Feminists appreciate varied body sizes

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London, Mar 19 (UNI) Rejecting the vilification of obesity in society, feminists interpret physical beauty as encompassing a wider range of body sizes, a study found.

Fat is still a feminist issue, according to the study in which feminists and non-feminists had to rate the attractiveness of women of various body weights.

A team from the University of Westminster, University College London and the University of Newcastle asked 129 feminists and 132 non-feminists to rate 10 images of women with varying Body Mass Index (BMI)-- from emaciated to obese.

Even though there was parity in the figure they considered to be the most attractive, which was a bit underweight, feminists were more likely to positively perceive a wider range of body weights.

Dr Viren Swami, who led the team of researchers, said, ''The feminists gave higher ratings of attractiveness to higher BMIs, suggesting that they are more likely than non-feminists to reject the denigration of overweight and obese in contemporary culture.'' ''Feminist beliefs may offer some limited protection against the negative influence of sociocultural ideals of thinness,'' he said.

''Although feminists don't appear to be buffered against finding thinness attractive, their belief system allows them to interpret physical beauty as encompassing a wider range of body sizes,'' the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.

Fat became a feminist issue as lifestyle magazines, underweight models gave women the message that ''thin is in''.

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