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  1. #1
    Over 9000! PizzaSHARK's Avatar
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    When did our definition of beauty shift, and why?

    Specifically, how did we go from preferring women with very robust, curvy figures (Marilyn Monroe is the first, most famous example I can think of, but I'm sure there are many more) to preferring women with much slimmer figures? Understand, I'm not talking about personal tastes, but the tastes of "society at large," or the fashion industry, especially in regards to magazines like Cosmopolitan and all the others (in other words, the kinds of things that often set beauty ideals for girls that are growing up, like it or not.)

    See, it doesn't seem to make sense. From a biological perspective, we should prefer women with wider hips (which normally means wider everything) and heavier frames, right? Wider hips mean more room for a developing fetus and a wider birth canal, reducing the likelihood of complications during birth. Obviously, modern medicine and the magic of the (survivable) c-section make this something of a moot point, but would our biological drives change in such a short amount of time as a safe c-section has been available? Additionally, heavier frames would mean a person that's more capable of surviving hardship and defending themselves against whatever, right?

    Hell, wouldn't a healthy, maybe even slightly overweight (we're talking like ten pounds here, not obese) person be considered more attractive since being slightly overweight was traditionally a sign of wealth and status?

    So where'd this preference for slim figures come from? Why'd it change?
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  2. #2
    Beeing "wide" is easy once you got access to enough food.
    While beeing slimand sporty is quite an effort hence more respekt for that one. And to be honest, my definition never shifted, i never was fond of wide women.

  3. #3
    Grunt Stoner's Avatar
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    Perceptions of beauty are different on a geographical scale let alone over the past years. I think humanity as a species has gone beyond selection based on typical traits of fitness like other species, and are now in a state of "social evolution" where traits are favoured based on social norms and pressures.

  4. #4
    The Lightbringer Calzaeth's Avatar
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    I'm curious as well, since I prefer having a healthy-weight woman in the corner of my arm. Don't need them skinny twigs -.-
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  5. #5
    Over 9000! PizzaSHARK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripponesan View Post
    Beeing "wide" is easy once you got access to enough food.
    While beeing slimand sporty is quite an effort hence more respekt for that one. And to be honest, my definition never shifted, i never was fond of wide women.
    You're confusing "wide" with "fat." There's a pretty significant difference.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Stoner View Post
    Perceptions of beauty are different on a geographical scale let alone over the past years. I think humanity as a species has gone beyond selection based on typical traits of fitness like other species, and are now in a state of "social evolution" where traits are favoured based on social norms and pressures.
    Which is fucking stupid.

    The biggest problem is that all the TV shows are 'fake' people, people with shitloads of makeup, after effects to cover the 'ugly' parts, and you get brainfed these ridiculous ideals of beauty. It's all because of the chemical companies. Don't even get me started on fashion.

    It shouldn't be like that. You should be tidy, and wear comfortable clothes YOU like and in an evolved society people should judge you by your behaviour, knowledge and will to do your job (be that anything).

    It's in human nature to judge others, because of that feeling of superiority. It's a two way road that goes in a circle and leads to a shallow, black pit of self hate and misantropy.

    Anyway, I like my women with a bit of meat on. I don't like skinny girls. You should be in shape, but going that slim is not attractive to me.

  7. #7
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    I think a lot of it can be accounted to control. Someone that can limit their weight in a stressful world like the one we have right now displays a lot of self control, and that outweighs the old instinctive reasons for attractiveness these days. Women want to be like that because it's something hard to achieve in current society to a point where it is even unrealistic, but just getting close has become a measurement of how good/well you are doing in your life. And i personally think it is more of a mindset of women to compete against each other then it is a question of desire from men.

  8. #8
    Over 9000! PizzaSHARK's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm sure I could write an essay on why publications like Cosmopolitan are the source of all evils in society, and I'm sure I could find books' worth of writing on the subject if I dug for some blogs.

    But I'm not convinced that things like that are responsible for the shift. Is it fair to assume that wide hips and heavy frames were considered attractive, desired features in a mate across Earth back when that kind of stuff was relevant? What caused the shift away from that, regardless of region? Even if medicine made making babies with slim-hipped women practical, would that still affect the presumably subconscious perception of "yes, good for mating" and "no, bad for mating" we have, especially in so short a time?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Raqubor View Post
    Anyway, I like my women with a bit of meat on. I don't like skinny girls. You should be in shape, but going that slim is not attractive to me.
    What this guy said. We have a specific word here in Greece for those 4-7 extra kilos that make a world of a difference - we call them "Grabbings". The saying goes, "A woman without grabbings is like a road with no signs", signinfying the incompleteness of a woman when she's missing those few extra kilos in the right spots.

    As you understood, I as well like my women with some extra kilos - obviously not in the "Fat" or "Obese" category, but nice thighs and abit of tummy are always fun

    As another poster above me mentioned, yes, Chemicals companies and the Fashion industry are the reason for all these stick women.

  10. #10
    Perceived standards of beauty are just that.

    Not an accepted average, just what the media dictate to the consumer of those standards.

    Before the stick thin gaunt models of today the dictation was that robust hourglass women were the pinnacle of attractiveness and before that I'm sure it was something entirely different too.

    I give it as much attention as I feel it deserves. 0%. I know what I find attractive. What magazines, TV shows or anything else tell me is attractive makes no difference to me.

    As for an answer to your question there was no specific time. It has been very gradual. While there might be a large number of small reasons why it started to happen the biggest and obviously most influential has been the media's decision. Why? I've no idea. I'm sure there are plenty of theories out there. Google it.

    In the second part of your post you try applying your opinions and thought processes to it. Not everyone thinks like you. Just because you might value a woman that appears to have child bearing potential over one with a pretty face does not mean any/every one else will. Finding someone attractive is not always going to be from a reproductive point of view. I find plenty of people attractive that I would not want to create life with. It isn't as simple as that.

  11. #11
    Grunt Stoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisk View Post
    And I personally think it is more of a mindset of women to compete against each other then it is a question of desire from men.
    I think this is the key point here when these discussions come up you almost never hear a man who doesn't like some love handles on a girl. I think maybe body size and shape is driven less by sexual prefference and more by intrasexual competition.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by PizzaSHARK View Post
    Specifically, how did we go from preferring women with very robust, curvy figures to preferring women with much slimmer figures? Understand, I'm not talking about personal tastes, but the tastes of "society at large," or the fashion industry, especially in regards to magazines like Cosmopolitan and all the others (in other words, the kinds of things that often set beauty ideals for girls that are growing up, like it or not.)
    We didn't change? Your everyday man still prefers curvy women. I know I do.

    It's just that women themselves are deluded into believing the fashion industry. Since teenagers aren't the most confident people they feel pressured to live up to a standard. In this case it's the standard seen in the media because that's what they're bombarded with and that's how the rich people look.

    Quote Originally Posted by ripponesan View Post
    Beeing "wide" is easy once you got access to enough food.
    While beeing slimand sporty is quite an effort hence more respekt for that one. And to be honest, my definition never shifted, i never was fond of wide women.
    It's one thing to look healthy and not being fat. But it's another to be thin. Being thin is not attractive. Along with losing too much weigth, girls lose their hips and boobs as well (the hourglass shape).

  13. #13
    The Patient Lunareste's Avatar
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    Just because the media is trying to sell a stereotype that no one likes curves on their girls, and prefer ultraskinny twig women, doesn't mean it's true.

    If I wanted to someone with the body of a 12 year old boy, I'd date a 12 year old boy. As it is I like my women with curves, thanks.

    I'm a washed up, has-been.

  14. #14
    I thought this was gonna be about art and fashion or something like that. MMO-C did not disappoint.

  15. #15
    Did the wider media focus in very slim as being attractive before the onslaught of the McDonalds body? Back before such a huge percentage of the population were huge, attractive covered a wider range, once people had to start buying sizes as big as their IQ we started to bias away from it?

  16. #16
    The definition didn't change. It's still subjective. It's mostly based on the general whether the curve is smooth, not on whether the curve is far from a line.

  17. #17
    Brewmaster Detheavn's Avatar
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    My definition of beauty never shifted. I prefer having a bit of beef to hold on to instead of boned chicken.

  18. #18
    actually in ancient roman times having a cut, muscular body was the sign of social status, as plebeans ( ie: US... hehe) would have to work all day and have no time to attend the gymansyum ( yeah that's where it came from) like the nobles did .... go figure those romans even invented living healthier !!!

  19. #19
    Scarab Lord StayTuned's Avatar
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    I never understood why "robus and curvy" was considered a beauty ideal. Marilyn Monroe is completely overrated anyway. I have yet to see a good picture of her without 100 tons of make up.

    I liked women like Bar Refaeli, Megan Fox or Emma Stone before it was mainstream.

  20. #20
    I find flabby women absolutely repulsive. It's a symptom of being too lazy to properly take care of one's own body. I don't want to associate with people like that.

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