October 8, 2012

Beauty Is Not in the Eye of the Beholder: 36-25-36, Baby.

Source: Uploaded by user via Dan on Pinterest

The other day I asked my 2,600 Nearest and Dearest on Facebook the following question:

“Facebook friends—I have a question: Who do you think the prettiest female celebrity is and why? Not the smartest, not the most world peace-y, but the PRETTIEST? I’ll tell you why I’m asking in my next post after some answers come in. This is not a trick question. There are no wrong answers, or things that you could say that I will make you feel bad about later… cross my heart. I am honestly and truly curious. Who and Why?”

I asked based on a recent interview that went bad when Christina Hendricks was asked:

“You have been an inspiration as a full-figured woman. What is the most inspiring story that you can remember where you’ve inspired someone?”

Here’s the clip:

I was shocked by this interview especially because Christina Hendricks is my definition of “prettiest female celebrity” (only second to Sophia Loren).

Apparently though, you can’t ask Christina Hendricks about being “full figured.” True, if you watch the interview it does seem that the journalist is not the brightest bulb in the box, but she is also just doing her job, asking the questions she is not supposed to.

What I find more surprising about the interview is Ms. Hendrick’s reaction, as if there was something wrong with her admitting to the fact she is “full figured.” I understand that it could get tiresome after a while having to talk about your body, but I think right or wrong, discussion about how you look is written into the job description of “celebrity.”

Let’s get a few things straight. This woman is gorgeous. She is not obese. She is normal, curvy and sexy as hell.

I would hand over my Spanx forever to have those bazoombas to match the rest of my curves. So what is the issue here? Why is the media tearing her apart, and why pray tell, is she upset because she’s the icon for curvy women? True, if you look at pictures of her through red carpet history her weight fluctuates, but so does the weight of every other woman on the planet based on season, time of month and latest emotional break-up.

When I posed this question to Facebook 54 people responded within the first 24 hours. Here are the top contenders out of the poll:

First Place: Audrey Hepburn holds first place hands down (no surprise really)

Second Place: Angelina Jolie and Penelope Cruz

Third Place: Charleze Theron and Sophia Loren

Runners Up: Catherine Zeta Jones, Blake Lively, Christina Hendricks and Salma Hayek

And the top three answers to the question “Why?”:

Curves, presence, and of course, face.

So, from a science standpoint: What defines “pretty”?

“Here’s Looking at You, Kid.”

Apparently facial symmetry is a big factor. Numerous studies have been conducted that show that the more proportional you are, the more attractive you are. This is a universal law regardless of race, culture or sex. Even when babies are shown a series of faces on a TV screen, they will naturally gravitate and reach out towards the faces that are more symmetrical.

Thus, it’s no surprise that Audrey Hepburn is top of the list. She has one of the most symmetrical faces on the planet as discovered recently by oral surgeon Dr Stephen Marquardt. He did an exhaustive cross cultural study using the Fibonacci numbers to create a geometric face template to assess facial symmetry and proportion across different ethnic groups. His findings confirm that the more symmetrical you are, the more attractive.

Not only does this symmetry response affect human beings, but it also holds true for the animal kingdom.

In one study dating back to the 1990s, biologist Randy Thornhill found that Japanese Scorpion Flies with larger and more proportional wing size fared better in terms of acquiring food and in sexual conduct. Curious, he teamed up with psychologist Steven Gangestad to see how this applied to college students. They found through numerous studies, that not only did symmetry play into how much sex an individual was having (more symmetry = more sex partners starting from a younger age), but also fascinatingly, it was a determining factor in the likelihood of a woman’s orgasm. Apparently, those with more symmetrical partners are twice as likely to climax during intercourse.* Also fascinating—the more symmetrical you are, the more likely you are to cheat, probably because people are panting like dogs and ripping their clothes off just to be near you.

“I’m a 36-25-36, Baby.”

As if that is having a symmetrical face isn’t enough to worry about, waist to hip ratio is also a determining factor to “pretty.” In fact, it’s the first determinate in sex appeal. You can’t see a face from a distance but you can apparently see Sophia Loren swaggering towards you from a football field away. A large bosom helps too. Research shows time and time again that the statement, “I love your apple sized breasts,” is actually a bunch of bullsh*t (and all this time I thought he meant it, and more importantly…why did he compare my breasts to fruit in the first place? Eight oz or 16 oz cans sure, but fruit?).

So what is the golden ratio of waist to hip you ask? Apparently it’s a .7 (or 36-25-36). Want to know how you stack up? Before I tell you how, grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a box of Kleenex in case this ends badly. Here goes:

Measure your hips (the girthiest part) and divide by your waist measurement. There you go. Eat up, Sparky, and welcome to the Club!

Out of interest, I Googled our second place winners. Angelina Jolie’s measurements are a 36- 27-36 or a .75. Oh, and in case you were wondering that’s a 36C on top. (I’m sorry, but… really? I think her cup overfloweth a bit more than that. I’d put her at solid 36 oz cans). Penelope Cruz? 34-26-35 or a .74—oh, 34C, by the way.

You really can find anything on the web these days. On this note, I’m putting my bra size in this article, so if anyone I ever date in the future is curious enough to Google me, they won’t be disappointed when the MiracleBra comes off: 36BarelyB. That’s right. You heard me! BarelyB and Pink Lady Apple proud!

Now—back to the article…

Wanna make a baby? If you do, go for a fertile woman who sizes up between a .6 to .8. It should be noted that there is tons of research that shows that success in mating plays directly into the idea of attractiveness. Once again, the rule is the more symmetrical the better. So, if you look like a Neanderthal—sorry, it’s just not your time in history, unless you are a symmetrical Neanderthal, then maybe.

 “You’re so vain, I bet you think this song is about you.”

Creepy factor alert. We actually are attracted to people that look like us, or look like our parents. In one 2010 study, researcher and psychologist R. Chris Fraley of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign digitally morphed subjects’ faces with strangers’ faces. He found that if the morphed face included the subject’s face, they would consistently find them more attractive. You really are in love with yourself. Go ahead, kiss yourself in the mirror. Dare ya!

This is why couples often look alike and probably why people often resemble their dogs—though I couldn’t find any supporting evidence for the latter. In fact, this is so widely accepted as truth that there is an entire dating website dedicated to helping you find your “face mate.”   Even in my non-scientific Facebook survey, I found this to be true. Many of the respondents I know personally. Of those, almost all picked celebrities who resemble them either in style or body shape.

This also explains why Christina Hendricks is my idol for “pretty.” She has a curvy hourglass figure and so do I. We both have unusually high cheekbones,  and sound a bit pretentious when we open our mouths. We both like vintage inspired clothing, red lipstick and dramatic eye makeup. My hair used to be the exact same shade of red, though mine came out of a drugstore box. We’re actually soulmates—she just doesn’t know it yet.

In Summary

There is not much to say to summarize this article besides this:

If you are a 36-25-36, big-boobed, multi-orgasming bombshell, then you’re all set to carry the human race forward with someone who looks just like you, the rest of us will just lap up your scraps. You android.

Also, if I may, Dear Reader, take a moment for self-reflection here… despite my BarelyB’s, I do have pretty good body and face symmetry, but children have never been on my agenda. My hunch is that these hips don’t lie and that I’m actually “Fertile Myrtle.” This is why no amount of my yogic pals trying to convince me that the Rhythm Method is fail-proof will ever pry that daily little pink pill from my hands. If it’s true, that symmetry = fertility, I find it interesting that I tend to pick men that:

  1. I have no chance of reproduction with because either they or I had the emotional maturity of a stoned chimpanzee at the time.
  2. Have unusual symmetry such as a crooked nose, an oddly shaped body, a massive amount of randomly placed body hair, an extra toe. It’s known among my circle that I have a thing for “quirky” looking men. For instance, I think Tom Petty is hot… Seriously H.O.T. That man makes me weak in the knees.**

Is it possible that as a modern woman choosing to not have children, that I also choose sexual partners based on criteria that makes me less likely to produce offspring with them? That on some level I am drawn to men that are not symmetrical? Could it be their draw to my self-professed symmetry and my draw to their lack of symmetry that ultimately makes the relationship fail? Probably yes to all three questions, but that’s another article and food for thought.

What I’m really saying is: Neanderthal man, wherever you are:  you + me = love. Let’s rub noses. P.S. I look exactly like Christina Hendricks, and that’s a good thing.


*the research was conducted male-female relationship only, but one can only assume the same would be true for other partnerships.

** I just want to apologize to the men I’ve slept with who are probably reading this article and are a bit offended by this comment. That’s what you get for sleeping with a woman who writes tongue in cheek tell-alls about sexuality. And you thought at the time it was “sexy” that I know way too much about the pelvic floor and what makes women tick. That’ll learn ya. Now stop reading my articles. I may need you to help me bring forward a mutant generation to battle the androids. Kisses.


Editor: Brianna Bemel


Like elephant Sexy on Facebook.

Read 23 Comments and Reply

Read 23 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Carrie Tyler  |  Contribution: 700