The Pretty Price Check: Your Friday round-up of what we paid for beauty last week.
For some reason, this week’s Price Check is all about what men think of female beauty. Maybe it’s a side effect of Valentine’s Day (aka the time of year when men everywhere are encouraged to put a price on their love via those endlessly looping commercials for Zales and Kay Jewelers).
Maybe I’ve just got the male gaze on the brain after all this talk of DIPEs and why boys don’t like Emma Watson’s hair.
At any rate, thanks to Fornicating Feminists for leading me to the above gem from the Sociological Images archive.
First point: Those are UK sizes, so Americans, translate 12, 8, and 16 to 10, 6 and 14 (or even 8, 4 and 12 — I’ve been shopping transatlantic-ly my whole life and it often seems to me that Brit sizing runs two larger than US, but that’s just anecdotal).
Second point: According to a scientifically questionable survey, Anna [12 UK] represents the ideal female figure according to men, Tillie [8 UK] is the ideal female figure according to women, and Caroline [16 UK] is the actual average-sized woman.
Third point: Since the survey’s methodology is already basically garbage, I conducted my own super scientific in-house research by showing my husband these pictures with the numbers covered up. He guessed that Tillie would be most guys’ pick, Caroline would be Ladies’ Choice, and Anna would be the actual average woman. (Don’t get mad at him — I asked him to generalize on behalf of his entire gender!) I actually would have guessed the same — mostly because I think poor Anna got the sh*t end of the “pose attractively” stick. And because while the “guys like curves!” faction is surely alive and well, I think men have become more and more conditioned to like a skinnier definition of hotness. (Especially if she’ll still nibble seductively on a plate of spare ribs.)
But maybe, since it’s Friday, we should put a more positive spin on the whole thing and just be happy that while yes, men and women are drawn to smaller-than-average women, the photo does prove that you can look great naked at a (ahem, relatively narrow) range of sizes that are nonetheless quite a bit larger than what we’re used to seeing.* Continue reading