The New Year’s resolution topping Americans to-do’s in 2015 was staying fit and healthy, followed closely by losing weight. This comes as no surprise considering the fact that our country has a preoccupation with weight loss and bodily perception, one which has crossed the boundary between the realm of health into one of social justice.
Think of the many responses to fat-shaming that have gone viral over the past year alone: The outrage to comedian Nicole Arbour’s “Dear Fat People” YouTube video (viewed over 17 million times!) and the countless celebrities who have called out fat-shamers over social media (including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence, and Selena Gomez, to name a few.)
These instances signify a trend in bodily acceptance and a sort of “live and let live” attitude in regards to individual corporeal choices, but they are also indicative of the massive amount of work to be done before society as a whole can see a day in which this one fact is universal: Peoples bodies are of no concern to anyone but those people.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem as though that day will come anytime soon.
Researchers at the University of Toronto used digitally edited photographs in a study to see how weight loss affects perception of attractiveness. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot.
“Women and men of average height need to gain or lose about eight and nine pounds, respectively, for anyone to see it in their face. But they need to lose about twice as much for anyone to find them more attractive,” reported associate professor Nicholas Rule.
Meaning that based on average height, the amount of weight loss needed to make the people in the photographs more attractive was 14 pounds for women and 18 pounds for men.
My thoughts on the matter are this: YOU DO YOU, FAM. Haters gonna hate. At the end of the day, do you really want to be with someone who would only find you sexy if you were like 15 pounds lighter? Probably not.