Celebrity culture and body image issues aside, women of “normal” weight are by far the most attractive to the opposite sex. College-age men asked to rate headshots of their counterparts judged women in the normal weight range more attractive. “This sends a strong message to all the girls out there who believe you have to be underweight to be attractive,” a researcher tells the BBC.
The normal-weight women were also deemed healthier—which they were, according to quick physical exams administered before the test. “The people making judgments in our study were all between the ages of 18 and 26 and they did not rate underweight girls most attractive,” the researcher continues. “They preferred normal weight girls.” The researchers stress that being overweight is as unhealthy as underweight, and that it shows. “Other people can spot this in their face.”