These weighty news flashes and more in this week's ‘Sex in the Press’...
Is big booty better? It’s preferable to be shaped like a pear than an apple, according to ‘Does more butt and thigh fat make you healthier?’.
"If you're going to have fat, you're definitely better off if you've got some fat in the lower body. If you look at people who have primarily the pear shape, they're healthy in all the ways that this fat behaves. It's not just less heart attacks or less diabetes, it's all these ways we think about fat as an important organ for our health," an American researcher states.
But to be clear: more butt won’t make you more healthy.
In fact, we can do very little about where our extra fat gets deposited since it’s largely gene-dependent. Area-focussed exercise will not help. Neither will rectal suppository diets.
Thigh gap polarises While big booty gets a boost from the above study, some parts of the world still prefer to obsess about “thigh gap”. This trending term refers to the diamond-shape that can form between the thighs and vagina of the underweight.
“What was once a standard barometer of thinness among models is now apparently sought after by a wider public,” according to ‘How the “thigh gap” became the latest pressure point on a woman's self-image’.
Achieving a thigh gap is anatomically impossible for the vast majority of people. However people who don’t have such a gap are being rated as fat pigs by certain online communities.
"Young women do not have enough female role models showing them action or intellect. In their place are scantily clad celebrities. Sadly, young women are wrongly looking to fashion for some kind of guidance on what it is to be female," observes one pundit.
Women ogle breasts as much as menIf one looks to science, one learns that men tend to prefer staring at the curvy. And it seems women are equally guilty of this “objectifying gazing” on “sexualised areas”, according to ‘Obsessed with breasts: women stare at cleavage for as long as men (we just get away with it)’.
By using eye-tracking technology, scientists mapped out the visual behaviour of men and women as they were presented with 10 females with different body types.
"When we looked at their overall dwell times – how long they focused on each body part – we find the exact same effects for both groups," says one of the researchers. "Women, we think, do it often for social comparison purposes."
“The only difference in gazing patterns is that men regarded curvy women more positively than less curvy women. The women regarded each woman similarly.”
Such gazing has distinct downsides. “Prior research shows that when women are objectified, they are perceived to be less friendly, not as intelligent or competent or less moral” – which in turn can undermine work performance and increase the likelihood of sexual harassment.
"If you think about all of the negative consequences, figuring out what's triggering all of those consequences, that's the first step toward stopping it from happening," observes one of the scientists.
So whether you are gazing at a big butt or a lack of one, self-awareness is the key to making the world a more righteous place.
How objectifying is your gaze? And is there a difference when it falls on the skinny or the curvy? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.