Inspired by Jenn's "apple body" post, I was googling around for the latest research on body image. There was been a quantifiable shift in body preference reinforced my images in the media. Today, women strive for the tubular body type. That's the boyish, athletic Betheny Frankel look (I'm not criticizing Betheny just giving an example).
Here's where the mind fuck comes in. While the preferred body aesthetic is skinny minny, we are in fact curvier than ever:
"In recent years, women's body sizes have grown larger (Spitzer, Henderson, & Zivian, 1999), while societal standards of body shape have become much thinner. This discrepancy has made it increasingly difficult for most women to achieve the current sociocultural "ideal." Such a standard of perfection is unrealistic and even dangerous. Many of the models shown on television, advertisements, and in other forms of popular media are approximately 20% below ideal body weight, thus meeting the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa (Dittmar & Howard, 2004)."
As a young girl, the supermodels of my era were Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington - women with curves and healthy figures. I can't imagine growing up now with the pressure to be 20% underweight. The worst part of it all is that it's not what others find attractive. The average person prefers a woman who's a size 12.
God forbid if you enjoy a meal or eat a piece of cake. The tubular body shape is not womanly. Curves connote fertility that's why men love curves. It's like denying biology...and for what?