The Ideal Body Type According to 65,000 Women Might Surprise You

The kind of man that women say they're attracted to isn't necessarily what you'd expect.

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American popular culture tends to place a huge emphasis on physical appearance. If you walk past any newsstand, you'll see rows of abs and muscular arms featured on the covers of glossy magazines. The actors and models Americans idolize are often in impeccable shape, so it may come as a shock that the majority of American women don't actually desire this body type. According to a 2018 study, most women's ideal body type is an "average" body.

The study, conducted by researcher Tanja Gerlach at the University of Göttingen, MyONE Condoms, and Clue, is one of the largest, most comprehensive surveys done to date about what women are seeking in a partner—both long-term and short-term. One of the many questions the study asked 64,860 women was what body type they were most interested in.

According to the survey, very muscular bodies were not all that popular, only being selected by 2.5 percent of heterosexual women as ideal. In great news for the average Joes of the world, the reigning champion was the "average" body type. The survey found that 44.8 percent of women wanted an "average" body type, followed by the "fit, athletic" body type (34.8 percent).

Couple on the couch together
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Somewhat surprisingly, most women only believed body type to be moderately important, with just 17.4 percent of women saying it was very important to them. More important than body type was height. The majority of heterosexual women placed a moderate to high importance on how their potential partner measured up, with 32.6 percent of women viewing a long-term partner's height as very important. Most women (81.7 percent) just wanted their partner to be taller than them. However, some women (10 percent) wanted their partner to be significantly taller than them.

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The most important physical features for women looking for a long-term partner were an attractive smile and attractive eyes, according to the study. So, if your body is not ready for the cover of Sports Illustrated, don't fret—the majority of women are looking for an "average" body type with kind eyes and a winning smile. Flash your date a grin and feel confident in your "averageness." And to to find out which bad habit will cause you to drive dates away, 60 Percent of People Won't Date Someone Who's Bad at This, Research Shows.

Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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