Men and women share strikingly similar views of what constitutes the ideal shape, with both saying women should aspire to being slim-waisted but curvy, a study has found.
What might not have been so obvious, was that it was women who chose the curvier body.
When it came to the ideal male body, both sexes also agree that it would be muscular, with a narrow waist and wide shoulders and chest, the classic V-shaped torso, the Daily mail reported.
However, men’s ideal male body had a bulkier chest and bigger thighs than the version given by women.
Celebrities that fit the female ideal include Kelly Brook, while Daniel Craig and Sir Chris Hoy embody male physical perfection.
Newcastle University researchers quizzed 80 heterosexual students with an average age of 19 about the ideal body size and shape, both for themselves and their partners. They then used a design programme to create their ultimate body shapes.
The findings reveal that both sexes selected images of women at the bottom of the healthy weight scale with a Body Mass Index of around 19, while the ideal images of men – again from both sexes – were at the top with a BMI of 25.
The healthy range for BMI – a measure of weight in comparison to height – is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Of the 40 women who took part in the survey, 39 designed a body slimmer than their own, even though they had a healthy weight.
“They should be happy with their shape, but this research shows that they still want to be thinner, which indicates they are at greater risk of developing an eating disorder,” lead researcher Dr Martin Tovee said.
“In contrast, the men want to be more muscular. That requires going to the gym, and if they can’t be bothered, then there is no serious harm.
“Much of what we found isn’t surprising, in that healthy body shapes are also the most attractive, which from an evolutionary point of view makes sense,” he added.