The feminist part of my brain is screaming at me to change the title of this article, but I can't deny that one of the biggest motives for losing weight is to appear more attractive to others.
If the concept of a 'revenge body' is to be believed then society deems our weight as a direct correlation to our power and attractiveness, or so Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian would have us believe. Don't worry if your ex didn't show you the love or affection you deserved, hitting the gym and sculpting is sure to teach them a lesson!
Now I am not confessing that this is a sane and logical idea, in fact I think the idea is ridiculous and a complete waste of time, but it did trigger a question in my mind; how much weight would you even need to lose for people to notice, let alone find you more attractive?
Obviously I turned to Google with my abstract question and surprisingly I received a very scientific answer. Associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Perception and Cognition at the University of Toronto, Nicholas Rule, recently discovered that women would have to lose around 14 pounds before other people would find them more attractive, while for men it was 18 pounds.
Let me give you some context; a team of researchers put together a collection of photos featuring both men and women's faces, with neutral expressions and no jewellery. The photos were digitally edited to create a series of images where the participants faces gradually increased in weight. Participants were then asked to rate the faces in order of attractiveness.
The participants found the pictures of the women's faces the most attractive when they were around 14 lbs lighter than their normal weight, whereas the pictures of the men's faces seemed more attractive after 18 lbs. This suggests that women's facial attractiveness is more sensitive to weight loss/gain. So there you have it, if you are a woman, you need to lose around a stone for people to consider you more attractive, whereas men need to lose even more.
There's a line in friends where Rachel's friend, Mindy, says, "'She's all bitter now that she lost the weight and it turns out.. She doesn't have a pretty face." so what happens if you lose weight and it doesn't make you more any more attractive? Or, much more importantly, you don't like how it makes you feel?
It's quite controversial to admit that being your goal weight didn't work for you, and that it wasn't something you wanted to attain, but it's a topic that should be discussed more often in the fitness community, especially when it comes to promoting body positivity.
It just goes to show that having minimal body fat isn't always the right thing for everyone. Whatever shape you're in, look after your body and show it love by exercising, eating well and enjoying your life!