(Relaxnews) - What is the ideal body shape for a woman? It is a long-running debate, but a new experiment has found that the classic hourglass is the coveted shape in the USA, while China prefers a slender form and Colombia embraces curves.
The study, carried out by Fractyl for onlinedoctor.com, was titled "Perceptions of Perfection" and saw 18 female graphic designers around the world Photoshop the image of a model to reflect what they felt would make the image more attractive to the citizens of their country. The results show just how much the "perfect body" varies depending on geographic location.
While the Spanish and Colombian versions of the image closely represented the model's natural shape and look, designers from Venezuela and Peru favored a bustier image, with Argentina opting for a slimmer model.
The US designer chose a slim but curvaceous shape, while the UK result was made more slender overall. The final result for Italy, home to voluptuous sirens such as Sophia Loren and Monica Bellucci, was surprisingly lean and leggy.
Another country endorsing a wispy silhouette if the results are to be believed is China, whose submitted image featured an incredibly slim (if improbably busty) model. Once translated into real-life dimensions, the experiment's organizers estimated that the woman would weigh just 101 lbs (around 46 kilos) and have an unhealthily low BMI of 17.
Elsewhere in Asia, the Filipina designer manipulated the picture to cinch in the woman's waist, emphasizing her hips and chest. Hips were also on the menu in Egypt, while the South African representation was more straight up and down.
The experiment aimed to "better understand potentially unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how such pressures vary around the world." The organizers explain: "We focused on female designers, as we wanted a woman's view of what her culture finds attractive and to understand more about the pressures they face."
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