How to be the perfect woman

Although an opinion on what is considered an ideal female figure varies across time and culture, there are some universal attributes associated with the perfect woman body. Most of them are applied subconsciously.

In the following article we are going to describe the most important of female characteristics. When woman has most features mentioned below, she is perceived as attractive. Whether your ideal looks like Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Aniston.

Breast size

On the ideal breast size, there is no consensus. Men tend to overestimate the bust size they desire in women and Western civilization in general promotes rather bigger breasts. However attractiveness is almost always assessed to the perfect balance in the size of the bust and hips, while waist is visibly thinner. This is so-called hourglass figure.

Breast shape

I fact, the shape of breasts is more important than their size. As a symbol of youth, firm bust is more desired than saggy. Firm shape is commonly called ‘perky breasts’. If woman has smaller cup size, there should be no fold under her breasts (famous ‘pencil test’). However from certain sizes, small fold is inevitable in order to look natural. The bigger the breasts the bigger fold under them is still not considered unattractive. Shape also changes depending on posture of woman.

What escapes most people’s attention is the so-called ‘breast ratio’. Researchers discovered that the upper half of breast should make 45% of the total breast volume and a lower half 55%. In practice, this means that even firm natural bust is without convex shape in upper half (woman without bra). Only while wearing a bra or other supportive lingerie, convex shape is present also on the upper half of breast. Nipples should point upwards at an slight angle of 20 degrees. But these are average values of attractive bust not strict criterias.

The 3 reason, why some breast implants don’t look natural
1 – Shape remains the same whether the woman is standing, lying or bending (unnatural firmness)
2 – Even big bust has no fold on the bottom (unnatural firmness)
3 – They look like big balls (ignoring natural breast ration)
More on how to recognize breast implants in this separate article

Hips and buttocks

Compared to a men, a women should have wider hips and bigger butt to look feminine. Once more, the shape is more important than size. Firm round butt cheeks are perceived sexually attractive. Often mentioned is the so-called ‘heart shaped ass’. Bottom curve of each cheek is rounded and in ideal case also inner curves are slightly rounded (give an impression that cheeks are pressing against each other). This results in buttocks having shape of inverted heart.

Belly

Flat belly is another proof of youth and fitness and therefore considered to be attribute of beauty. Slim waist is part of the ‘hourglass figure’ and unlike in men, there is really no need for having ‘six-pack’ lean muscles on it.

Long straight legs are perceived as attractive. There were many debates whether there should or shouldn’t be a gap between the thighs. But we are sure that you can find both cases to be attractive.

Unlike the body, perfect face measurements are in fact an average proportions. For example an eye to eye distance shouldn’t be too large nor too small. The same applies to other facial dimensions. This fact was confirmed by a University of Toronto study. And what are the ‘magic’ average values? If 100% is overall face width, distance between the centers of the eyes should be 46%. And if overall face height is 100% on our scale, distance between the center of mouth and center of eyes should be 36%. Several female celebrities are close to these number, e.g. Jessica Alba and Shania Twain.

Summary

Fact is that men really don’t need to have at home 100% perfect figure to be satisfied, so if you are a woman take this article more like an interesting facts than something you have to strive to achieve.

Men are picky when it comes to dating. If you are single and out there dating, I am sure you are very aware of just how choosy men are. Women are particular too, but somehow the men seem to be worse. Usually, men have an idea in their head of a type of gal to whom they are attracted, and either you fit the mold or you don’t. However, occasionally a man will fall for a girl who is outside of his wheelhouse. Wouldn’t it be great if you could be that woman who could attract ANY GUY (within reason of course)?

Here are 10 tips to get you on your way:

Be a flirtatious woman. Men love when a woman is a good flirt — not cheesy, not sleazy, just fun. Learn how to “smeyes” — smile with your eyes. The guys love that and will love you.

Be sexy. Men love women who are sexy and who KNOW they are sexy. The word sexy has no real definition these days — the key ingredient is that you FEEL sexy and then he senses it and thinks you are H-O-T, hot.

Be feminine. Keep in mind that if a man wanted to be with a man, he would be. So be girly, be feminine, be a woman. What does that mean? Smell good, cook him a meal once in a while, mother him when he needs it — find the cavewoman in you.

Be the woman all his friends are lusting after and who lights up the room with your smile. It’s a fact; if all of his friends are “ooohing and ahhing” over you, he will be attracted to you all the more.

Be confident. Men love ladies who have that “je ne sais quoi, that little intangible confidence that make them untouchable, yet so desirable all at once.

Be adaptable in any situation. Men want you to fit in at a fancy party, with beer and pizza on sports night and at a boring work function. And, he wants you to do it with ease and with no complaining. If you think that men fall in love with the “hard to get” women, think again. Not in today’s world. Today men really fall for easy-going gals who can go with the flow.

Be a woman who makes him feel great about himself and makes him feel needed. Men love the girls who play to their ego and make them feel like Superman. If a guy doesn’t understand how he is needed in your life, he won’t fall in love with you.

Be the woman who encourages a guy’s night out. A woman who, not only allow a guy’s night out, but also insists on it is a rockstar to any guy. The catch is that you have to really mean it. And if you do, he will be thinking about you the whole time he is out and won’t even notice the other girls around him.

Be a woman with interesting things going on. Men love a woman who has her own life with fun and different things happening. No man wants a girl who is always sitting at home waiting for him or a woman who needs him to provide 100 percent of the fun.

Be intelligent, but not a know-it-all. Men like women who have it together and who won’t embarrass them in a conversation; they like women who know something about a lot of different things. It doesn’t have to be politics and sports, it just has to be something you are passionate about and truly understand. And they hate know-it-alls; drop that quality immediately.

Sep 06, 2016 10:24am GMT+0800

Women all over the world may or may not admit that at least once, we dreamed of having the ‘perfect body’. But given the different notions of what an ideal body is, is there really such a thing as the one true perfect body? Others may argue that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or body perfection is but a social construct. But at least according to science, there is a standard measurement to a perfect body image.

Scientists reveal that the perfect woman should have a height of 1.68 meters or 5’5″. She should also have a bust-waist-hip measurement of 99-63-91 cm or 39-25-36 inches. Of course, an “all-natural” body without any surgeries or alterations is considered to be even more perfect. Luckily, there is one woman alive today who we can look into as an example of this so-called perfect body. She is model-actress-and TV personality Kelly Brooks.

The woman with the scientifically perfect body…

How to be the perfect woman

According to researchers from the University of Texas, scientifically-speaking, the perfect woman should be able to fulfill the functions for evolution and procreation. The criteria to fulfill this are: attractiveness to the opposite sex, fertility, capacity for child-bearing, and overall health. The researchers presented female body images corresponding to certain weight, height, body measurements, hair length, and face shape. These images are then correlated to perceptions of attractiveness to men, and what women rate as their ideal body image.

The perfect vital statistics: 39-25-36

How to be the perfect woman

This report from the University of Texas has drawn some heated arguments, especially from feminists. One of which is why are we even considering having a perfect body for women. Furthermore, why is “perfection” anchored on trivial and sexist criteria such as attractiveness to males, or capacity to rear children. On the other hand, some are praising the findings since it erases the notion that a perfect body is that of stick-thin runway and fashion models.

As can be seen by the examples of Kelly Brook’s pictures, the figure that the “perfect body” measurement promotes is a curvy and full-figured female. And this is quite contrary to the slender and tall women that the fashion industry promotes. Kelly Brooks herself recount the times where she was called ‘too plump’ by scouts in the fashion industry.

Move over runway models, plump and curvy is what science considers perfect.

How to be the perfect woman

However, is this criteria for the woman’s “perfect body” forever? There is a possibility that it can change over the years since the results rely heavily on public opinion and perception. And to demonstrate how easily we humans change our minds regarding our “ideal” body types, take a look at this video:

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How about you, do you think it is right to note a “perfect body” for women? What are your thoughts on this matter, share below in the comments section. And please share this article as well!

How to be the perfect woman

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My wife is a self-proclaimed nerd. We have comic books in our bedroom, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster in our living room, and she can quickly answer any question about Star Wars. And I love it. I’ve found a beautiful, smart, ambitious woman who is the love of my life. She is the right person for me.

We’re also best friends and continue to enhance our lives together. Most of all, we are deeply in love. Take it from me- when you’ve found the right woman, your life will change. Too often we’ve analyzed who that perfect partner will be, despite ignoring the reality that we too are imperfect.

But, that’s the beauty of it. After all, we are all just people. When you find Miss Right, they get to know you better than you even know yourself. It really is true. When a man has found the right woman, these 10 amazing things will happen. They happened to me.

1. You will share unique experiences.

My wife and I share experiences that are totally unique to us. Our life experiences are special and we go through challenges together, as a team. The right woman is the only one able to share those unique experiences so personally. She will help you and you will help her. One is not more powerful than the other.

2. You will learn from one another.

I’ve learned so much from my wife. She has taught me things about myself that I did not know or see. We’ve learned how to better cope with life’s toughest challenges. With the right woman, you will be open to receiving her message and attentive in what she has to say. After all, you are going to spend the rest of your life learning from one another.

3. You will build a solid foundation of trust.

I’m not only talking about basic trust, but a deeper level of trust. When you’ve found the right woman, you will have a mutual understanding of one another. You will both be honest with each other because it’s the right thing to do. The right woman will respect you so much that she will be honest and forthcoming. She will expect the same from you.

4. Your thought patterns will align.

I’m still amazed by this. My wife and I really do finish our sentences. We also begin to think about the world and approach problems in similar ways. Individual experiences often become our unique experiences. We may not always agree with one another, but the right woman will see the value in your point of view. She will value the person you are.

5. Your goals will merge.

The right woman is open to discussing what is and what is not important in your life. She will seek to get to know you better to make sure that both your needs are being met. She believes that you both have individual goals but are on the same page when it comes to improving your lives. You will both share a beautiful vision of your future together.

6. Your love will continue to grow.

I used to think I couldn’t love my wife more than I already did. The more you get to know the right woman, the more you will love her for who she is. You accept her imperfections and she accepts yours. As you continue to experience more of life together, your love will continue to thrive right along with it. Love has no limits or boundaries and the right woman will prove that.

7. You will laugh, a lot.

If your relationship or marriage does not have laughter in it, you have found the wrong woman. Laughter really is the window to someone’s soul. My wife and I laugh until our cheeks hurt. We cry sometimes too, but the laughter reminds us of what’s really important. Some of our best memories are funny stories that only we can relate to. The right woman will love to laugh with you.

8. You will learn to compromise.

When you’ve found the right woman, the little stuff just won’t matter as much. No longer will you care where the toothbrush is or how the trash is taken out. It may still bug you a little but doesn’t really matter. There are too many other things to worry about when you’ve found the right woman. You will also learn how to negotiate with one another to find out what’s really important to both of you.

9. Your priorities will change.

As you make your journey together, your individual as well as the relationship’s priorities will change. With the right woman, she will be open to those changes as you both navigate through the tough times. You both will accept these changes over time. As you get older, you realize you truly are in this together- in sickness AND in health.

10. You will highly respect one another.

I’m not talking about some sort of hierarchy of respect. Quite the opposite. This goes along with love- you value each other so much that you wouldn’t dare to truly hurt one another. The right woman respects you as a man. You respect her as a woman. The right relationship requires just that- a mutual respect for another person as your equal.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of everything that will happen to you (my wife would kill me if our marriage was boiled down to a top 10 list). Mostly, we love one another unconditionally and view ourselves as equal partners. We’re in this together.

You know that you’ve found the right woman when you wake up every morning smiling, knowing the love of your life is laying there right next to you. There’s going to be a lot more of those special mornings. And I can’t wait.

Although an opinion on what is considered an ideal female figure varies across time and culture, there are some universal attributes associated with the perfect woman body. Most of them are applied subconsciously.

In the following article we are going to describe the most important of female characteristics. When woman has most features mentioned below, she is perceived as attractive. Whether your ideal looks like Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Aniston.

Breast size

On the ideal breast size, there is no consensus. Men tend to overestimate the bust size they desire in women and Western civilization in general promotes rather bigger breasts. However attractiveness is almost always assessed to the perfect balance in the size of the bust and hips, while waist is visibly thinner. This is so-called hourglass figure.

Breast shape

I fact, the shape of breasts is more important than their size. As a symbol of youth, firm bust is more desired than saggy. Firm shape is commonly called ‘perky breasts’. If woman has smaller cup size, there should be no fold under her breasts (famous ‘pencil test’). However from certain sizes, small fold is inevitable in order to look natural. The bigger the breasts the bigger fold under them is still not considered unattractive. Shape also changes depending on posture of woman.

What escapes most people’s attention is the so-called ‘breast ratio’. Researchers discovered that the upper half of breast should make 45% of the total breast volume and a lower half 55%. In practice, this means that even firm natural bust is without convex shape in upper half (woman without bra). Only while wearing a bra or other supportive lingerie, convex shape is present also on the upper half of breast. Nipples should point upwards at an slight angle of 20 degrees. But these are average values of attractive bust not strict criterias.

The 3 reason, why some breast implants don’t look natural
1 – Shape remains the same whether the woman is standing, lying or bending (unnatural firmness)
2 – Even big bust has no fold on the bottom (unnatural firmness)
3 – They look like big balls (ignoring natural breast ration)
More on how to recognize breast implants in this separate article

Hips and buttocks

Compared to a men, a women should have wider hips and bigger butt to look feminine. Once more, the shape is more important than size. Firm round butt cheeks are perceived sexually attractive. Often mentioned is the so-called ‘heart shaped ass’. Bottom curve of each cheek is rounded and in ideal case also inner curves are slightly rounded (give an impression that cheeks are pressing against each other). This results in buttocks having shape of inverted heart.

Belly

Flat belly is another proof of youth and fitness and therefore considered to be attribute of beauty. Slim waist is part of the ‘hourglass figure’ and unlike in men, there is really no need for having ‘six-pack’ lean muscles on it.

Long straight legs are perceived as attractive. There were many debates whether there should or shouldn’t be a gap between the thighs. But we are sure that you can find both cases to be attractive.

Unlike the body, perfect face measurements are in fact an average proportions. For example an eye to eye distance shouldn’t be too large nor too small. The same applies to other facial dimensions. This fact was confirmed by a University of Toronto study. And what are the ‘magic’ average values? If 100% is overall face width, distance between the centers of the eyes should be 46%. And if overall face height is 100% on our scale, distance between the center of mouth and center of eyes should be 36%. Several female celebrities are close to these number, e.g. Jessica Alba and Shania Twain.

Summary

Fact is that men really don’t need to have at home 100% perfect figure to be satisfied, so if you are a woman take this article more like an interesting facts than something you have to strive to achieve.

How to be the perfect woman

What is a good wife, exactly? It’s not something people talk about with intentionally before marriage, but maybe we should.

Instead, when we are kids we picture what it is like to be married.

We picture walking down the aisle in a beautiful dress, a woman or man waiting for us, locking eyes as our veil is lifted from our face.

We picture what song we’re going to dance to and what our bridesmaids are going to wear.

We think about how weird it would be if we had an ice cream cake and what it would take to keep that cool.

As we get older we picture how many kids we are going to have, what their names are going to be, and if we want dogs or cats and how many of each.

We picture growing old with someone we love, but not how being a good wife can make marriage last.

We envision holding old wrinkly, veiny hands on our wrap-around porch waiting for our grandchildren to come over for the afternoon. We picture a wonderful life with someone we love.

What we forget to picture is the day-to-day monotony of marriage that can make it hard to be a good wife.

We don’t think in terms of who needs to use the bathroom first in the morning. No one asks who doesn’t pick up their dirty laundry off of the floor or who’s in-laws are the worst?

It’s rare to hear about who’s been distant or who suffers from depression. There are issues with feeling overburdened and overworked. Sometimes there are people that hurt us, who we hurt.

We don’t picture the hard times. So we don’t plan how to handle them.

In talks of marriage via the Bible, it can get confusing. Without reading the Bible carefully it can easily be misconstrued as a transfer of property, a woman being released from her father’s house into her husband’s house.

Some scripture makes it seem like the woman is a servant of the man, being malleable enough to bend to his every whim. But this isn’t the case in most verses. Most verses speak mainly of love between the husband and wife.

The attempt is to teach each person how to best respect their counterpart. Now we must remember that the Bible was written some thousands of years ago, so times were different. The expectation for women was different.

There are some quotes in the Bible that speak to the woman submitting to a man, and we can break those down.

But mainly the message stands to say women must love, respect, stay faithful, and work together with their husbands to be a great wife. And in turn, he must do the same to her.

1. Being a good wife starts with commitment.

“But, because of sexual immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband give his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife her husband. The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband does.

Likewise, also the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Don’t deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and maybe together again, that Satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

This one is pretty straight forward. The part that I want to focus on is the part that references ownership.

Where it says the wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband does, and vice versa. I don’t think what they are saying is that the husband may make love to his wife whenever he wants, regardless of consent.

I think it is saying that when you are married you and your husband belong to one another. It is no longer your body to give away. If you step out on your husband, you are doing so with the body you willingly gave to him.

He becomes apart of the affair. And vice versa. If a man were to cheat on his wife, he would be doing so with the body he willingly gave her.

The part that speaks to depriving one another, unless it is by consent, I don’t think refers to every day. I don’t think it is saying that if your husband wants to be physically with his wife, and she has a headache, that denial is a part is a form of betrayal.

I believe what it is saying is that if there is a long stretch where intimacy is lacking in the relationship, it should be a mutual decision. And if it is not, it should be discussed between the couple.

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2. A good wife is aware of the relationship’s emotional status.

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything.”

This is the Bible verse that I think can most easily be misconstrued. Maybe it’s even a little dated but it’s often misquoted.

A lot of what is said here seems sexist as if the love between these two people is transactional. But a lot of it I think is actually beautiful if interpreted correctly.

3. A good wife replaces ‘submit’ with mutual respect.

When it references the husband being the head of the wife… that part might be a little outdated. Things just don’t work like that anymore.

I don’t think you need to submit to your husband’s desire to be a good Christian wife.

I also don’t like the metaphor of the wife being to the church as the husband is to Christ. I think that has implications of the wife’s body being used as an altar in which to worship her husband.

The most delicious protein-rich snack.

How to be the perfect woman

How to be the perfect woman

Homemade beef jerky right from your oven! Perfect for preservative-free snacking.

From Sommer Collier of A Spicy Perspective.

top roast, rump roast, or London broil

gluten-free soy sauce

ground black pepper

Cut off any excess fat on the slab of beef. Slice the beef into 1/8th inch slices, against the grain. Place in a large gallon zip bag.

Add all remaining ingredients to the bag. Zip and massage to mix well. Chill for at least 45 minutes, but up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 175ºF. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Place a metal rack over the foil on each pan.

Lay the beef in a single layer across the racks. Bake for 3 to 4 hours, checking at the 3-hour mark for texture. Let a tester piece cool, then tug and taste. If it’s perfect take all the beef jerky out of the oven. (Bake 2–3 hours in a convection oven.)

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.

Beef jerky. The epitome of the low carb, high protein snack.

Anytime we are trying to cut carbs, this is the first quickie snack item I buy to keep around the house. After all, beef jerky is just lean dried meat and spices, right? Well … yes and no.

If you flip the package over and read the ingredients, some beef jerky brands are packed full of preservatives, sugar, and even gluten. Can you believe that? Other brands use only mindful ingredients, but bump of the price of the jerky for every missing chemical.

The best way to provide quality control, and to keep the cost of beef jerky on the down low, is to make it yourself. However, most people believe you have to have fancy equipment, or at least a food dehydrator in order to make beef jerky at home.

Nope! Believe it or not, you can make delicious beef jerky right in your oven, and in just a few hours. By choosing the right ingredients, you can produce bold flavorful jerky for pennies on the dollar. Want to give it a try?

How to be the perfect woman

1. Start by selecting the right cut of beef.

Flank steak is often thought to be the best choice for beef jerky, but it’s expensive. By using a cheaper cut of beef and slicing it thin, you will save money without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Look for a very lean cut of beef without a lot of fat. Although marbled fat adds amazing flavor to steaks and prime rib, it causes beef jerky to turn rancid faster.

Choose a lean piece of top roast, London broil, or rump roast.

How to be the perfect woman

2. Flash freeze the beef and slice it thin.

Beef can be difficult to slice into thin even strips. The best trick I’ve leaned to create thin slices is to freeze the beef for a short time right before slicing. Just 30–45 minutes in the freezer will make the beef firm enough to slice easily.

Then look for the grain of the beef and slice the beef into 1/8th inch slices, against the grain. Cutting against the grain will give the dried beef jerky that tough-but-tender texture we love.

How to be the perfect woman

Your slices don’t all have to be the exact same thickness, so don’t stress out if they are not all precisely 1/8 inch thick. However, the closer they are in thickness, the better the results. You won’t have to pick through the jerky at the end to decide which pieces need to stay in the oven longer.

How to be the perfect woman

3. Marinate the sliced beef.

This is your moment to check all your ingredients and make sure no sneaky chemicals are flavoring your jerky.

Personally, I like to start with a marinade base of gluten-free soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. You can adjust my recipe easily by using low sodium soy sauce, or even coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.

How to be the perfect woman

Add your favorite herbs and spices and let the beef sit in the marinade for 45 minutes, or up to a day.

How to be the perfect woman

4. Rack it.

For best baking results, place the wire rack over the top of a baking sheet and lay the beef strips across the rack. As the beef juices drip down into the pan, the jerky stays dry up top.

How to be the perfect woman

5. Bake low and slow.

Turn the oven to 175ºF and bake for 3 to 4 hours. If you have a convection oven, you can bake your jerky for 2 to 3 hours.

How to be the perfect woman

6. Check it.

Remember, the drier the beef jerky is, the more “preserved” it is, so you can leave it at room temperature for a week or two without worry. However, if you leave it in the oven too long, it will turn into tough beef crackers.

Take a strip of jerky out of the oven at the 3-hour mark. Let it cool. Then pull it, taste it, and chew it well. If it’s at the texture you like, take the pans out of the oven. If it looks a little too soft and meaty for jerky, keep it in the oven.

How to be the perfect woman

7. Store it.

Good quality beef jerky can be placed in an airtight container and left at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

If you are worried you under-baked your jerky, or used a cut of beef with too much marbled fat, you can store it in the refrigerator.

How to be the perfect woman

8. Get creative!

Try our marinade recipe as a starting point, but feel free to play with your mixture until it’s perfect for you. Adjust the spice level, or add a little sweetness. There are no limits on how you can season your jerky!

If each of us could design our ideal body, what would it look like? How do we develop these ideals and how close do our own bodies come to them? Does that ideal really matter?

How to be the perfect woman

Study: Body shape could predict mortality more than BMI

TODAY wanted to visualize how far we are from what we imagine is the ideal figure and our average bodies. Pittsburgh artist Nickolay Lamm — who showed the world what Barbie would look like as an average 19-year-old woman — reveals our “real” selves in a set of 3-D illustrations for TODAY, based on recent British study.

British researchers gave young heterosexual Caucasian men and women a chance to design ideal bodies, one for themselves and one for a hypothetical mate. The study, published in in 2012, used 40 female and 40 male heterosexuals with an average age of just over 19 — university students, mainly. They presented each person with 3-D computer representations of bodies. Each participant could adjust the images in many different ways until they arrived at the ideal body for their gender, and the ideal body of the other gender. These ideals were then compared with the participants’ own bodies.

How to be the perfect woman

Send the right message with these body language tips

The results of this study revealed a couple of surprises. First, the ideals ran across genders. Men and women barely differed in their opinion of what an ideal body looked like, whether the ideal was for a male or a female.

Essentially, the male ideal is an inverted pyramid with broad shoulders and small waist, while the female ideal is an hourglass with a small waist-to-hip ratio. Second, both women and men preferred slimmer female bodies than the real female participants possessed.

The twist: women preferred a larger bust size than the men did.

“We were a bit surprised,” senior author of the paper, Martin Tovée a professor at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University told TODAY. “It is possible that the female participants were exaggerating a feature they felt was particularly important.”

Men “also exaggerated their upper body shape…relative to the ideal set by women,” said Tovée.

Some experts believe we evolved these “ideal” preferences as signals of health and fertility. Others believe that culture, especially media representations, has more influence than genes or evolution.

“What struck me from these illustrations is that even though the ideal bodies are ‘ideal,’ and are the type of bodies people spend hours in the gym for, the bodies based on the participants of the study still look good,” said Lamm, who developed the 3-D illustrations for TODAY.

“Part of the reason for the divide between ideal and reality may be due to what we see in the media,” added Lamm, who recently completed a crowdfunding campaign to create a new doll, Lammily, based on the average measurements of a 19-year-old American woman.

Both the culture and genetic views are likely correct.

Tovée who has spent years studying in this field, believes “we probably have a default setting to pay attention to certain physical dimensions like overall body mass… but there will be no preset values along the physical dimension.”

He’s done some cross-cultural comparisons and found differences that appear linked to wealth and food availability. The tougher food and resources are to come by in a society, the more men prefer plump women.

Kerri Johnson, an associate professor in the departments of communication studies and psychology at UCLA, thinks it’s likely we’ve evolved to have certain preferences, but that culture mediates those preferences. When she asks people to pick out how their mind’s eye sees the “average” woman, test subjects choose thinner women with smaller waist-to-hip ratios than reality.

“Our mental representation of the average woman is more extreme than anything you will see in Vogue,” she said. “And this happens by age 5.”

Still, context matters.

When UCLA researchers asked to select among a number of possibilities, men entering a university dining hall — presumably hungry — preferred slightly heavier women than did men leaving — and presumably no longer hungry. Similarly, men with more money in their wallets — and so “resource rich” — preferred thinner women than did men who had no money in their pockets.

When we are establishing ideals for body shapes, Johnson said, we may actually be seeking strong cues for masculinity and femininity. For example, in her studies, people often say smaller is better for a woman’s waist.

“At some point you’d think that a very small waist-to-hip ratio would be seen as unnatural and unattractive, but we have not hit that lower boundary. In fact, people tell us they look natural and very attractive even when shaped like Barbie.” That holds true across genders.

But why do both men and women prefer more extreme female bodies?

“Media exposure does not account for everything,” Johnson said. Rather, our preference may be about survival.

When confronted with an ambiguous body shape, our default setting is to assume we’re looking at a male. Males can represent danger, which may be why most men and women think hyper-masculine men are not as attractive as men with somewhat softer features.

Perhaps, Johnson suggested (and she is beginning to research this idea), both men and women prefer more extreme female body shapes out of self-protection. Barbie, after all, doesn’t look dangerous, though she could break your heart.

And maybe the very idea of an ideal doesn’t matter.

“Even though we are aware of ideal bodies, it’s not like we reject people if they don’t have perfect bodies,” Lamm told TODAY. “We decide our life partners on many factors (personality, character, etc). Whether or not someone is an ideal body type is not that important at the end of the day.”

This story originally published in 2014