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Modern women not as shapely as they think

News18

Updated: February 22, 2011, 2:49 PM IST
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Modern women not as shapely as they think
Women mistakenly believe they have ideal body shape desired by men.

London: Almost half of British women mistakenly believe their figures match the ideal body shape desired by men.

About 3,000 women were asked which fruit or vegetable best described their own shape, before providing their actual waist and hip measurements to researchers.

Some 27 percent told the researchers they thought they had the coveted butternut squash figure, with small waist, larger hips and bust, while 21 percent said they had the slightly less iconic pear figure of small waist and bust but larger hips.

Only 21 percent of women said they believed themselves to be the far less appealing apple shape, plumper around the middle and bust, reports the Telegraph.

Of the rest, 16 percent had described themselves as an aubergine, with larger waist and hips and small bust, while the remaining 15 per cent said they were carrot-shaped, long and lean with no curves, or like a broccoli floret, with large bust, skinny waist and hips.

Their vital statistics however showed that most of the women surveyed were under a false impression of their own body shapes.

In reality, more than half were apple-shaped, and far fewer had a pear or butternut squash figure than they thought. The average hip size for all the women polled was 36 inches, and the average waist size was 30 inches.

Experts said this confirmed the previously documented move away from the classic hourglass figure of the 1950s, when a woman's average waist size was 27.5 inches and her hips 39 inches, giving a much more curvaceous silhouette.

Today's celebrities blessed with hourglass or butternut squash figures include Mad Men star Christina Hendricks, Nigella Lawson and Kate Winslet.

Scientists have found that working women tend to carry fat around their stomachs, rather than their hips. Marilyn Glenville, expert in women's health, said, "Our waistlines have ballooned, women are fatter around the middle than ever and our stressful lifestyles are to blame."

Scientists who study waist-to-hip ratios - the waist measurement divided by the hip measurement - say a ratio of 0.7, enjoyed by women such as Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor at her peak, is most likely to be attractive to the opposite sex.

But the survey, commissioned by health and beauty event the Vitality Show being held in London next month, revealed that modern women, on average, have a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.83.

First Published: February 22, 2011, 2:49 PM IST
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