Why is skinny attractive? Could the answer be evolution?

Discussion in 'Underwear, Clothing, and Appearance Issues' started by Guill, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Guill

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    This is an outline of a thought that I've had for a while of one reason that being super skinny is so attractive in modern society. Often people refer back to renaissance painings of evidence when larger, curvier women were considered the standard of attractive. This is compared to the unhealthy level of skinny that is currently portrayed as the most attractive. The key difference in these situations is the level of available food and the reliablility of this food which brings up the thrifty gene (makes individuals better able to store fat in case of a famine). When there is less food those with the thrifty gene survive and pass on their traits. In modern society when there is far more food available than is healthy the thrifty gene predisposes people to obesity and diabetes. Some modern cultures have lost this gene primarily such as nothern europeans who under went their last famine a long time ago. As a population they can eat a lot of fatty food and not suffer as many consequences. Pacific islanders on the other hand experienced famine much more recently and correspondingly have the highest rates of diabetes (around 30%). The current shift towards extra skinny could be a way to weed out the thrifty gene in the population. Just as russian officers padded their coats to look fatter (a sign of having money and ability to provide enought food and therefore more attractive) being skinny signfies an adaption to better handle a high caloric diet while maintaining a slim figure. Similar to the russian officers it is also a way of showing that they are comfortable enough in their source of food that they can take the risk of being skinny because the next meal is guranteed. This info is based on a lecture about why doctors need darwin and looking at how evolution informs medicine. I know some of these ideas have been kicking around since I'm not that creative to come up with it entirely but I thought that I'd try to outline my perspective. Have other people heard or thought the same things? How might this inform the current eating problems on both sides of the spectrum (obesity or anorexia)?
     
  2. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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  3. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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    When you add up that the average fast food meal with a soft drink comes to about 1,500 - 2,000 calories and meals in a sit down restaurant are even higher, how hard is it to imagine that the overweight population and diabetes that goes hand in hand with being overweight is among us in mass amounts?
     
  4. Guill

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    What an excellent idea. I hadn't realized how long that was and subsequently illegible. I'd still appreciate thoughts but recomend using Mademoiselle Rouge's edited version of my post. Apologies and thanks.
     
  5. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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    We still love you, carry on.
     
  6. Guill

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    Absolutely!!! This is something that I tried to factor in by considering having way too many calories available all the time. Instead of our definition of attractive matching the changes in the population, it is moving in the opposite direction.
     
  7. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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    Yeah i've been looking up the caloric intake of any meals i eat outside of the house and it's enough to make you want to cry. You start adding up some fries, a soft drink and a burger and you've gotten a full day of calories in one meal, you still have a couple of meals to eat that day still!
     
  8. the_new_godiva

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    Maybe it's because we have this "war on obesity" thing going on. We're all pretty aware of the health risks associated with being overweight so we want to consciously avoid it. On the other hand, there are still people who innately prefer the heavier ones.

    Very interesting OP and thanks Mlle for the paragraphs.
     
  9. TheRob

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    70% of YOUR calories go right to your tits so don't be complainin ;P
     
  10. cdog204

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    Why is it unhealthy? I think one could argue that what the common culture finds to be most attractive is quite healthy by any measure. Granted, some people with an underlying mental problem of some sort (depression, body dimorphic issues, low self-esteem, etc.) may unfortunately have a drastic response such as anorexia. However, in a nation as fat as the USA has become, on the macro level I'd rather risk a few cases of anorexia an bulimia to prevent hundreds or thousands of cases of obesity and the related chronic illnesses that it causes.
     
  11. cdog204

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    Exactly right. Fast food is killer. Extreme amounts of grease and sugar. Not good. Here in NYC fast food restaurants have been required to post calorie counts on their menu boards. The numbers are astounding!
     
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