Oliver James, writing in The Guardian, draws attention to research that investigates the connection between achievement and thinness in women. Studies have shown that a female preference for smaller breasts and buttocks when viewing female silhouettes is associated with ‘masculine’ careers and greater academic achievement. Could this be partly because women with a curvy shape are perceived, on average, to be less competent and less intelligent?
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The assertion of the article that ‘career women’ strive for more masculine figures is highly speculative. After all, a thin figure might simply be the result of avoiding a curvy figure, rather than the striving for a ‘masculine’ ideal. Other claims that female emancipation is historically associated with a slighter silhouette might be a coincidence. Nevertheless, there’s some interesting circumstantial evidence here.