This week the Guardian proclaims that the Towie look (The Only Way is Essex); fake tan, false lashes, sculpted brows and big hair has taken hold across the country. That’s scary.
So is the fact that so many women are prepared to go beyond trowelling on the slap and go under the knife to make themselves sexy for men with, for instance, around 25,000 women in the UK having breast implants each year. Of course some of this number will be undergoing reconstructive surgery or perking things up a bit, often after breast feeding, to increase body confidence – totally fine. But quite a few of these women are getting gigantic plastic tits that will likely put their backs out. These artificial appendages serve no possible function except to draw attention to themselves. Why, otherwise-attractive-women, why?
The thing is, according to a study just published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, when women bag themselves a pair of outsize boobs they may be setting themselves up to attract men with all the political correctness of Jeremy Clarkson.
Researchers Viren Swami and Martin Tovee (of the Universities of Westminster and Newcastle) looked at the breast size men preferred in relation to their attitudes to women. Newsflash: not all men are obsessed with massive magumbos, some actually like small ones, although the biggest percentage (32.7%) prefer average sized boobs.
So which men like which breasts? Previous research has shown that men with more sexist attitudes think it’s important for women to be thin, they like women to wear cosmetics (Towie girls take note) and they tend to be taller than their female partner. The researchers figured then that men who objectify women and have sexist attitudes might be more attracted to big bosoms since these, along with thinness and a made-up face, conform to today’s stereotypical view of how an attractive, feminine woman should look.
They rated 361 British white men on a range of measures to determine their attitudes towards women and then got them to look at computer generated images of women with five different breast sizes, from very small to very large. The men were asked to choose the figure they found most physically attractive. And sure enough, men who were rated as hostile towards women and those who objectified women were more likely to rate large or very large breasts as most attractive, but the man-type having the strongest association with a big boobie penchant were the ones rated as “benevolently sexist”, meaning that they idealize women’s traditional roles but simultaneously want to limit them to a subservient place in society. These are the guys that tell you you’ve got a nice arse as they give it a grope and expect you to be flattered. The researchers suggest that “in the view of benevolently sexist men, a feminine and submissive woman is likely to be someone with large breasts”. These guys think breasts are for men.
And another study by Polish researchers shows that men looking for quick shag tend to rate photos of large breasted women as more attractive than do guys in the market for a committed relationship.
Does this mean then that every ample-breasted lady is doomed to spend her time bouncing cads who come pawing at her luscious embonpoint? Well, having never been on the very well endowed side I’m not sure what it’s like but I feel there must be a presentation issue here. And although neither of the studies examined the effect of natural versus silicone-enhanced breasts I’d hazard a guess that an artificially over-inflated chest sends out signals of sexual availability and submissiveness, whether or not that was the intention. A friend of mine recently divulged that he gets very excited by women with giant plastic tits because they look like they’re up-for-it and will do anything to please sexually.
Well, it’s one view.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting people shouldn’t get boob jobs. This week Jody Appleton questioned whether her breast augmentation compromised her feminist credentials. I don’t think so – it’s nice to have a sexy body and we do lots of stuff to our bods to try and make them that way – surgery is just another one, albeit expensive, painful and dangerous.
I’m just suggesting maybe don’t get a boob-job which is so extreme as to be physically disabling and only serves to attract some salivating sexist lothario who’s just after a quick fumble anyway. Otherwise why not give up even more of your ability to function normally and strap some hideously expensive long spikes to your feet that render you unable to walk. Oh… you did.