Waist–hip ratio  

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"Devendra Singh discovered that the most desirable waist–hip ratio was 0.7- a waist that measures 70 percent of the circumference of the hips. An example of a woman who possessed the "perfect" body were Marilyn Monroe."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Waist-hip ratio or Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is the ratio of the circumference of the waist to that of the hips. It is calculated by measuring the smaller circumference of the natural waist, usually just above the belly button, and dividing by the hip circumference at its widest part of the buttocks or hip. The ratio is applied both to women and men.

Measure of attractiveness

The concept and significance of WHR as an indicator of attractiveness was first theorized by evolutionary psychologist Devendra Singh at the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. Singh argued that the WHR was a more consistent estrogen marker than the Bust-waist ratio (BWR) studied at King's College, London by Dr. Glenn Wilson in the 1970s.

Some researchers have found that the waist-hip ratio (WHR) is a significant measure of female attractiveness. Women with a 0.7 WHR are usually rated as more attractive by men from Indo-European cultures. Beauty icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Salma Hayek and Sophia Loren typically have ratios close to 0.7, even though they have different weights and heights. In other cultures, preferences appear to vary according to some studies, ranging from 0.6 in China, to 0.8 or 0.9 in parts of South America and Africa, and divergent preferences based on ethnicity, rather than nationality, have also been noted.

It appears that men are more influenced by female waist-size than hip-size:

"Hip size indicates pelvic size and the amount of additional fat storage that can be used as a source of energy. Waist size conveys information such as current reproductive status or health status ... in westernized societies with no risk of seasonal lack of food, the waist, conveying information about fecundity and health status, will be more important than hip size for assessing a female's attractiveness."|Journal of Biological Psychology

To enhance their perceived attractiveness, some women may artificially alter their apparent WHR. The methods include the use of a corset to reduce the waist size and hip and buttock padding to increase the apparent size of the hips and buttocks. In an earlier attempt to quantify attractiveness, corset and girdle manufacturers of the 20th century used a calculation called hip spring (or hip-spring or hipspring). Hip spring is calculated by subtracting the waist measurement from the hip measurement. However, this calculation fell into disuse because it is a poor indicator of attractiveness; for example, a hip spring of Template:Convert would likely be considered quite attractive for an average-sized adult woman, but a child or petite woman with the same number would more likely be seen as malnourished.

See also

hourglass figure, corset

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Waist–hip ratio" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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