I recently saw an article on CNN.com titled “Stressed-Out Men Find Heavier Women Attractive.” Curious, I read it, and I was intrigued to see that the likely reason for this is the same reason that larger women have often been considered more attractive in other cultures and times: “because their bodies signify the ability to survive in hostile environments. In today's world, that threat can be as simple as the possibility of unemployment.”
But what really caught my attention was the implication in the first line of the sentence, which stated that if your male significant other is stressed, then we women should “[f]eel free to indulge in that brownie.” It seemed to indicate that it’s okay to eat more than you need as long as it means that you’re attractive to your partner, and that the best way to make sure that happens is to have that partner be worried.
I have a few problems with this. The most obvious, of course, is the idea that what women eat is only about their appearance, not about how they feel. Yes, it’s nice to get complimented on how you look, and to feel pretty, but if you’re tired all the time, can’t do the things you want, and feel like you’re going to die if you climb a flight of stairs, is that really the most important thing?
It also ignores a lot of the other things that go along with perceiving beauty. We’ve all likely heard that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but how you present and feel about yourself has an impact on the beholder. If you feel attractive and pretty, and act as if you are, other people are more likely to view you that way even if they wouldn’t by looking objectively at a photo.
But then there’s also the part about needing a partner to unhappy in order to find heavier women attractive. Constant stress is not healthy for anyone, and certainly not for a relationship. So even if it makes your partner view you differently, if you’re fighting all the time, or not talking because he’s too worried about something else, again, how much does it matter?
Perhaps I’m reading too much into this. But from my perspective, while this may be an interesting result to a study, it is not an excuse to change how you eat or view yourself. That should be much more about what works for you and makes you happy and capable of doing the things you want. That may include eating a brownie now and again, but it’s probably not a reason to have them on-hand all the time.