good definition via google, wikipedia, wiktionary, or any of my preferred online dictionaries, though. Maybe this would be a good question for a new thread?

poofandmook's avatar

@niki: Yes, but my point is that “probably” means “almost definitely.” Which, to me, is sort of a cop-out way of avoiding a blanket statement. I actually hate the word “probably” for that reason. My Comp II class in college spent 2 days arguing about it.

nayeight's avatar

I’m 5 ft and I’m a size 8 so I guess I’m probably atrocious. But your right I didn’t think about the height factor… shoot me….

chaosrob's avatar

@nayeight That’s seriously gonna impact your adult film career.

nayeight's avatar

There is porn for everyone out there chaosrob. Even for guys who like girls who are 5 ft and a size 8 believe it or not!

girlofscience's avatar

@nayeight: You might not be atrocious. I said 4’10’’! And I was just trying to make a point about sizes looking very different on people who are at the two extremes of height.

In any event, the point I made when I first responded to the OP’s question was that what looks best is people being FIT for their body type. If your bone structure is larger, then maybe you are in perfect shape and a size 8. I can’t tell from your picture.

chaosrob's avatar

@girlofscience Don’t worry, there’s supposed to be a video coming out.

Okay, I’ll stop now…

nayeight's avatar

@ chaosrob Why are you so caught up on my alleged adult fiim career? I think it’s hilarious by the way….

chaosrob's avatar

Me too. From an amusement standpoint, it’s what we call “low-hanging fruit.” But, I’m over it now.

winblowzxp's avatar

I’m a curvy kind of guy. I think it has something to do with instinct. When we choose a mate, little things go off in our brain that tell us whether or not they’d be a suitable candidate. Being curvy in my brain may have something with her reporoductive potential. But I digress, I really enjoy a curvy woman. Proportionality is key in my leering.

sarapnsc's avatar

Curvy is good, skinny is good….both are good….but if you have cellulite and rolls of fat, that doesn’t mean that one should take it upon themselves and think others want to view it.

voeoaoms's avatar

Emma Watson is curvy, skinny but attractive.

Sereene's avatar

Whoa! New to the site I was searching for just such a discussion. I appreciate, and believe, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Tastes vary, and change from day to day, year to year. What makes a person attractive goes far beyond looks. Or let’s hope so. Looks don’t have conversations with you, achieve desired goals, or place your best interests at heart. They’re not there when you need them, but the person inside is! ;)

I’m a bit frustrated with the idea that if a woman isn’t fully cury she’s not a ‘real’ woman. There are numerous comments along those lines. Overweight women feel put upon in the media and in society because they’re considered unattractive (to some people). The reverse is also true! Yes, not all slender girls have it easy all of the time. I’ve heard Gweneth Paltrow (a while back) called a ‘flag pole’ followed by ‘how could anyone ever be attracted to HER?’ I’m a fan, so I couldn’t relate… at all! And guess that I’m a bit jaded. I am slender, and eat as much as I want, whenever I want… I eat healthy food, work out, do yoga——but try as I might i don’t gain weight. I’d even like to! ;) I just can’t – so I guess I want to dispell the myth or perception that slender perky babes have body image issues, or some kind of eating disorder. I was at the gym recently and a guy said ‘you should eat more big macs!’ I’m curvy in the right places…my boyfriend says beautifully proportional – and also a real woman. :) We’re all real women, whatever the size.

We’re all god’s creation (think ‘universal’ energy if you’re not religious). Put here for a reason – many reasons, among them to delight those who adore us and say ‘have a nice day’ (in a loving way) to those who don’t.

I’d like to pose some food for thought – a reminder (which goes along side the original question). We’re talking about ‘attraction’ here, and not love. Love comes from the inside out, and so if the form changes, love doesn’t go away – in other words if the scale tips in one direction or another it’s the person inside that counts.

Another article I read suggested that men choose women that ‘look good to other men’ because having what they consider a ‘trophy’ boosts their status. It’s an ego thing. I hope attraction beyond looks is in there somewhere. For everyone’s sake! ;) I guess it depends on which phase of life you’re in, and what you’re looking for. (No judgement from me.)

I personally think everyone is beautiful in their own way. And I really appreciate this thread, it’s been fun reading all of the answers.

desiree333's avatar

@loveocke, wtf..

mrswho's avatar

When a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get sprung… my anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns hon.

oratio's avatar

I’ve met girls of all kinds that have all been attractive. I don’t think that ideal is what men in general likes. It looks good on picture, thats all I think. Confident women are always attractive.

shortysith's avatar

I think all sizes of women are attractive. I think what fits best on each person is most attractive. For example, I am a tiny woman. I am 5’1”, 107lbs. I am petite, but I am not overly skinny. I am insulted to think that I’m not considered attractive because I am not more “curvy”. I would love to have bigger boobs, but I would look like a porn star if I did that because it is not natural for my body haha. Women have have those curves naturally I envy a bit, because they are definetely beautiful. But there are plenty of women like myself who are smaller and are still very pretty too. I think it just depends on your preference, the whole “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” thing. I think it’s great women come in every shape and size!! The world would be pretty boring if we were all the same! I say be confident no matter what you look like, and people will take notice.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

For me it depends on the woman. A friend of mine I’ve adored for years was once very voluptuous and I thought she was a goddess then. The plumpness of her skin on her arms, knees and her face fascinated me, she was smooth, no hard edges and to me it was very feminine but maybe it was just because it was her. Nowadays she is extremely thin and I still think she looks like a goddess, still elegant even when gaunt (health).

Aster's avatar

Why choose? My daughter is a size 4 and positively curvy.
I think slender is better because you look good in anything.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Um. All women have curves. All of them. If they don’t, and if modern medicine and C-sections weren’t available, they’d die in childbirth. Therefore this question is making me scratch my head. Are you really asking if most men prefer obese women over slender women?

I’m pretty sure men, humans in general, find a particular ratio of hips to stomach most attractive in women. It’s evolutionary.

By the same token, women find particular body ratios most attractive in men (hint…has nothing to do with penis size, as penis size has nothing at all do do with how fertile a man is. We don’t care about it. Only men do, for some strange reason.)

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