Many try to convince us that there is no such thing as objective beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Well, research says otherwise.
Although the standards of beauty have slightly shifted throughout the years and they vary from culture to culture, there is consistent research showing that there is a fairly standard view of what's beautiful and what's not. A 2016 study from the University of Texas at Austin showed that there is in fact an ideal body type for women when it comes to levels of attractiveness, and it's measured by waist-to-hip-ratio. Recent research has also discovered that there is also an ideal body type for men, as perceived by women.
Women Rated Men's Physiques by Levels of Attractiveness
The Proceedings of the Royal Society B published research showing that women have a preference on what men's physique looks like. More specifically, the study tested what kind of role physical strength played in men's level of attractiveness. You won't be surprised by the results.
Researchers showed various pictures of headless, shirtless men to a group of women and asked them to rate both their attractiveness and physical strength. Some were everyday male college students, such as this guy.
Some were guys who worked out 3-5 times a week, like this dude.
As you can see, the former had softer, less muscular figures while the latter were visibly muscular.
Of the 160 women surveyed, not a single one of them found that the unmuscular male bodies were more attractive than the muscular ones. The men who had big biceps, strong pecs, and cut abs were said to be the hottest guys. Color us shocked.
“We weren’t surprised that women found physically strong men attractive. What did surprise us was just how powerful the effect was,” lead author Aaron Sell told The Guardian. “Our data couldn’t find even a single woman that preferred weaker or feminine male bodies.”
Physical Attractiveness Indicates Health
The more physically strong the man appeared, the more attractive the women found him. In fact, the men who were considered to be the strongest made up 70% of the men who were said to be the most attractive. Additionally, the men who were the tallest and more lean were also ranked as the most attractive.
This isn't an indication that women are shallow and only concerned with looks. There's a real biological advantage to mating with a physically strong man — you're more likely to have healthy children, you're more likely to be protected and provided for, and you're more likely to experience longevity. As much as our society tries to deny it, our health and physical strength play a direct role with our physical attractiveness, especially when it comes to men.