May 05, 2004
Women With Hourglass Bodies Have More Reproductive Hormones

Who are we to question the wisdom of our genes?

Large-breasted, narrow-waisted women have the highest reproductive potential, according to a new study, suggesting western men's penchant for women with an hourglass shape may have some biological justification.

Women with a relatively low waist-to-hip ratio and large breasts had about 30 per cent higher levels of the female reproductive hormone estradiol than women with other combinations of body shapes, found Grazyna Jasienska, at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and colleagues.

Barbie is now defended by science.

Writing in Proceedings B, the researchers led by Dr Grazyna Jasienska of Harvard University, said the hourglass figure was popular in Western cultures, but not in others across the world.

She said men in non-Western societies did not seem to favour women with hourglass figures, and broader figures, indicating good nutritional status, were considered most attractive.

However, in Western societies, the cultural icon of Barbie as a symbol of female beauty seems to have some biological grounding," added Dr Jasienska.

In Europeans it may well be that the hourglass body shape for women is more highly correlated with fecundity than is the case with other groups and that this is due to average genetic differences. There may have been co-evolution of the hourglass body shape as more fecund along with genetic changes that increased the attraction to that body shape.

The higher level of estradiol translates into 3 times higher likelihood to get pregnant.

"If there are 30 per cent higher levels, it means they are roughly three times more likely to get pregnant," Jasienska, a human biologist, told New Scientist.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2004 May 05 11:15 AM  Brain Sex Differences

andursonne said at May 10, 2004 9:37 PM:

Hmmm... I 'm not so sure about this not applying to people in other cultures. I've read books that emphasize how people basically all over the planet prefer similar waist-hip ratios.

Kaylin said at June 1, 2004 12:04 PM:

I am not surprised by this finding in the least. I do not have an hourglass figure and have been trying to get pregnant for the past year without success. Interesting.

lulu said at September 7, 2005 9:34 AM:

Hi Dr. Jasienska.
I wanted to know if there was anything that an Android body type women could do to reshape her body to a more hourglass figure?

Thank you

Kris said at November 6, 2005 9:21 PM:

hello, im kris, 17
for along time i have known the effects that estrogen has on the way males look at women. i am very familiar with the evolutionary benefits of these markers, and the great effect they have on society, even though their fundamental prupose has ultimately been lost (natural selection is no longer beneficial, nor the basis of human survival).

i am very curious as to what the "hourglass" measurement ratio actually is. i know that there is an ideal measurement for the "perfect" western female and male, but im having trouble finding out what it is.
if you have any idea, i would really like to know, and would appreciate it if you could enlighten me.
thank you

Erik Holland said at November 30, 2005 1:17 AM:


You are probably looking at estrogen supplementation, which is not risk free.


There is more to an hourglass figure than just the bust-hip-waist ratio. Absolute measurements are also relevant. Anyway, very feminine waist-to-hip ratios are in the 0.60-0.65 range. You will likely be interested in this page, this page and a series of pages beginning here (not work-safe) to learn what feminine and attractive looks are about. By the way, natural selection is still operating in humans.

Lee M. said at February 2, 2006 12:02 AM:

I love women with an hourglass figure! They are the most beautiful and sexiest women alive on our planet! Now thats what a woman is supposed to look like! Women with hourglass figures were very common in the mid and late 1960s into the 1970s and 1980s and 1990s, but as of 2000 and beyond these women with hourglass figures have become very rare, how often does a guy see them? Not very. In this 2000 era- women with hourglass figures are very hard to find. Many European women mostly Italians have hourglass figures. But with the advent of all these fast foods and everyother kind of foods our women are eating-- they have gained far too much weight for their height, I mean the women are far too overweight! In for that reason, in this 2000 era, women no longer wear make up very much, dont have long sexy nails, the hair too short and not long down the back, and well they all look a bunch of guys! They just don't want to be feminine and sexy- because of being too overweight, todays woman no longer has an sexy hourglass figure, and I believe due to this radical changes in body, and depending how she is built, unless they make some radical changes in their weight and body- sadly enough, those women with hourglass figures are already extinct and no longer common like they once were 35 and 40 years ago.

Lisa said at February 16, 2006 9:03 PM:

Erik Holland,

Contrary to what you believe, northern european women are usually tall, have prominent noses, hard bone structures and no breasts whatsoever. If you want to talk about beautiful european women it has to be eastern/southern europeans but i guess it's the light hair/eyes combination that you find appealing. In my opinion having such a low contrast between hair colour, skin colour etc makes someone look very washed out. Without makeup the women in the site look like somebody squeezed the juice out of them not to mention the unsightly freckles and thin lips they had. Also you posted a picture of charlize Theron on your site and although she has cute facial features she does not even come close to an actress such as Monica Bellucci and has absolutely no sex appeal. At the same physical height, Monica Bellucci has a woman's body while Charlize has relatively no breasts/hips and large shoulders along with chicken legs. If they walked together in the same room, charlize would be invisible.

Erik Holland said at March 3, 2006 4:15 AM:


It is true that Northern European women tend to be taller, more prominent nosed and smaller breasted than Southern European women, but by no means are all Northern European women tall, prominent nosed and small breasted. Pigmentation is not relevant to my site because the focus is on skeletal traits, fat distribution and muscle structure. Speaking of skeletal traits, Northern European women tend to have finer facial features, partly explaining whey they are overrepresented among high-end models. I have only displayed Charlize Theronís face, not her physique. I agree that her physique is nowhere close to being a good example of a feminine physique. On the other hand, whereas Monica Belluci has a better physique than Charlize Theron and is a good looking woman, neither her face nor her body is impressive enough for me to use as good examples of feminine beauty.

ENF said at March 6, 2006 5:49 PM:

Speaking of hour glasunnys figures, there are still women that exist with that shape. I have an hour glass figure and I inherited it from my mother and grandmother. And its funny no matter how much weight I gain or lose I still keep my figure.

christina said at May 3, 2006 2:45 AM:

*I think that most men are stupid...they care so much about how women look and what body they have
This message is for all the girls:
If a man doesn't like you for who you are inside and and only cares about the body that you have then he's not worth it...It doesn't matter if you are ext
you are beautiful and if a man can't see it then like i said before HE'S NOT WORTH IT

James said at July 22, 2006 10:20 PM:

I'm probably a bit older than most who have posted a comment. But I do not consider myself "a dirty old man." However, I admit that a woman with an hourglass figure has attracted me since I was a young boy in my teens. There is nothing that raises a man's spirits more than spotting a pretty woman with an hourglass figure that seems happy to be a woman. I have a lover who has an hourglass figure and I cannot keep my hands off her. Women who resent men who are attracted to hourglass figure women are kidding themselves thinking we are some sort of beast. But we are animals--human animals--and we are jus hardwired by nature to be atracted to the well proportioned female figure.

What is wrong with that, I ask?

Emma said at October 20, 2006 9:22 PM:

Suddenly I feel like crying.
It doesn't matter how much I run/bike/swim. I can be at my fittest but I'll always have this stocky body shape. If only I had wanted to be a body builder. All I want to be is a woman. An attractive, physical, woman.
I can't have an hour glass.
And so I continue to get overlooked.
I need to go find a dark corner to sit in while I sink slowly into cat-lady spinsterdom.
Wish me luck.

Fran said at December 8, 2006 10:30 PM:

I am an Italian hourglass figured woman. I have three beautiful children from three c-sections no less and I still kept my figure. They were all planned pregnancies and I conceived them on this first fertile tries. So science is very much correct about this theory. I am tall and I do have a prominent Italian nose, but men have always thought of me as very attractive to beautiful. However, I have two sister-in-laws who both have what I call square shaped figures. One had problems conceiving and the other one was not allowed to have children by my brother-in-law. They are very mean and nasty to me and use my Italian ethnicity against me. Often times rank about my nose. Is this just pure jealousy or do square- bodied woman just hate us? My husband would have had 10 kids with me if we could and can't keep his hands off of me.
Thanks, Fran

suzie said at December 31, 2006 12:17 AM:

Hiya all,
First of all whats an android body shape look like?
I have an hourglass shape, and it really gives me the sh&ts
cause it's hidden under all my weight. I wish it wasn't so hard to lose the

Lia said at January 27, 2007 8:09 PM:

Hmm. I'm not so sure about the fertility-hourglass link. I am a definate hourglass (33,24,33) however, I'm also infertile. So I guess I'm an exception to that theory.

Regan said at January 29, 2007 6:27 AM:

I'm a young woman from Holland, i'm 5ft11 (180 cm) and i have an hour glass figure. Hips 40,5 inch (103 cm) and waist 28,3 inch (72 cm). I have heard from some short women that they more often have an hourglass figure than tall women, but i'm tall and i do have the hourglass figure, thank God. To tell the truth, i have seen more hourglass shapes in average and tall women than in really short women. Once short women hit their thirties, they start gaining weight which easily makes them becoming an apple shape or rectangle shape.


Jerry said at March 4, 2007 12:07 PM:

Ehi, not all the men have the same likes about women! I love tall women with large shoulder and small breast.
So if you are not big breasted, don't worry! There are still plenty of good looking men just waiting for you! Promise!


Mandy said at May 30, 2007 8:53 AM:

I just had to laugh at some of the responses by some of the men here! I'm sure that the guy that said "They are the most beautiful and sexiest women alive on our planet!" certainly doesn't fit the ripped, muscular masculine look that a LOT of women drool over. An hourglass figure has nothing to do with what a woman eats or how often she exercises. It's genetics that determines whether a women will have an hourglass figure or not.

Although I will admit that I am an hourglass figure myself(38C-28.5-39) I have seen a lot of women that were not hourglasses that looked very feminine and beautiful. Jennifer Lopez is a good example. She's a pear shape and there are a lot of men from all over the world that drool over her.

As for Regan's comment. Whether you like to believe it or not, there are a lot of short women that still keep their trim shape when they hit their thirties and up. Age has nothing to do with a person packing on the pounds. If that were the case, then there would be a ton of elderly people that would weigh around 200+ pounds.


cswan smith said at May 30, 2007 8:02 PM:

some times i wonder if God intended for me to be a man. I am 25 128lbs 5ft2 i have no hips and very small breast i would really like to have a better body i can't dress like a lady becausee i have no figure so i dress like a guy people ask me why don't you ever dress sexy i am sick of hearring this shit help

ashley said at July 18, 2007 7:37 PM:

hello. im a long distance runner and i'm eighteen. i'm not very busty at all but my measurments fit that of an hour glass 34-29-36. i always seem to have trouble finding jeans that fit my waist as well as my hips and it makes shopping crazy difficult. my sister have a different build compared to me and both of them have a great trouble with their monthly cycles where as I do not. I'm very regular almost like clockwork. as far as male attraction? yes i do get hit on but its prob not for havin a great rack.
the relevancy of this comment is questionable but i just thought i might comment after reading everything here.

Monica said at August 16, 2007 9:19 PM:

Monica Bellucci is not beautiful enough for that guy to use as an example of feminine beauty???? Wow. I am stunned. Pretty much everyone in existence knows that Monica Bellucci is practically the dictionary definition of beauty. They just have her picture there, that's it. No words.

Also, I bet you a million dollars the guy who posted that is ugly...Real ugly.

Shawn said at September 23, 2007 1:31 AM:

You're all gay if yall seriously believe bone thin women are the epitome of womanhood. Real women have breast and hips, not accentuated pelvic (and skeletal) bones.

Stephanie said at September 23, 2007 8:00 PM:

I like having broad shoulders, a big chest, strong legs and a prominent facial structure. I like that I lose weight fast and gain muscle fast. I love that I don't get cellulite all over my thighs and butt! I like my android figure, and, if it keeps me from poping out lots of kids then I like it even more! lol

Just because some women don't have a little teeny tiny waists doesn't mean we can't look feminine.

Melissa said at October 14, 2007 6:52 PM:

Lol at Stephanie. I'm also what is known as the "banana" or rectangle shape, at 135 lb, 4'10", and 38-33-37. I find it quite fun and easy to lift heavy weights (70 lb squats, lunges), and though I tend to store weight everywhere, it is focused on the abdomen. I also love having shapely legs and a strong body, and I can manage to look very feminine as I have small facial features. I can use some of my skills as a artist to pull off a hyper-feminine look: I accentuate my hips (thus slimming the waist in comparison) with frilly skirts and wrap tops. I can also elongate my face by straightening my hair or using blush to create angles under the cheekbones.

As for the study, I think it's useful to pinpoint evolutionary roots of what is considered symmetrical or beautiful. It helps humans to understand themselves. I have no problem with men or women acting on their natural instincts, so long as nobody's rights have been violated.

But if the hourglass figure is used as a male yardstick against which woman must compete, or a way to validate male arrogance over how women "should" look in their Penthouse fantasy, then forget it. Screw them, I say. Women aren't limited to the eye candy of a .7 waist/hip ratio or the colors of an iris. Certainly man can find something more substantial to judge us for -- if they are worth our time.

rachel said at October 19, 2007 11:18 AM:

It is amazing to me how often we as humans dwell on physical characteristics to determine beauty in someone else.Yes this may be instinctual,but get over it. You're beauty comes from inside . Look what we are teaching our daughters and sons to think is the right way to look in todays society.It is rather sad. It should be about eating right,exercising, drinking lots of water, taking time to love ones self, and most of all not giving a darn what others think about you , but how you feel about yourself!

Anna said at February 26, 2008 2:02 PM:

It allways annoys me that people complain about the discussion of beauty and claiming that looks don't matter. This is ridiculous and the result of peoples rejection of the fact that we are just another animal with uncontrollable needs and instincts. This discussion is obviously about physical beaty and it is a biological fact that most straight men are more attracted to hourglass shaped women. All this moaning that inner beaty is more important is completely beside the point. And it dosn't matter what the man looks like who offers his opinion, just because somebody is not themselves particularly attractive doesn't meen he isn't a man and isn't attracted to the same type of woman everyone else is. And of course there are always exeptions, but we are talking about a norm that is perfectly justifyable by human biology and history. The hourglass figure, along with health, full lips and blonde hair(though not as significantly), are signs of high fertility, signs which men pick up and subconciously translate this into a high level of attractiveness in said woman. Woman do exactly the same for men and it is a completely natural phenomenon that exists to assist our basic purpose: reproduction. The more likely a person seems to reproduce successfully, the more attractive they are to the opposite sex. However, other body shapes can of course also be attractive and inner beauty is important when lust becomes love. This attraction is nothing anybody should ashamed of, it is completely natural. Also, don't be intimidated if you aren't an hourglass - people usually choose partners in their own league because of an underlying fear that a more attractive partner would always be on the lookout for something better. And being beautiful and/or an hourglass(like me), isn't always a good thing- although men will be attracted to you, many of them will not be brave enough to approach you. So everyone who has been posting coments about how physical attractiveness doesn't matter and that men who like sexy women are sick can do their homework before making yourself ridiculus again. People do not measure other's beauty conciously, and it is alsways interesting to discuss what it is that triggers these responses in us. Only when we understand beauty can we judge it with intellect instead of instict, which would lead us into a new generation of beauty ideals.

Miss T said at April 8, 2008 11:38 AM:

well I have always had an hourglass figure.....people always were soo envious and I always hated it. Go figure... having the "perfect" shape does not satisfy you. Trust me, I always wanted to be less curvy and I am 25 with three kids. I have bad cellulite and huge saggy breasts. With clothes on... I look great, naked however I am disgusting. And I hate attention from men. I get it so much that I want to scream sometimes.....I've been asked so many times if I had implants, and I am so tired of it. I just want to go out and be normal... not stared at for my body. Yes you can get tired from too much attention, trust me. I am not beautiful in the face, just average. But it doesn't seem to matter to other girls who are always telling me how lucky I am to have such a great body after three kids.I just don't know how to get it through to them that they are all beautiful too....each one in her own way.

diamond in the rough said at April 14, 2008 11:21 PM:

Fran, you're very full of yourself. It's possible that it's jealousy or maybe it could be your arrogant attitude.

Also, there are plenty of thin, ruler shaped women who are VERY fertile, trust me, I know. J. Lo didn't have the easiest time concieving. Don't put these women down.

Lou said at May 18, 2008 11:06 AM:

Yes, well, I'd be the thinner, taller type, smallish breasts (about a B), thin waist, hips - yeah bit bigger than I'd like - but in rough proportion (and cellulite low and behold). Had no problem conceiving in my early 20s (to my horror as unfortunately I was not ready).

My Sister on the other hand is slightly shorter, bigger breasted (double D), slightly broader shoulders than myself, quite narrowish hips and waist (and yes, Im sure we absolutely have the same Mother and Father), and has certainly tried for a while to fall pregnant with her second child, and only just managed to after about 2 1/2 years of trying (and Im absolutely thrilled for her).

My point being, I don't think this research really proves a lot? I think, unless women have other problems, every female of child bearing age has a pretty reasonable chance at it!

Amby said at May 30, 2008 12:11 PM:

hmmm, I'm an hourglass, 38,27,38. I'm only 5'3. I got more curves I need. It seems like old men can't stop looking at me. I'm shy! I just wish they made more fitted clothes shirts with (smaller waist), zippers and pants with smaller waist.

My mom is a pear, her side are mostly apples. Apple big boobs and shoulders, big tummy and small legs. Pear have big butts, small shoulders, and tummy. I'm like my dad's side an hourglass. Hourglass, top and hips about the same tummy 9 or more inches smaller and shapely legs. Oh, yes the ruler, boy shape, hips,shoulders,tummy all about the same size.

Tina said at June 27, 2008 1:41 AM:

Wow Anna, you need to get over yourself. Good thing you're so damn *beautiful* which is why you had the time to write that awfully long response because you are so busy with men fawning over you all the time right? Please.

It's true that overall, women with higher estrogen levels will have more of a reproductive capacity. But people are also forgetting that half of it depends on the partner as well-- if your partner is infertile, it doesn't matter how much estrogen you have.

Humans are animals but the reason why we happen to have a civilized society is because we use our prefrontal cortex and contrary to popular belief, we DO have control over our desires and needs, or else most of the population would already have an STD from an *uncontrollable* unprotected one-night stand, or almost 3/4 would be considered obese because we certainly *couldn't* control ourselves from eating that one-pound cheesecake and downing all the chardonnay in the fridge.

Eudemonix said at August 16, 2008 8:28 PM:

Please, indulge my poor english, since this isn't my natural language.

To Anna : I admire your lucidity and your wisdom. You seem to be aware of what is human nature. Congratz! I wish, someday. i could meet a woman like you. :)

To Tina :

First off, why would we repress our boiling sexual desires for hourglass figure? Because, in your idea, its not politically correct to prefer them over other kind of shapes? Why it wouldn't be proper? In the name of what? Would you have sex with a man who you dont find sexually attractive?

I'm sorry but i'm a down to earth person, i don't live in an idealistic world. I considere that the needs and desires expressed by my genes are beautiful and deserves too be fully satisfied. As long as i respect others, i feel responsible to fulfill my deepest and wildness sexual desires. I wasn't created to respond to YOUR definitation of correctness.

Life is short. Occasions to fulfull dreams are rare. We all have 24 hours a day and full of responsibilities to respond to. When its time to feel alive and seduced, i am addicted like crazy to hourglass figured women. That's the way it is. i cant deny my nature neither willing to ignore it. I dont care about the reason i crave for those women. All i know is that i can't get enough of those while other women arent sexy for me. They can be nice, brillant and fantastic as a friend and tender confident. But i just cant get a boner whit such a woman. i'm sorry for those who don't fit my criterias. But that's reality.

Look at it frim women point of view when it's time to find a sex partner. You also have your own criterias. And its your right to define them. Or even to realize that some of them are just part of who you are inside of you.

Instead of trying to change human nature, why don't you just learn to accept it the way it is?

Hannah said at November 11, 2008 6:51 PM:

I am an hourglass, but to all "android" women out there, I think that is the sexiest body shape. (I am a ballet dancer which influences this) I truly think the super-athletic, small-busted look is the most attractive. and its ages the best... be proud! i wish i could have a body like that!

sm said at November 22, 2008 3:30 AM:

But i just cant get a boner whit such a woman. i'm sorry for those who don't fit my criterias. But that's reality.

Look at it frim women point of view when it's time to find a sex partner. You also have your own criterias.

You're right...where are the guys with the big d**ks round here?

David S. said at December 4, 2008 7:07 PM:

Hello All,

I am surprised at the way this discussion has degenerated into personal insults, please be nice to each other!

I am currently working on my Ph.d in Evolutionary Biology. I find such studies (at least) interesting, especially since one of my Bachelor's degrees is in Sociology and the other is in Genetics.

Although it seems reasonable to believe that the hour glass figure is (genetically) more attractive, it is difficult to establish a genetic basis for this through current research, due to the complex interplay of culture and biology. E.g., research indicates that more sexually active females are more fecund. Meanwhile, sociologists posit that Gender Schema (stereotypes) such as 'hour-glass women are more sexually attractive', induce hour-glass women to behave in ways that support this schema, i.e., being more sexually active. Therefore, they become more fecund and experience elevated hormone levels (similar studies link a rise in testosterone in men that masturbate often).

But let's be careful: this is just one possible explanation proposed by scholars. Other research suggests that a preference for the hour glass figure is meant simply to exclude females that are already in the early stages of pregnancy. Yet another explanation we must consider if we are to be fair, is the research above. This is where we are as scientists, and we have to accept this.

Either way, I find it nice that so many are interested in discussing science. Good luck to all with your studies.


Ali said at January 21, 2009 5:26 PM:

As a 34 year old woman with an hourglass body I can confidently say that not all men greatly covet one body type. I'm 5'8", 34G (naturally) - 26 - 40 and there are plenty of men who don't stare, make comments, hit on me, etc. while my sister is 5'3" 36A - 31 - 36 and plenty of men are very attracted to her. We are both attractive to others as all body types are attractive.

I will admit my body type may be deemed more noticeable as large breasts and bum literally stick out. I believe many men make comments, stare, gawk, whatever at us because many curvy woman wear form fitting/revealing clothing in an attempt to look there actual size. Form fitting clothes on a curvy woman is often viewed as an attempt to get noticed when it actuality anything baggy visually adds pounds. I can wear baggy clothes but I'll look at least 20 pounds heavier. Who want's that? I firmly believe women with an hourglass shape are viewed as more attractive/available because the "goods" are more noticable. It's hard to hide curves and when you don't try to hide them many people think you're advertising what you have.

Having curves does not mean I'm more promiscuous than a less curvy woman. My actions are not dictated by my shape any more than anyone elses.

Heba said at April 1, 2009 11:06 AM:

I strongly disagree with this article. I have a perfect hourglass figure with waist to hip ratio of 0.6 (average women have 0.75). I am supposed to be more fertile because I have more estrogen , but the opposite happened to me: I have been ttc since 3 years. It seem my high levels of estrogen have caused me to develop fibroids and endometriosis, which BTW occur on women with high estrogen level. Fibroids and endometriosis reduce fertility markedly, thus excess estrogen was my problem in ttc, and did not hep me at all.

Michael said at July 27, 2009 12:36 PM:

I am a completely Italian male, and I'll be honest and admit that the beauty of the tall nordic woman is absolutely superior to the supposed hourglass figure of southern europeans. The more fair nordic types have more upright postures with long necks and even symmetrical features. The ears are centered on their heads. Limbs are long but gracefully well muscled. Skin translucent and clear. A profile of an Italian women show an extended bridge which throws the balance of the posture off. The Nordic profile is even and upright. Nordic women have less body hair, piercing blue or green eyes, and less oily skin which means less acne. They've got the goods and they know it. These women are also physically stronger. In Ancient times, invading Celtic women would capture Roman women by literally carrying them away and enslaving them. They referred to them as "half women." Roman writers were in awe of the Celtic women, and have described how the Roman soldiers had to fight these tall blonde goddesses who towered over them (the celtic women fought on the battlefield), and often defeated them in combat. These are the ultimate women. I betray my race, but the truth is the truth. Hey there's always reincarnation to hope for.

rachelle lvn said at October 26, 2009 8:44 PM:

Take some boron , the mineral, it has been proven to increase estradiol levels.....hahahah no doctor will tll you that

Jessica said at December 20, 2009 11:58 PM:

OK guys, like Michael and Shawn, what's up with all the hate in this forum? Saying some women are better than other women because of whatever region of the planet they come from is a bit insulting. The whole stereotype about most short women having an hourglass figure is completely false. Lots of tall and average women have hourglass figures and lots of short and average women have rectangle figures as well. I'm of Italian descent as well (born and raised in the U.S though), but I also have Scots-Irish and Swedish descent too. Like this study shows, I think it's pretty cool, especially since I have an hourglass figure. I'm near 5' 9" and my measurements are 35-23-34 and I love it.

Oh, and Michael, Italians are white. Moron.

Jessica said at December 20, 2009 11:58 PM:

OK guys, like Michael and Shawn, what's up with all the hate in this forum? Saying some women are better than other women because of whatever region of the planet they come from is a bit insulting. The whole stereotype about most short women having an hourglass figure is completely false. Lots of tall and average women have hourglass figures and lots of short and average women have rectangle figures as well. I'm of Italian descent as well (born and raised in the U.S though), but I also have Scots-Irish and Swedish descent too. Like this study shows, I think it's pretty cool, especially since I have an hourglass figure. I'm near 5' 9" and my measurements are 35-23-34 and I love it.

Oh, and Michael, Italians are white. Moron.

Bob Badour said at December 21, 2009 8:02 AM:


I find it fascinating that you see Michael's and Shawn's proclamations of desire and appreciation as hateful.

jessica said at December 21, 2009 12:50 PM:

@ Bob,
It's insulting. Go back and read the comments.

Bob Badour said at December 21, 2009 1:41 PM:

I did, and I have again. You don't seem to be objecting to Shawn's homophobia so I don't see anything in what either of them wrote that is insulting you. I find it fascinating that a woman would take umbrage to a compliment to another woman or women.

jessica said at December 25, 2009 10:55 PM:

Didn't fully read Shawn's comment but Michael's just ticked me off because it's not true. And why should I object to Shawn's comment especially since he meant they're lame, not literally homosexual? Looks like you're reading too much into what people are saying.

Bob Badour said at December 26, 2009 6:02 AM:

I am not reading anything into what people are saying, Jessica. In particular, I am not reading insult into what they are saying. You are.

Jessica said at December 26, 2009 8:52 AM:

I find it funny that you always reply right after I respond to you. Now, shoo and go attack someone else.

Bob Badour said at December 26, 2009 10:05 AM:

That's how dialogues happen: 1st one person says something then someone else says something. I find it doubly fascinating that you perceive someone having a dialogue with you as an attack.

Do you think blog comments are for monologues only? If comments are for monologues only, didn't you create a sort of dialogue by replying to Michael and Shawn?

Jessica said at December 26, 2009 6:10 PM:

Dude, seriously, you're an asshole so fuck off. Didn't want to get to that level.

Bob Badour said at December 26, 2009 6:52 PM:
Didn't want to get to that level.

Then why did you? It's not like anything you have written here was particularly necessary--let alone called for.

Kati said at January 3, 2010 6:52 AM:

@Bob Jessica is quite right, Shawn's comments were insulting ... his declarations of lust are fine, but not defining others as lacking if they think differently. Same goes for Michael's comments ... his wander in the direction of rascism.
As far as I've understood it, healthy young women have a waist-to-hip ratio between 0.66 and 0.8. Lower ratios signify high levels of estrogen, which can reduce fertility too. However, waist-to-hip ratios and estrogen levels are not the be-all-and-end-all in fertility ... I have a friend with a banana figure AND polycystic ovaries (increased testosterone levels) who was told she would have great difficulty falling pregnant and fell pregnant TWICE while on the pill. Every body is different.

Bob Badour said at January 3, 2010 8:56 AM:

Hi Kati,

You seem to misunderstand the concepts of statistical significance, normal distribution and outliers. You have a friend who is an outlier.

Men have preferences that are partly genetic, partly environmental, and partly inexplicable. Women are the same.

Are women who prefer "tall, dark and handsome" racist? Or simply wired up as relatively normal humans?

I worked with an african-american colleague who considered many white women unattractive because they had "no ass at all" (said quickly so it comes out as no assitol) when I found them very attractive with well-developed and well-rounded glutes. Is he a racist for preferring the same physical attributes that attracted his father to his mother, and he grandfathers to his grandmothers etc?

Personally, I find a gap between the incisors unattractive, but many millions of men over many generations have found such a gap very attractive--in some parts of the world but not in others. My ancestors came from the parts of the world that don't consider that feature attractive. Does that make me racist? Does that make the men who find it attractive racist?

I think it is a measure of insecurity to take offense at someone's stated preferences. After all, there is no accounting for taste. ::shrug::

Kati said at January 3, 2010 5:01 PM:

Exactly Bob .... please read people's statements properly! It might prevent you misunderstanding them.

Though I was probably slightly overprecious about Michael's wording, his post suggests that he considers his statment that Northern European women are the most beautiful to be objectively true rather than a subjective preference and is ever so slightly rascist, albeit a mild and fairly positive form.

And about my friend, again ... read it properly! I am a biologist and do understand statistics quite well thank you ... Science is beginning to understand that people are not as similar as they originally thought and the 'norm' does not apply to as many people. All I wanted to say was that a high waist-to-hip ratio doesn't necessarily mean low fertility.

Bob Badour said at January 3, 2010 7:43 PM:

On average, though, and for the overwhelming majority of women, it means just exactly that.

I do not think I have misread or misunderstood anything here, but thank you for your concern. I am not the one reading things into posts that just aren't there, and I am not the one trying to draw conclusions about large populations on the basis of statistically insignificant outliers.

nastinupe said at February 1, 2010 3:00 PM:

Ever since I was a young boy, I remember always being attracted to shapely women. I love a small waist and wide hips. I have never really cared about the breasts as much, just the waist, hips, the gap between the legs, and straight legs. I love it when women have that curve, it never gets boring to look at. In fact, I found this website because I was just thinking about how my girlfriend is slightly knock kneed and I am so unattracted to it. But she has a great job, is very sweet, we have great sex, and she has a cute face. But every time I look at her from afar, I feel no instant attraction. I have to actually pull my eyes away and not think about it to like her. It kind of sucks and I wonder if I will be able to marry a woman who isn't shaped like this. Every time I'm out, I constant look at women with hourglass figures wishing I had one. But I am very happy in my relationship otherwise. I know that this is very shallow and women will just dog me out, but I can't help how my raw instinctual feelings are. The educated person inside tells me to ignore it and just be happy, but when I am around her, I have to think about other women to get hard and want to have sex.

Rooster said at February 16, 2010 4:30 AM:


I'm a straight indian man married for 19 long years. Being a person from the country where the Kama Sutra was written, i was aware of the categorical female body types described since ancient times and was also exposed to modern theories of WHR and female attractiveness. My girlfriend was a short woman, roughly 5 ft 1, a gymnast, and had a great face like a greek goddess with curly hair. As many indians we had a long affair of 10 or so years after which we got married. Although i loved her passionately, my instinctive lust for curvy, hourglass women eroded our relationship. I still can't stop oggling women with jutted out rears and at the same time i can't divorce my wife in a typical indian society where such a reason would have been cosidered a perverted sin! Had it been possible to have two wives in our perspective, i should have married an hourglass to satisfy my suppressed fantasies, while still loving my first wife whose love, dedication and intellect have charmed me forever. I really feel guilty to spoil two lives by not letting my biological instict overpower my educated persona. I feel stepping into an oversize shoe which does not fit but can't be disposed off in a desert! Although western men are in a more advantageous position to date many ladies and finally settle for one who suits him best, i still will caution them not to repeat a situation like mine, as it might prove wise to accept your inner biological urge and inclination than to satisfy a male ego of greatness and intellect!

Sveta said at March 11, 2010 12:51 PM:

I am 5'2.5 and am 33/25/35 What would I be considered as? Pear shaped or hourglass?

Isabelle said at March 24, 2010 2:47 AM:

i am d have d perfect female form which is d hourglass.of which i inherited 4rm my extremely attractive with a well rounded very large,protuding bottom and great boobs.but im also v.sick of d attention iget 4rm men and women very beautiful too.considering my african descent we tend 2 b very 5ft11.i tink men r realy attracted 2 d hourglass women,cos i get guys who follow me home 4rm d mall,grocery store,e.t,c on a daily basis.its really realy gettin on ma times i wish i am triangular or rectangular shaped.i only like my olivefairlike complexion and long dark hair.i tink all dt stuff bout hourglass women being more fertile is wack .cz ma sister is triangular and had triplets at one''sitting''.lol.

Nicky said at April 1, 2010 12:38 AM:

all of you people with normal body types should feel lucky. I'm a guy, and somehow I wound up with hips and a small waist so that even at my fittest/healthiest I would have the (supposedly) the hourglass shaped body. I have a slightly higher level of estrogen than normal in guys, not enough for breasts and no facial hair but just enough for a womanly figure and very low muscle tone. seriously take someone like Miranda Kerr or Adriana Lima make them flat-chested, give them short hair and poof thats my body. It's really hard getting girls because they prefer muscular guys but I have arms that are thin and soft. Life really sucks if ur a guy like me. At least I get told I have a really cute face by many girls, and also I have a large penis which keeps me happy. but yeah what can you say to that...

Ruth Goose said at June 10, 2010 1:38 AM:

Women have been attacking each other for centuries due to their comparisons against one another based on their relation to men. The best we can do is love who we are and do the best with what we have been given.

I'm not putting down the men for their personal preferences cause women also have their preferences in men. So what kind of argument would it be for me to say..."now you men need to lay off the hourglasses and give the other women a chance."

WOMEN...listen's gonna take you to love who you are...stop comparing yourself to other women...realize you have preferences in men...allow yourself to see how you've made exceptions to those preferences to help you realize it is all about what you liked about that person due to the fact that he didn't fit your preference...

I'm sorry...if a man only likes me for my figure...then...WAY TO GO BODY...but what else??? Any takers??? Cricket...Cricket...

The comments on here have left many women hopeless. And I've read some hourglass comments that seemed to offer an it's-okay-you're-not-an-hourglass-but-too-bad-cause-it's-in-my-genes-good-luck-with-life...and i'm left thinking...WHAT IN THE WORLD???

Research shows alot of things...but no research in the world can MAKE us do for ourselves what we NEED to do.

I'm an hourglass and have found only a few hourglass females who aren't all about their stats. It's like...look at me...mine are...blah blah blah.

Then I see an attack on hourglass by non-hourglass figure until it's nothing but back and forth.

Like...really???...the only hourglass I've known to save the world was SuperWoman.

What's beauty got to do with starving children and various effects from natural well as disasters caused by humans?

I'm sorry...but when it comes down to it...if my best friend is a pear and I'm an can bet I'm not gonna care much for the insults of an hourglass chick trying to cramp my style.

Wait...from dust we all came and to the dust we all shall return...hourglass, pear, peach, cucumber, and ALL.

Let's find something better to fight for than this crap. And besides...the only reason I know my "shape" is so I can get my big booty into the right size pair of jeans (cause I'm tired of that big waist gap) and stop busting buttons at the top of my shirt.

WOMEN...and who you are outside of what you look like...that's only part of it!!!

If you don't remember anything I've said: STOP COMPARING...and LIVE!!!

Sarah said at December 8, 2010 9:04 PM:

Me and my Mum are both Androids and have had no trouble concieving children. My Mum couldn't stop getting pregnant, even on the contraceptive pill and she's always been like a lemon on two sticks.

Guest said at March 8, 2011 9:19 PM:

In North American culture, women with hourglass figures are branded as sluts, which is why North American men want stick figure women because hourglass figures display too much assets.

Jenny said at July 16, 2011 5:08 PM:

I love all the women on here complaining about men for being stupid for favoring women with a certain look.
You do realize that this article is indicating that men being biased for hourglass women is based on
biological EVIDENCE that they are more fertile?

You know what else high estradiol does? It makes women more monogamous. Look it up, it's on this site for crying outloud.
It not only affects your body and fertility, it affects your personality.

Estradiol wins again. Testosterone in women for the lose.

Chantel said at September 6, 2012 8:29 PM:

People should think critically before jumping on any 'scientific' bandwagon. All kind of crap can be labeled science these days. It's ridiculous. Today, one thing is considered a fact, the next day, it's not longer true. I'm not saying that there are no universal standards of beauty, but beauty is still highly subjective and can be influenced by many things.

Phillipe said at September 2, 2013 8:09 PM:

It's interesting to me that while only 8% of women in the world are hourglass shaped, a disproportionate number of them seem to turn up on threads like this, all claiming to be the perfect hourglass. The fact is, I rarely see a true hourglass. The VAST majority of women today are rectangles, pears and apples. I always take these posts like these with a chunk of salt. We can't see them to confirm their claims. I think that there are lots of average bodied women with active online fantasy lives.

Phillipe said at September 2, 2013 8:45 PM:

@bob badour,

Referring to his insistence that a high WHR generally means infertility...

"On average, though, and for the overwhelming majority of women, it means just exactly that."

That is absolute hooey. Show me scientific proof that modern hourglass women are more fertile. Please get your head out of the 1950's. Most women today are rectangles. Most women have children without great difficulty. Therefore most rectangles are indeed fertile. Hourglass women may LOOK more fertile, but these days, that's about as far as it goes. In fact, In some cultures where resources are more scarce, women with high WHRs are considered more desirable. And, they have plenty of children to prove it.

And here in the US where resources are plentiful, I see plenty of apples, bananas and rectangles happily pushing strollers with husbands and numerous other kids in tow.

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