Saturday, May 09, 2015

Waist-To-Hip Ratios

Buffie The Body

Waist-To-Hip Ratios
~The Circumference of the Planet Earth~

In Western Society the aesthetic standard of female beauty has always been blond hair blue eyes. Over the years that has somewhat changed -with women of color and ethnically ambiguous prototypes being marginally promoted as the new face of beauty. What has not changed much is the idea of body type beauty.

For over two decades Caucasian scientists have been formally trying to quantify a standard of body type beauty and came up with a waist-to-hip ratio standard to justify it. I say "formally" because Caucasians have informally entertained this idea body type beauty for many years prior to the research done by evolutionary psychologist Devendra Singh in 1993. One of their most notable fixations being Hottentot Venus [Saartjie Baartman] -the archetype of Europe's crinoline, bustle, corset and girdle fashion eras. This is also where the notion of 36-24-36 body type measurement's come from.

It was discovered via Singh's research that the ideal waist-hip ratio [WHR] for attractive females was a 0.7 WHR. In other words, if you measure your waist, and divide it by the measurement of your hips, that will tell you your WHR. This research was conducted on male populations from different cultural backgrounds and it was discovered that there was a consistent affinity for female's with a curvy figure where the waist is significantly narrower than the hips. According to the Journal of Biological Psychology Waist "Hip size indicates pelvic size and the amount of additional fat storage that can be used as a source of energy. Waist size conveys information such as current reproductive status or health status in westernized societies with no risk of seasonal lack of food, the waist, conveying information about fecundity and health status, will be more important than hip size for assessing a female's attractiveness."

This is one of the reasons you also see some models contorting their bodies in magazine spreads, photo shoots, music videos or exaggeratedly swaying their hips as they walk the runway. They're not simply posing. They're 0.7 WHR posers -giving you the illusion that they're more attractive than what they naturally are. And in this technological age, females get Photoshopped to reshape/redefine their waistline all the time. That, my friends, is one of the subtle sciences of catfishing.

In addition to the blond hair blue eye prototype, the "woman with curves" standard of female beauty is also changing. Not simply because of a male's desire for a different aesthetic but the changing roles of females within society and the hormone changes that come along with it. Androgens, hormones that includes testosterone and is the precursor to estrogen, increase WHR ratios in a female by increasing abdominal fat. Excessive levels of Androgens cause a variety of issues including acne, weight gain, excessive hair growth, menstrual dysfunction, fibroids and infertility. Cortisol, a hormone that helps the body deal with stress and regulate metabolism also increases fat around the waist. What this means can be summarized by Elizabeth Cashdan of the University of Utah:

"Waist-to-hip ratio may indeed be a useful signal to men, then, but whether men prefer a [waist-to-hip ratio] associated with lower or higher androgen/estrogen ratios (or value them equally) should depend on the degree to which they want their mates to be strong, tough, economically successful and politically competitive."

In other words, a combination of diet, roles females have begun to take on within Western society and the accompanying stressors has begun to increase their production of Androgens, change Cortisol levels and ultimately reshape/redefine their WHR. On one hand this has increased the strength, stamina, aggression and competitiveness for females to meet the many socioeconomic changes within society -as female headed households, mompreneurs and corporate women have become common. At the same time and on the negative side, when this increase becomes a hormonal imbalance, it translates into one of the leading causes of poor fertility.

What does all of this mean? That there's much science to back the notion that we are in the age of true Warrior Queens; women of color and ethnically ambiguous prototypes that don't look like Marilyn Monroe and don't fit into one of her archetypal body casts. As I type this there still remains a white supremacist fight to hold her aesthetic standard of beauty on a pedestal. Just recently Vogue Paris featured its first black woman on a cover in five years. That says alot -in light of the historical/classical love affair the French have always had with women of color. It's important for us to reinforce the idea that our women shouldn't covet white skin and another woman's 0.7 WHR to be attractive. They, without that complexion and/or body type, are the true standard of normalcy and beauty around the world. Not because males have aesthetically declared it, but because the stability and destiny of our human family needs it. Our women must be reminded that they are absolutely fine the way that they are and their health, cultural contributions and commitment to our families and community is what our world needs more than ever before.