Women now aspire to boyish frame - study

 

YOUNG women today aspire to “more androgynous” and “tubular” body shapes than their counterparts in previous generations, according to a study presented at a psychology conference yesterday.

The study, which compared its results to a similar exercise among young Americans in 1954, found women aspired to be lighter than their counterparts in the 1950s. Their ideal choice of body shape had moved away from the hourglass and toward the tube.

Presented at the Psychological Society of Ireland in Wexford, the study was carried out by Veronica Byrne of University College Cork as part of an undergraduate thesis.

Some 160 male and female students took part. While women from both studies aspired to have smaller body shapes, modern women wanted to lose considerably more weight.

In 1954, the women on average aspired to lose just under 3lbs, while today’s woman wanted to shed more than 10lbs. 1950s women aspired to ideal hips measuring just over 35 inches, while modern women wanted hips of less than 31 inches but larger waists than the 1950s women.

“The increase in ideal waist size and decrease in ideal hip size reflects a change in the ideal female figure from the hourglass figure coveted in the 1950s to today’s tubular, more androgynous ideal, with little differentiation between the waist and hips.” The study also found that modern woman’s perception of what men wanted in the female shape was not accurate.

On a scale of one to seven going from smaller to larger figures, women thought men would like someone with a “3.7” figure, but men said their ideal woman was a “4.38”, almost identical to the average female body shape among the participants.

Men also had body insecurities. Mr 1954 aspired to be larger in just about every department, while Mr 2009 wished to be smaller in weight and waist and larger in other areas.