Don’t have an hourglass figure? Be glad ladies because that figure isn’t what the doctor ordered. While culture may want women to have big tits, a tiny waist and curvy hips it may not be optimal for health.
The December issue of Current Anthropology’s article by Elizabeth Cashdan of the University of Utah shows that the optimal female body is more cylindrical than hourglass.
A woman’s waist to hip ratio is more likely be larger in the healthiest women. It’s all a hormones game.
When the body has more testosterone there is an increase to the waist-hip ratio because of visceral fat carried around the waist. Those increased androgen levels give women more strength, stamina and competitiveness. When a woman is stressed those higher levels help out.
It appears in cultures that women are less economically independent still favor a lady with a tiny waist. The more a culture is sexually equal the less likely a woman has such a tiny appearance.
Live Science reports:
“Waist-to-hip ratio may indeed be a useful signal to men, then, but whether men prefer a [waist-to-hip ratio] associated with lower or higher androgen/estrogen ratios (or value them equally) should depend on the degree to which they want their mates to be strong, tough, economically successful and politically competitive,” Cashdan writes.
She added, “And from a woman’s perspective, men’s preferences are not the only thing that matters.”