Men like negotiating curves when it comes to body shape

MORE TO LOVE: In an online survey, men favoured women with a fuller figure, with sizes 12 and 14 being rated more attractive than size 8.
Fairfax Media
MORE TO LOVE: In an online survey, men favoured women with a fuller figure, with sizes 12 and 14 being rated more attractive than size 8.

Fellas, read no further. In the area of new information, this story is slim. There has been a survey and it tells you what you already know: when it comes to women, the vast majority of blokes prefer them well rounded.

It seems their ideal girlfriends are pneumatic, not flat-tyred. They would rather negotiate sweeping curves than sharp shoulders.

They like women buxom, bosomy and bountiful.

According to the figures, the jury is in: men will choose a Rubenesque size 14 over a stick- figure size 8 when it comes to their ideal woman.

Admittedly, the science could be seen as somewhat superficial.

It is based on an online survey – not the most accurate means of obtaining information – of 60,000 men conducted by laddish men's magazine FHM.

The mag found that when shown pictures of three bikini-clad models, four out of five men said they were more attracted to the size 12 and size 14 models than the model who was a slimmer size 8.

The majority of votes went to the size 12 woman, with 41 per cent saying that she had the body shape of their "ideal girlfriend".

Almost as many men voted for the Nigella Lawson-esque size 14 model.

"A piddling 20 per cent of readers selected our size eight model pictured as their ideal girl- physique," wrote FHM editor Ben Smithurst.

"Which proves one thing, ladies: crack a beer, hoe into a hamburger and we'll love you just as much." Or maybe even more.

Body image experts take a less superficial view of the so-called research, but admit that it carries some, well, weight.

Professor Marika Tiggemann from Flinders University in Adelaide said that the results supported academic research.

"We find women want to be thinner than what men find attractive," she said. "Men's idea of what is 'thin' is larger than that of women. Unfortunately, a lot of people think being thin demonstrates being in control or being disciplined, while being fat is a sign you're weak."

The editor of women's magazine Cleo, Nedahl Stelio, said that most women did not diet for men but for other women.

"And if the society and celebrity ideal is thin, that's what she's going to aspire to, just to get one up on other women."

However, such surveys were far more damaging to women than they were helpful, according to Julie Thomson, general manager of eating disorders and body image campaigners the Butterfly Foundation. "It objectifies women and it still is perpetuating this ideal that men do look at women externally only," she said.

"There is just far too much importance placed on size when you should be looking at a whole range of other aspects.

"Those sorts of surveys are an issue because they are centred around judging people based on what size they are and it is a really unhealthy way to judge or view people."

The Age