Plump women were desirable
FOR most of recorded history, a woman was seen as desirable when her body was plump.
The cultural belief that to be fat was to be attractive was due to the uncertainty of food supplies in pre-industrial and early industrial societies, to the irregular occurrence of famines, and to the effects of disease.
A curvaceous female body indicated that the husband (or father) was prudent, efficient, and affluent.
It also indicated the woman was prepared for times of food shortage.
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Her family would be protected because she had sufficient food stored to meet the shortage.
For the past three decades the public perception has been that a woman is attractive, desirable, and successful when she is slim. The features needed to become a successful fashion model have become more detailed and emphasise body shape in addition to thinness.
D F Courtney