What does the perfect woman look like in 2020?
If I’d asked men to tell me what their perfect woman looks like ten years ago, I’d have been inundated with ‘I’m a legs man’ or ‘I’m a breasts man’.
Hair colour would have also been hotly contested with the argument mainly between ‘blonde’ or ‘brunette’.
Pose the same question in 2020 and the response couldn’t be more different.
‘The first thing I’m drawn to in a woman is the eyes,’ one man wrote to me on Twitter.
‘Thin doesn’t play an important part, nor does height or breast size. The key thing for me is personality.’
‘I don’t really have an ideal type,’ tweets another. ‘I find confident, intelligent, funny women attractive and they come in all shapes, sizes and colours.’
Hang on a minute! Aren’t men supposed to be obsessed with Kim K curves, or Leonardo’s favoured Victoria Secret model types? Impossibly long legs, toned torsos and tangled long hair, topped off by big breasts?
Our image of female ‘perfection’ has changed more dramatically in the past ten years than the preceding one hundred, according to National Geographic magazine.
Just as welcome is men’s acceptance and solidarity for change, as we move away from unrealistic body ideals.
(Either that or they’re more politically correct with their posts than I suspected!)
Has our vision of the perfect body changed in 2020? Sex-pert Tracey Cox takes a look at thwe things men will always be drawn to and what the perfect woman looks like today (stock picture)
The things men will always be drawn to
Men will always be attracted to certain traits for evolutionary reasons: we’re hardwired to find certain things appealing to keep the human race in existence.
Youth, wide ‘child-bearing’ hips, glossy hair and clear, glowing skin. Enough flesh covering the bones to suggest good food is plentiful and available.
All of these things communicate a woman’s ability to fall pregnant and feed the baby when its born.
The universal attractiveness of this type of body shape (in the Western world) is backed up by science.
A 2016 study by the University of Texas revealed the perfect female body measurements to be 39-25-36 inches (bust-waist-hip ratio) and 1.68m (five foot five inches) in height.
Tracey gives her top sex position to put your assets in the best light and hide the bits you’re not happy about
The scientifically perfect body should (of course) also be ‘all-natural’ without any surgeries or alterations.
Model Kelly Brook was held up as the closest real-life personification of this at the time. Despite being branded ‘plump’, you’d be hard-pressed to find a man who doesn’t consider her body to be appealing.
Is Kelly still considered to have the perfect female form today?
Maybe. Yes. And no.
What does the perfect woman look like today?
The answer to that is…she’s whatever you want her to be.
Ms Perfect 2020 is neither a svelte size eight or a curvy bombshell. She’s both – and every conceivable variation in between and beyond.
There really isn’t a cultural ‘type’ in 2020.
Beauty is less about what you look like and more about who you are. The statement you make, the stamp of your personality.
Even better, our definition of what’s attractive is tied up in so much more than looks.
SEX POSITIONS TO SUIT YOUR BODY MOOD
Some days we’re full of confidence. Other days we feel like hiding under the covers. Here’s how to have great sex regardless of how you’re feeling about your body.
MAKE YOUR WAIST AND THIGHS LOOK GREAT
Having a fat day? There are alternatives to keeping your T-shirt on and settling for (yawn) missionary.
Rear-entry positions are actually the most flattering.
Kneel facing away from him, lean down to rest your weight on your forearms (tummy hidden) and push your bottom high in the air in his direction.
Not only does it give him a visual treat, the angle and position make your waist look tiny and your thighs slim and taut. Put his hands on your hips to hold you steady while he thrusts, and you’ve also solved his hands wandering to touch bits you’d rather he didn’t.
FIX GHASTLY LIGHTING
He wants the lights on, you don’t? Put a candle or some tealights on a saucer and put it on the floor or plonk the bedside lamp on your side table down there. Lighting from below is far more flattering.
Try playing a game using a flashlight. Make the room as black as possible so there’s complete darkness, then use the flashlight to highlight favorite parts of each other’s body. It’s complimentary, plus, because only one section at a time is being lit, it’s less intrusive.
TURN PEAR SHAPED INTO HOURGLASS
Spoon positions work well for this body type. You lie on your side, he lies on his side behind you and penetrates. His hands are free to simulate your clitoris and he gets a great view of your breasts (especially if you put on a sexy push-up bra). Try lifting one thigh and putting it over his hip for an alternative angle and feel.
MAKE YOUR BREASTS LOOK PERKY AND TUMMY FLAT
Opt for missionary, then stretch your arms up over your head and place them flat on the wall behind the bed. Better still, get him to pin you there.
It’s supersexy for him — he’s in control and you’re completely submissive. Plus, it works a treat to make your tummy look flat and breasts appear lifted and pert.
Research has always found men prefer average-looking women to supermodels (having every man in the world try to steal your partner isn’t something most blokes can cope with).
A nice face has always rated higher than a hot body on the partner wish list. But while a ‘great personality’ always got a nod, it’s now been promoted to first place.
‘A woman whose mind is willing to explore, expand, learn and grow, into the deepest levels of intimacy,’ was one of the responses I got when I asked people to describe their perfect woman.
‘You need to have some initial attraction. But I couldn’t care less if she’s blonde, brunette, tall or small. Kind, caring, fun, curious, adventurous – that’s what counts.’
‘The personality, character and creative mind are what makes a great partner and great sex partner,’ one man wrote. ‘The curves, big breast and legs are a bonus.’
‘Beautiful personalities make beautiful people,’ says another. ‘Looks attract me but they don’t keep me.’
‘Strong-minded’, ‘confident’, ‘happy’ were all adjectives used to describe men’s idea of ‘perfection’. So were ‘emotional intelligence’, ‘passion’ and ‘enthusiasm’.
Our ideal obviously changes with age and life experience.
It also depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s sex and a one-off encounter, looks become more important: if physical attraction is all you’re after, it’s all you look for.
Otherwise though, the pendulum has well and truly swung.
Let’s celebrate, eh?
Not so fast.
So why are women still feeling pressured?
Let’s not kid ourselves.
Women are still living up to unrealistic beauty standards – the question is, who’s setting them?
Botox – effectively injecting a paralysing agent into our faces to stop wrinkles – is more popular than ever before. Young women are pumping fillers into their cheeks and lips to the point where they look about to explode and the queues for fake breasts are getting longer.
The Kardashians have had so many procedures they are barely recognisable from the women who first appeared on our screens.
It’s still near on impossible to find an A-list actress who hasn’t resorted to surgery, ‘tweaks’ or fillers in an attempt to stay young.
Instagram encourages us to present perfect images of our bodies and faces and provides the filters and ‘trickery’ to make it possible. Even knowing that, it doesn’t stop young (and older) women developing mental health issues because they don’t look like the pictures they see on their phones.
This is despite many body-positive campaigns – like the Dove ‘Be Real’ ads – which try their best to encourage women to relax into feeling comfortable in their bodies.
Who and what we decide is ‘beautiful’ is a reflection of our culture and our values.
We’re inching towards a society where beauty is way more than skin deep.
But we’re not quite there yet.
You’ll find five new Tracey Cox supersex products on lovehoney.co.uk and lots more info about sex and relationships on traceycox.com.
How the ‘perfect’ body changed over time
In the Victorian era, the ‘fashion’ was a tiny waist – and I mean tiny! Twelve inches was the ideal. Women broke ribs and had difficulty breathing squeezing themselves into tight corsets.
One reason, perhaps, why women embraced the next popular body shape – androgynous – with gusto. The 1920 ‘flappers’ hid their shape in dresses that skimmed and a boyish figure and flat chest were seen as the ultimate.
The 1930s to 1950s embraced curves with Marilyn Monroe and other full figured Hollywood movie stars setting the trend. But by the 1960s we veered back into dangerous territory with ‘stick thin’ as the new ideal.
Wanting to look like Twiggy, the top model of the time, led to dieting and eating disorders that lasted twenty years (and have never really gone away).
For one decade – during the 1980s – aerobic bodies were the dream: Jane Fonda’s workout videos showed women how to achieve a toned but not muscley physique. But the high-cut Spandex still showcased tiny frames.
By the 1990s, Kate Moss was on the scene and even men were encouraged to aspire to skeletal ‘heroin chic’. This was generally achieved either through drug use or starving yourself.
In the early 2000s, the US dress size for models had shrunk from a US size 6 (UK 10) to size 0 (UK 2). Food deprivation with models was a known ‘secret’ in the industry. Cigarettes and diet coke were dietary staples, girls fainted frequently and struggled with anorexia and other eating disorders.
A public backlash forced the fashion industry to do hire healthier models and – almost miraculously – a healthier body shape emerged, becoming more and more curvaceous.
Kim Kardashian’s famous derriere appeared in 2014: she denies ever having had bum implants (though not fat transfer or injections).
Beyonce and J-Lo replaced Victoria Secret ‘angels’ as the ‘perfect’ female body shape and plus-size model Ashley Graham appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the swimsuit issue in 2016.
Today, we don’t just have numerous examples of ‘plus-size’ women – influencers like Holliday and Honey Ross, TV stars like Barbie Ferriera – we have models of all ages, skin colours, body types and diversity.
Models who have grey hair and wrinkles, huge freckles, who are bald, have vitiligo (like Winnie Harlow), tattooed all over. Models who are transgender, non-binary and with disabilities.
Remember when Lauren Hutton created a scandal for daring to become a model with a gap between her teeth?
We’ve become more accepting because people demanded it. The world now insists we are all beautiful in our own, unique way and the commercial world has been forced to reflect it.