General Question

trumi's avatar

Is it possible the the gay man is the reason women think that skinny is beautiful?

Asked by trumi (6486points) January 26th, 2009

The ideal female form for most men is Not a size 0. In fact, this slightly NSFW article states that men prefer women much curvier than woman believe. And I agree fully. Even some classical symbols of beauty, that are surely no Kate Moss or Mary Kate, aren’t curvy enough for men today.

So why do women think that they need to squeeze into a tiny pair of jeans? Most men like a woman that appears healthy, not thin. Not to mention the fact that most men adore large breasts.

But the male ideal, here and here, is often a much slimmer figure. Many women like men to be muscular, but also quite skinny. This is especially true for many gay men, who put specific emphasis on being fit and thin.

The homosexual male has a longstanding role in both the fashion industry and the movie business, arguably more prominent then the straight man. And when it comes time to pick female models and actresses, they are often in charge.

Is it possible that the gay man, choosing a model based on his personal tastes of thinness and small breasts, has lowered the waist size of the “ideal woman” in popular opinion? That if straight men were more influential in the modeling industry more models would be a size 12 instead of a size 2?

I would not go so far as to say the homosexual men have caused an anorexia epidemic in American women, but I do wonder if they have played a role.

Do you think this is plausible? Have you thought about it yourself? Please let me know.

I mean no disrespect to anybody that identifies as LGBTQ and am simply asking out of curiosity. Please maintain a tone of respect when answering this question.

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36 Answers

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m a heterosexual male that is 6’0” and weighs 148 pounds soaking wet. I consider myself quite handsome (and no, I’m not narcissistic) so I would think I could serve as an example why women think skinny is beautiful. I’m only speculating here but I don’t think gay men are the reason for skinny = beautiful.

I could be totally wrong on this too but I’m rather hoping I’m right.

btko's avatar

As a straight guy – I prefer “fit” women. Agreed, not size 2, but healthy. To me – over weight means unhealthy.

amanderveen's avatar

It sounds highly unlikely to me. I’ve always suspected it had more to do with what’s more difficult to attain during a particular era. During harder times when people have to struggle more to survive and food isn’t as readily available, rubinesque seems more the fashion. Skinny women were seen to be poor and malnourished. I suspect that skinny is the fashion now because we are chronically overfed as a society and now skinnier seems healthier (even though it goes to the unhealthy extreme far too often in fashion). Just a thought, although I haven’t exactly done a lot of research. :o)

trumi's avatar

Shit, I tried really hard to make my question appear eloquent and yet the topic line does not read “that the”, but rather “the the”. Once again foiled by my own flawed proofreading.

btko's avatar

great answer amanderveen

RandomMrdan's avatar

I wouldn’t blame Gay Men…I’d say there are far more factors involved than their influence on the modeling world. They may play a very small role in it, but I think other factors affect it.

I’m with btko, I have never been attracted to the skin and bone girls…it just seems unhealthy…and if they are over weight, it’s just unattractive, and also unhealthy. I am more attracted to a fit, proportionate woman.

aprilsimnel's avatar

It’s definitely about social class and not the whims of gay men. You notice it’s only the very rich men who are modelizers, and they date high fashion models, not lad mag models. That’s a different class.

Vinifera7's avatar

In my mind, there is a diference between “gay” and “homosexual”. Not every homosexual man is “FABULOUS!”

mattscattered's avatar

I agree with Amanderveen. That was a thought out answer with sound logic. I would also like to add that hollywood and fashion companies must deal with the television and movie cameras. And the camera does, truthfully, add weight. I am an amateur photographer myself.
But I am of the opinion that we, americans especially, are not able to be content with what we have. Take that point, add to it Amanderveen’s comment and our competitiveness with each other, plus the failure of men in society to be the “leaders by example” that we should be (i.e. looking to porn instead of our wives etc). And you have an equation for the destruction of a healthy self image for anyone, women especially.
I will add this: If we would stop looking to someone else to define what we should/should not want. We would all be happier.
And we all want to be happy!

Megan64's avatar

Which gay man?

MacBean's avatar

Smart-ass answer: Of course. Everything should be blamed on the gays.

Actual answer: No.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I really don’t think homosexuals are responsible for what the ideal image is for an attractive man. I mean its just healthyness that is attractive. of course a man who is thin and in good athletic shape will be more attractive than one who can barely roll out of bed or make it up a flight of stairs. so no to your question.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Trumi, I swear I’ve read that theory before. I can’t remember where, but it’s definitely not the first time I’ve heard of it. Personally I don’t agree with the theory, but I feel like some reputable source somewhere has proposed a slightly different version:

that since homosexual men find the male body more attractive than the female, they (perhaps subconsciously) choose women with more boyish figures (which corresponds to smaller and thinner bodies).

I’m going to mull it over, and I’ll post a link if I figure out where I read that.

augustlan's avatar

It’s a very interesting theory, and it could have some influence. However, most women do know that straight men prefer a rounder, softer body…but we (women in general) don’t prefer that body ourselves. Why we don’t is a mystery to me.

girlofscience's avatar

Eff this, for several reasons:

1. Evaluating body shape by CLOTHES SIZE is COMPLETELY ABSURD. I’m sick of hearing that a man’s “ideal size” is some number and comparing that number in various contexts. Why don’t people realize that there is about a 14-inch discrepancy in the height of women??? A 4’10’’ woman who is a size 12 could look overweight and unattractive while a 6’0’’ woman who is a size 12 could look thin and fabulous! I am sure that a man who believes he prefers a size-12 woman would not find these two body types equally attractive. (Please don’t hold me to these numbers because I’m not sure which exact sizes would and would not look horrible.)

2. I also hate the idea of people thinking that a woman’s desired appearance is based on a man’s desired appearance of her! That is so insulting. I choose to look the way I do because I like it, not because I think men will like it. I am a 5’3’’ woman. I am a size 0 in pants and XS in tops. My bra size is 32A. I, personally, find this thin figure to be very attractive on my body. I could easily start eating tons of junk food and go up to a size 3 in pants, S in tops, and 32B in bra. Most men would probably find THAT more attractive because I’d be slightly curvier and have more boobs and a butt. But I choose not to do that because it’s not the figure that I like, and I care more about what I think about myself than what stupid men think of my body. I feel healthier, more fit, and I have more energy with my slim figure than I would with a curvier one.

girlofscience's avatar

@augustlan: I think we don’t prefer curvy bodies ourselves because thin figures are (in the minds of many) more fashionable. Straight men aren’t always the most fashion-conscious people.

I think the fact that women prefer thin bodies while knowing that men prefer curvy bodies is analogous to when women make certain over-the-top fashion choices that are more stylish than they are likely to attract straight men. Think Sarah Jessica Parker. Many of Carrie’s fashion choices could easily be considered ugly and unattractive by most men. But many women, even knowing this, may likely enjoy wearing some of her outlandish dresses because we think that style is fun, and we like the way it looks, which is all that matters. :)

girlofscience's avatar

@btko: “Not size 2”?

What if your girlfriend happens to be on the short side? “Fit” for many short women happens to be a size 2 or even smaller. Why judge a body type by its dress size? This kind of evaluation doesn’t work because of the discrepancy in women’s height… See my rant ”#1” two posts up and reevaluate, please.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@girlofscience I think btko was just using that as an example…and a 2 is thin regardless of height, but he did say “fit” would have been better if he had said Proportionate.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I had a period in my life where I was 5’5”, weighed 120 lbs, wore a size 6, and was told my husband that I looked fat.

girlofscience's avatar

And finally, that article you posted is British. Sizes are also different in the UK.

That size 12 that they consider the man’s ideal of a woman is actually a US size 6.
And the size 8 that they consider the woman’s ideal body is actually a US size 2.

girlofscience's avatar

@RandomMrdan: Well, a size 2 isn’t necessarily just “thin regardless of height.”

A 4’10’’ woman who is a size 2 would probably actually look “average.”
A 6’0’’ woman who is a size 2 would probably look extremely disgustingly skinny and sickly.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@girlofscience a size 2 waist is the same size on any woman, it’s still small…but it might be more proportionate and more attractive on some is all I was trying to say. I wasn’t suggesting that a size 2 is disgustingly thin at any woman’s height, but simply that it is still thin regardless of height.

girlofscience's avatar

P.S. I just googled Sarah Jessica Parker to see if I could find a fashion example of which I was speaking earlier. When I typed “Sarah Jessica Parker” into the google search box, you know what the first autofill was? “Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a foot.” This makes me sick. I am so repulsed by how many people call her ugly. She is a beautiful, talented woman, and I’m sure that any man who calls her ugly could never get her in the first place and any woman who calls her ugly wishes she could look like SJP. God.

tonedef's avatar

If you’ve heard this theory before, it’s because it’s been around for a while.

Everyone else has pretty satisfactorily refuted the content of the argument, so I’ll address some of the issues on style. “The homosexual male has a longstanding role in both the fashion industry and the movie business,” sounds like something that someone might have said in the 70’s. It also sort of sounds like something out of a nature documentary.

I don’t know. It’s just a chain of stereotyping and leaps of logic.

trumi's avatar

@tonedef Thank you for the find! I was sure I wasn’t the first person to think about this.

Also, I was asking to get opinions, not stating my own. Cool down some GofS :)

girlofscience's avatar

@trumi: Sorry! I didn’t mean to be attacking you; I was just attacking the concept.

stevenb's avatar

girlofscience rocks

tiffyandthewall's avatar

gay men in a general, media-based sense could be part of the reason it seems that some women want to be really thin.
but then the opposing argument, of course, is that mika did write a song called ‘big girl, you are beautiful’. so.

btko's avatar

@girlofscience Hey, yeah I was just picking size 2 as an example. I agree fully that “proportion” is the key to attractiveness. But for me there is too thin and to not-so-thin. That is why I said “fit” because to me a fit person has a healthy weight for their size.

desiree333's avatar

great question. I never thought of it but I think your really getting to something, great point and your probably right.

xxxciter's avatar

Gay men are ONLY responsible for the DEMISE of the “Unibrow”!!! Straight men pluck thanks to us!

tnatwo14's avatar

I’m straight, and sorry to say, my ideal woman is a size 0. To me skinny is beautiful, it’s just my thing. Maybe because I am myself, I don’t know. But I find that I am very attracted to skinny, and less if at all attracted to “curvy”.

PattyAtHome's avatar

@Vinifera7 – I liked what you said about gay vs. homosexual. I think you are right on. Not all homosexual people are flamboyant, but that is what the stereotype of gay was. You should read the website It discusses the history of gay and talks about better words for all forms of sexuality.

@trumi – I don’t think that gay men picking models is why they are all so skinny today. I think it has more to do with fashions looking better on slender models and then the competition for that just getting a little out of control. I’m a size 6, most of the girls I like are also in the 5–7-9 range. I would still date a girl that was bigger, but I just think girls in about the same size range as me are the sexiest.

But I hate when anyone is obsessed with dieting and stuff. Just need to eat moderately and stay active and most people will stay in that range. It’s just hard to do that when every place you go they are offering larger portions for less money.

My mom likes to point out that it was unbelievable when 7–11 first started selling the 32oz Big Gulps back in the 80s. She said before that every place sold small medium and large drinks, and the large was only like 24oz. Nowadays 32oz drink is like a medium. lol

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Everyone has their own taste, but in this day and age of crack and meth users, it’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I see a super-skinny girl. I have noticed that men turn around and stare at girls with curves. I have never seen a guy drool over a girl with no curvy hips or any boobs. Just my observation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m a little late to this party, but until a few years ago I was quite thin, but also pretty curvy. I was 5’8” and 125 or so. I really liked the way my clothes hung on me when I was slender. I never had a shortage of men hitting on me.

Gay men like men. Odd how the question was not what kind of body type of a man do gay men prefer.

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