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The curvaceousness of fashion models, Miss Americas and PMOYs over time in the twentieth century

Models trends in the twentieth century have been extensively addressed within this site.  Nevertheless, here is another study(1; zip) that documents model trends in the twentieth century, and some comments on it are pertinent.

Medial canthal tilt and attractiveness

The medial canthus is the inner corner of the eye, formed by the junction of the upper and lower eyelids.  In the two images below, the image on top shows a picture of the eyes of a woman and the image below it shows the same picture with the medial canthus digitally tilted (using Adobe photoshop).  Bashour and Geist investigated whether slightly increasing the tilt of the medial canthus increases attractiveness(1).


Body mass index and attractiveness in women

The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of how much weight is carried with respect to height.  It is computed by dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters, i.e., its unit is kilograms per meter squared, though the unit is usually omitted.  There are numerous BMI calculators (e.g., here) that people can use to figure out their BMI without doing any arithmetic.


Anorexia and bulimia prevention programs: the most effective intervention

In a literature review of the effectiveness of eating disorders prevention programs in reducing abnormal eating, only 6 of 38 programs examined reduced current or future symptoms that persisted over follow-up (1 to 24 months later)(1).  Given the high status of skinny high-fashion models, one does not expect wonders from eating disorders prevention programs with respect to girls or women inspired by the thinness of high-fashion models and at risk for developing anorexia or bulimia.


Human evolution: initial steps toward an hourglass figure in the female

The female hourglass figure obviously reflects sexual selection.  However, sexual selection acts on male-female differences to start with.  Therefore, what prompted shape differences in the first place?  Boguslaw Pawlowski and Marzena Grabarczyk have written a paper on this, and it is addressed here.


Rapid judgment of aesthetically pleasing waist-hip proportions in women

Achim Schützwohl reported the results of a study that exposed men to line drawings of women, in pairs, with front-view waist-to-hip ratios of either 0.5, 0.7 or 0.9, varied by altering waist size.  Each pair of images was shown for a duration of 1.25 seconds, and the male participants were asked to judge the figures for attractiveness, fecundity, health and pregnancy status.  A shortcoming of the study was using the crude line drawings originally used by Devendra Singh, previously discussed in an entry addressing various confounds related to waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and attractiveness in women.  Another shortcoming was not using more subtle variation of WHR.


Exposure to skinny fashion models and body image in women

A number of studies have examined what happens to girls’ or women’s ratings of their bodies if they are exposed to images of skinny fashion models in a laboratory setting.  Many of these studies have reported worsened body image among the participants, some have reported no change in body image and a few have even reported improved body image.  Groesz et al.(1; zip) carried out a meta-analysis of 25 such studies, i.e., grouped the samples to see overall trends.


Fashion models increasingly slender and masculine in the latter half of the twentieth century

A commentator pointed out:

I sometimes wonder why thin is in right now--- for the most part, fashion recycles itself-- in the 60’s and 70’s thin was in, then in the 80’s and a good portion of the 90’s the “Amazon” models were popular, like Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford. So one would expect this to start recycling itself...but it hasn’t.

New studies and the latest literature review on the prevalence of eating disorders

A definitive debunking of eating disorders statistics presented by Naomi Wolf was posted earlier.  A newer literature review and two new studies on the prevalence of eating disorders are presented below. Trends are discussed, and data on the prevalence of eating disorders that do not fall into standard diagnostic categories are presented.


Attractiveness ratings of three-dimensional female physiques in color

In a new study where 3-D physiques of European women in color were rated for attractiveness by Europeans, the attractiveness ratings were related to percentage body fat, breast size relative to waist size, and skin tone, but not cardiovascular fitness, and male and female raters judged attractiveness similarly(1; pdf).



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