Friday Research Fix: Playboy Playmates and Economic Conditions

This paper has been making the rounds, so after a tough week let’s call it the research paper of the week. The gist: Given current economic conditions, we can expect heavier, older playmates going forward, with larger waist-to-hip ratios. All of a sudden, I feel like a man out of time.

Playboy Playmate Curves: Changes in Facial and Body Feature Preferences Across Social and Economic Conditions

Past research has investigated ideals of beauty and how these ideals have ranged across time. In the current study, facial and body characteristics of Playboy Playmates of the Year from 1960-2000 were identified and investigated to explore their relationships with U.S. social and economic factors. Playmate of the Year age, body feature measures, and facial feature measurements were correlated with a general measure of social and economic hard times. Consistent with Environmental Security Hypothesis predictions, when social and economic conditions were difficult, older, heavier, taller Playboy Playmates of the Year with larger waists, smaller eyes, larger waist-to-hip ratios, smaller bust-to-waist ratios, and smaller body mass index values were selected. These results suggest that environmental security may influence perceptions and preferences for women with certain body and facial features.

More here.

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