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The Secret Your Man Isn't Telling You About Your Body

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We recently ran a story called "Brits Like 'Em Big" about a U.K. fashion magazine's eye-opening survey, revealing that British men prefer women with a little meat on their bones--an American size 10 to be exact. But do dudes across the U.S. feel the same way? 


The story caused quite a stir on this side of the pond. We were pretty satisfied with the results until we thought--wait, do American guys feel that way? And if they do, why the hell are we always dieting?

We went on a mission and put together a range of eight bikini-clad body types (see our Body Type Board below) and hit the streets. 


We surveyed more than 2000 men and women in New York, Los Angeles and the Midwest--and, it didn't matter whether they were on the East Coast, West Coast, or smack in the middle of the country--men and women (overwhelmingly) chose the same body type as their favorite. Can you guess which one?

To see which body type men like best, click here for PAGE 2.

Click on the gallery below to see all our models and their sizes--and tell us who you think has the best body.

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64 comments so far | Post a comment now
MaryAnn September 3, 2008, 9:43 AM

I, too, prefer model #1. However, she appears to be the only one with implants, the others look natural. In all fairness, couldn’t they have shown a natural size 0 with her own breasts? (I wonder how she would’ve “stacked” up against the rest.)

Elisa September 3, 2008, 11:13 AM

I prefer #5. A bit of ab work and she’d be perfect. #1 is too skinny I think.

Beckie September 3, 2008, 12:24 PM

PLEASE! Let’s stack the deck (pun intended) by showing a size 0 with a rack, that she is enhancing by pushing ‘em together, and put her in contrast to #2, and #3 who seem to be very flat chested in ill fitting bikini tops. #3 could have easily won had she been in a top that took advantage of her natural assets instead of flattening them out!

James F. Detwiler September 3, 2008, 1:27 PM

Were this a serious scientific inquiry, the research would would be universally condemned as fatally flawed. Controlling for body size will not yield the same results as controlling for body shape. If a picture of a size 10 or size 12 woman with the same shape as #1 had been included, and pictures of size 0 or 2 women with the same shapes as #s 3, 4, and 5 had been included as well, I daresay the size 10 and size 12 women would have been preferred.

Furthermore, if pictures of size 0 and 2 women who are as gaunt as marathon runners had been included, those women would not have been preferred over larger-sized women who had more reasonably athletic (or, regrettably, more voluptuous)bodies.

The problems to which Dr. Fox refers would still be evident, but to trumpet that Americans prefer size 0 women extremely exaggerates and sensationalizes the situation. Such hyperbole adds to the problem by giving young (and not so young) women the impression that, to be attractive, they must not only get rid of any excess fat, but also get down to a size 0. For almost all women, that would be a dangerous goal indeed.

Bottom line, I’ll take the Olympic swimmers’ and volleyballers’ bodies over the gymnasts’ anytime—and, believe me, those athletes are no size 0.

Right On James D.! September 3, 2008, 1:50 PM

I agree…this study is very flawed, but then again it was done as “fun,” and not serious science.

However, I agree with James because this only perpetuates a dangerous myth among women—one that needs to die!

If you were to see my weight and height ON PAPER, some would *assume* I’d be overweight…I’m not!

As James pointed out, athletic bodies aren’t a “size 0” because of their bulk and (like me) weigh more because we have more MUSCLE and muscle weighs more than fat.

Since I do alot of activity, I have more muscles than fat and I weigh more than other girls who—at the same weight and LESS—look chubby. WHY? because they’re more water and fat than muscle.

It’s not about NUMBERS!

A size 0 doesn’t make you automatically sexy or nasty just like a size 6 doesn’t make you fat.

Are You Kidding? September 3, 2008, 2:19 PM

HAHA - science? It’s a mom site who did research on the street. Read the article… it’s interesting… this isn’t Scientists Digest for crying out loud.

Anonymous September 3, 2008, 11:55 PM

I like #2 but 5 to 1 are the sizes I liked most too. I’m a woman not a man just observing not gay just to say that I’m not looking at them sexualy anywho I love how confident #6 and #8 are standing makes me love their size because they do.

Katie September 3, 2008, 11:56 PM

Of course they are going to pick # 1. But how many women (girls!) who are size 0 have that size of breasts?
If they had a realistic size 0, the men might see things a little different. They picked her because of her chest, most of the time. Not her waist or anything else… like #2’s legs, etc.

PlusSize&Lovin'It September 4, 2008, 12:09 PM

I think they lied about the sizes.
The size 18(#7)looks more like a 22W or 24W
size 14 (#8) looks like a 18W or 20W
size 16(#6) looks like a 18W
size 14 (#5)lloks like a 16W or 18W

Rikki September 4, 2008, 5:00 PM

I realize that this was done “just for fun” but to be more accurate, they should have chosen more similar bathing suits for the women to wear (such as the one that model #4 is wearing).
And to answer the question…as a woman, I prefer an “in-between” of models #3 and #4. I think that women who look fit and athletic look the best. That is also what I strive for…I admit to wanting to lose weight because I am really overweight and I don’t want to be thin. I just want to be fit.

Jennifer September 5, 2008, 6:30 AM

I think it it because of the ay they have her posed. Her stance is sexier than everyone else just standing there.

Kitty September 5, 2008, 6:42 AM

I agree with Rikki… if they were all wearing similar swimsuits the results would have been different. They all have on completely different suits, they are just all the same color. that’s like showing women in 8 different pairs of jeans and asking which SIZE looks best. I have always been “overweight” according to the charts, because of muscle mass, but I have great curves, and no lack of attention from men… so I don’t know what sort of men were interviewed, but this was obviously not a planned-out study. Don’t be offended by it, because it’s like being offended that men prefer one hair color over another, because a study said so.

Geo September 5, 2008, 6:51 AM

Too bad you do not survey men who like men….
We also do have a point of view on that.

Anonymous September 5, 2008, 6:57 AM

Perfect 10 is the best.

Tom M. September 5, 2008, 7:12 AM

I can’t speak for other men, but personally, I think fake breasts are disgusting - a real turn off! Obviously, number 1 has fake breasts. As far as body type, I like numbers 3 and 4. Number 3 should have had a less restrictive top, however. I mean, why squash them like that? Yikes! Also, I have a thin build as a man, and a woman with a classic “womanly” shape is very attractive, which caries with it an almost primal and instinctive desire, i.e., men subconsciously choose a woman with some hips or “meat” on them since they indicate optimal conditions for bringing children into this world. Skinny woman were once thought of as not desirable because it was believed that they could not bear children properly. It’s a matter of basic instinct to preserve the species and “replenish the earth,” to quote some scripture. In any event, ALL woman are beautiful! Be proud of whatever shape the man upstairs has given you. YOU are wonderfully made!!! Tom M.

DK September 5, 2008, 7:13 AM

Tell me something, what do the MEN look like that are voting in this? Women like a lean trim body also. One grows tired of fat, flabby men making judgments on women’s bodies when THEY look like crap!

Chelsea September 5, 2008, 7:22 AM

4 and above are PERFECT.
Regardless, cuvy girls are sexy as hell.

Charlie September 5, 2008, 7:41 AM

I think #7 is the sexiest. Her body type is exactly like my wifes. Real women have curves! I don’t like a really thin women, that doesn’t mean they aren’t attrative just not to me. The media has everyone brainwashed, they have said for so many years that “thin” is beautifull. Paris Hilton disgusts me. I’m 6’2” 217 lbs.. So i’m not fat. I, like Chelsea think curvy girls are SEXY!!

Katie September 5, 2008, 7:51 AM

I agree, this survey was very flawed. Whoever took these pictures actually gave men the answer as to which girl to choose by the way they’re standing. The bigger they got, the less flattering their stances were compared to Ms. Size 0. Myself, I’m a size 9, but I’m also a 6 footer. Realistically there is no way I’m at all fat and I don’t appreciate anything telling me I am just because I’m that size. People need to understand that height has a lot to do with a woman’s size.

karen September 5, 2008, 8:14 AM

My husband and I were looking at these women last night and they care very beautiful but pose #1 doesn’t look too confident (she has her arms in front of her) where #8 was very confident in her pose. Who ever did this survey really didn’t want everyone to pick anyone over a size 2 all the other beautiful ladies have bad bathing suits that don’t emphasize what makes them beautiful. personally I would have loved to see #5 in a better bathing suit, she’s nice and curvy. I’m a size 5 and would love to have more curve to me. They ladies are great for taking part in this.

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