Do men really care about a woman’s body shape?

I saw an awesome and simple question on a dating forum that I thought would make a great topic to discuss. Here’s the question:

Do men really care about a woman’s weight/body shape? Do men really prefer skinny women or do thighs, hips and ass actually turn them on?

Before I answer this question, I want to ask you something. Have you ever heard of the term “No True Scotsman”? To quote Wikipedia:

No true Scotsman is a kind of informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample. Rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”; i.e., those who perform that action are not part of our group and thus criticism of that action is not criticism of the group)

The reason that I qualify what I say, especially when it’s about a specific group, their motivations and behaviors, is that universal generalizations lend themselves to being disproven by exceptions.  “Men love curvescan be true, but it isn’t always true. Adding the word “REAL” in front of that statement to disprove exceptions doesn’t make it a universal truth.

All this to say, yes, some men care about weight and body shape.  Some men do prefer skinny women, while some prefer more curvaceous women. Men’s preferences are just as varied and diverse as their own body types. Preferences in body type can be dictated by a lot of things: what the media tells them is a desirable body type, what their own culture tells them is desirable, what their peers tell them is desirable, and countless other factors. Men who date women are not a monolith when it comes to preferences in body type, but the same can be said of any group.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some body types that tend to have broader appeal than others. I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong, just being realistic. Attraction is diverse and varied, but some body types are generally considered more attractive than others. Josh Gad and Chris Hemsworth both seem like cool dudes, but I sincerely doubt that they both have the same level of broad appeal based on their body type alone.

In a perfect world, we’d all be judged by our character first and foremost, but the world ain’t perfect. All people should be treated equally regardless of their bodies, their perceived attractiveness, their skin color, their identifying gender, their race, religion, or creed. But what people consider attractive isn’t governed by fairness or equality.
I don’t want to end on a note that’s so negative though. It is true that some people place a lot of emphasis on a partner’s weight and body shape, regardless of their gender or orientation. It is also true that there are some body types that are generally considered more attractive than others. I’m sure that you can tell what those body shapes are based on the figures that society at large tells you are attractive. With all that said, that doesn’t mean that if you don’t look a certain way that you’ll never succeed in love. It may be harder for you to date if you’re not as jacked as a Hemsworth, but it’s not impossible. People of all shapes and sizes find people who want them, and not just in-spite of their body shape. I’ve personally seen love bloom with people of all shapes and sizes, so if you get the feeling that you have to look a certain way to find someone who will love and appreciate you, I’m confident you can.

Good Luck Out There.

Also published on Medium.