A study that didn't need to exist in the first place had results that will surprise no one, because that's the way things work these days. The study, published in PeerJ and titled "The relationship of female physical attractiveness to body fatness," aimed to examine exactly what the title suggests — how physically attractive women are to men (because heteronormativity) based on their "body fatness."Because heteronormativity.
The abstract to the study itself holds some real gems about the relationship between health and aesthetic, like this funny little quote, "Aspects of the female body may be attractive because they signal evolutionary fitness. Greater body fatness might reflect greater potential to survive famines, but individuals carrying larger fat stores may have poor health and lower fertility in non-famine conditions." That sounds less like something out of a scientific paper than something someone's insensitive grandmother would tell them, if she were strangely into Darwinism.I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the author has not ever read an actual scientific paper.
The participants were all shown 21 sample images of women with varying BMIs and asked to rate the attractiveness of their bodies. This is a bad and demeaning practice. BMI has been debunked as an indicator for health, and the procedure they chose to use reinforces a toxic paradigm we see so often today — rating women based on their attractiveness and nothing else, in a system where aesthetic is the only measure of worth. Though this is arguably the point of the study, normalization of things like this is also the reason we're in this mess.It's a bad practice for men to have opinions about what they like in a female body. Really. It is. it's demeaning too because having preferences that women don't agree with is always a bad thing. As for BMI. BMI can be misunderstood. by BMI I'm overweight. But much of my overweight is muscle and not fat (some of it is). So unless the woman in question is a body builder, it's likely that if her BMI says "overweight" that she is in fact fat. Not my problem. But here's the real kicker. Take look at a Google image search for Allure magazine: