Putting aside the question of natural assets, today’s rexy winner appears to be in starvation mode, a la Angelina Jolie. What the hell happened? What does this evolution (devolution?) in beauty standards mean? Is it part of the erasure of traditional gender identity? Beauty pageants are won and lost based on male preferences – does this say something about what males find desirable?The answer boils down to the triple A. Age, Angles, and Asses. Both women pictured in Susan's post are extremely attractive, but whereas Miss USA 1962 has lusher curves, Miss USA looks younger, has more sculpted cheekbones, and, although we can't see from the pictures provided, almost certainly has shapelier legs and a prettier posterior.
“Forget about the .7 waist-to-hip ratio! I want stick insect arms! Man, I love a woman who doesn’t fill out a dress!”
I don’t get it. Please enlighten me if you can.
What happened was breast implants. Breast implants allow a woman to maintain a higher state of fitness and to be healthy/slender rather than skinny/fat while still filling out a bikini in the right places. You can imagine Miss USA 2011 running along the beach or biking hard while it's hard to imagine Miss USA 1962 doing anything more strenuous than cowgirl. Slender women also tend to age much more gracefully, as they tend not to gradually transform into sexless, bulging pear-shaped figures. And finally, when a woman is slender, it creates an illusion of height, which both sexes tend to find attractive.
Although I prefer blondes and Nordic features, I happen to find 2011 to be more attractive than 1962. But men appreciate a much broader range of beauty than most women tend to credit, and their personal preferences also tend to vary more widely than women's. After returning home the night I met Spacebunny, I told my roommate, who historically favored short, dark-haired girls with serious curves, about how I had met a pretty blonde girl with high cheekbones, grey-blue eyes, and hips like a snake.
"Perfect for you," he said. "Sounds like a boy."
So, male mileage varies. In any event, the answer is that while men's personal preferences vary, there is probably general bias towards slender women, as they are perceived as higher status, less common, and more desirable.