Move on from the skinny body type... Fit is the new sexy, says study
A study from the University of Mussouri-Kansas City has said that perceptions of beauty have changed and taken the healthy route.
Remember when you thought skinny was the embodiment of sexy? Looks like the times are changing. It has been a while since healthy bodies have been gaining more importance instead of just skinny ones and a lot of names in the fashion industry have jumped on board with the trend.
Even on social media, the harbinger of trends, images of fit, toned bodies are taking over, and it seems they are also a huge part of this shift, that is changing our definition of beauty.
Don't believe it? Well, now a study says so. A new study has revealed that women with toned and muscular physical attributes are now being seen as more attractive than their slimmer counterparts.
Research led by Frances Bozsik of the University of Missouri-Kansas City attempted to figure out the perceptions of beauty by showing their 78 undergraduate students photographs of modern day beautiful women, and these were photographs of America's most beautiful women!
The photographs were of the winners of Miss USA, the yearly beauty competition, from 1999 to 2013, where women are strongly judged on their beauty and physical appearance.
The more recent winners, the study showed, no longer epitomized the typical standard of beauty and so-called beautiful body type. The winners had actually turned out to be more and more muscular over the duration of 15 years.
This photo is of 2013 winner Erin Brady during the pageant. Notice her slender arms and toned legs and washboard abs? All of it that looks like it is right out of an issue of Sports Illustrated, doesn't it?
Now take a look at the 1999 winner Kimberly Pressler.
The difference in the two photographs speaks for themselves. Pressler is much less muscular than Brady and fits the stereotype of thinness.
The study was published in the research journal Sex Roles. Bozsik told Daily Mail, "There is a shift in the thin ideal female figure to one that now includes the appearance of physical fitness via muscularity."
She also pointed out that there was an equal mix in the way both muscularity and thinness were being seen in popular female figures. She also added that social media outlets had managed to create this idea boom of "fitspiration" where the weight was on healthy and fitness-related trends.
"These websites allow individuals to collect images of women with whom they identify or admire, essentially allowing them to cultivate their own media repertoire of highly salient thin and fit media.
This process of selecting preferred images and then narrowing the media focus by placing these images on their boards may inadvertently increase the risk of developing higher levels of body dissatisfaction, as well as subsequent disordered-eating behaviors that are linked to it," she said.
Supermodel Kate Moss, when she exploded on the fashion scene back in 1990, her signature look - extremely thin boyish body - started a trend. She changed the way a woman's body should ideally look in the eyes of the world. But, the industry has come a long way from that, as show the results.
Stars like Britney Spears, who actually started off as a thin body type have now has moved over to muscle tone. You can spot her muscular physique and honestly, she looks way hotter than her Baby One More Time days.
In a second study in the same research, the 64 students were shown 14 photographs of different women. Shown in pairs, each one was identical in all aspects except that one of them was a less muscular version of the other. The photos were digitally created to cut out the muscle part.
Now, one photo was of them thin and the other thin and fit. When these two images were shown to the students individually, they were in favor of the thin looking image. But, when the two versions were revealed together in pairs, they found the fit ones as more appealing.
What is your favorite body type?
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