That is the question a fashion magazine (Fabulous magazine) in Britain has asked, and the results are a bit surprising. The question was pretty simple... what size do you think the perfect woman should be, and people were giving a range of dress waist sizes to choose from.
On average British women said size 6 (all sizes US).
On average British men said size 10.
In reality British women average a size 12.
So what does this tell us? Well, it means men prefer women with a bit more meat on their bones, whereas women tend to think thinner is better.
So what about men and women in Canada and the United States, what do they think the ideal female waist size should be? It might be the same, but part of this problem might be that men (in general) don't know the difference between waist sizes.
So lets go to the classic 36-24-36 inch hourglass figure and using an USA size chart we determine that a 24-inch waist is actually... a size 2. A size 6 is a 26 inch waist and size 10 = 28.
Seems pretty tiny doesn't it?
The thing is this is based on an average... some men prefer women who are thicker and even "hefty", with the extreme resulting is what is generally called 'Chubby Chasers' and those men can throw the average off.
There is also a tiny percentage of men out there who prefer women who are (yuck) anorexic or even have bulimia, who will push the average in the opposite direction.
So do men really prefer waifish thin supermodels? Or more curvaceous women, with maybe some love handles? The British fashion poll suggests men prefer the more voluptuous women.
Its not like women aren't looking for Mr Right either... typically described as "tall, dark and handsome".
What seems more fundamental is not the precise size, but the waist-to-hip ratio of 80% or less is more important. Basically you measure the waist and the hips, divide to get a percentage and anything below 80% is considered sexy. The classic 36-24-36 figure for example has a waist-to-hip ratio of 66%.
Small wonder corsets are so popular.
It is so often easier to take the quick and lazy route via cosmetic surgery (which is rife with problems). Liposuction prices for example are based on the bodypart you want the fat sucked out of. And you don't want to be hiring a bargain basement place either, because they will likely botch the job.
A full body treatment of liposuction (from a quality professional company) will cost you about $60,000 USD. Just having the fat sucked out of your arms is $5,000 USD.
And so it boggles the mind that people don't try to accomplish the same results via exercise and hiring a personal trainer. In contrast you could hire a personal trainer to work with you 4.5 hours a week, for 52 weeks, for $8,000. The personal trainer would also provide nutritional advice, motivational advice, and most importantly they would turn your life around and make you feel positive about your body.
And in theory, if you look that good that you feel confident about your looks, worrying about what the opposite sex is looking for will no longer be that big of a concern any more.
To most women, what men want is a complete mystery. So let me make it simple: While it may vary from time to time, men just want someone who looks hot and turns us on.
Admittedly, that may sound a bit slutty, and might explain why men ogle women who dress like hookers. Men want to see a bit of cleavage, they want to see some leg or your 'assets'... but more important than that, men look at your face to see if you look... compatible.
The facial compatibility thing is much trickier than you'd think. I'd describe it (personally) as preferring a woman who looks natural, not harsh, like the girl-next-door kinda look, as opposed to the hardass chic bitchy look that some women tend to have (that look scares most men away). In other words you want your face to look pleasant, as opposed to someone who looks like they sucked a lemon. Like the photo of Priscilla Presley to the right... yikes!
So by my personal standards who is attractive? Beyonce for starters, who weighs a healthy 135 lbs and typically wears a size 8 or 9.
Advanced Corset Design
The Corset Waist: A waist is a terrible thing to waste
The History of the Corset & Brassiere
The Ugly Side of Beauty
Ugly Betty is Beautiful
Fashion Waifs Disappearing