New study finds curvier women are actually happier

Research out of the U.K. found that women who wore a bigger size were actually more satisfied with their life. Find out why here.

by
Christina Hendricks of Mad Men
Christina Hendricks of Mad Men has been praised for putting confident, full-figured woman back in the spotlight.

Does size really matter? For women, body size may play a role in how they feel about themselves. (We’re pretty sure the same holds true for men, too. But that’s another story.)

Conventional thinking would suggest that skinny women live carefree, contented lives, while larger women worry over muffin tops (and bottoms) and mourn the fact that they can’t wear a size 0.

Good news! Conventional thinking is a crock, or so suggests a recent U.K. poll of 2,000 women that found a correlation between greater happiness and plus sizes.

The poll (done by So Fabulous, a line designed for women sized 14-32) determined that healthy body image and body satisfaction was enjoyed most by women who wore a size 16 (that’s size 12 in North America). According to the results, 74 percent of women in that size range reported contentment with their figures, the highest percentage of all the sizes polled.

By contrast, women in the lower ranges were significantly less contented with their physical appearance. Only 59 percent of the women who wore sizes from 6 to 10 said they were pleased with their appearance and just over half said they wished they were curvier.

While there’s something mildly annoying about categorizing women by size and shape as if they were produce (contented apples, hyper-critical bananas and happy pears!), women of all sizes and emotional dispositions will have to decide what the poll means to them.

As a convenient, never-changing size “sweatpant” the information that women in the enviable size range of 6 to 10 are more critical of their appearance than larger sized women isn’t that shocking. I have friends that wear size 2 who call themselves fat, and friends who wear size 14 that never say anything about their weight, or size, or anyone else’s for that matter. But then again, the reverse is true too.

My preferred lunch companion is always the gal who doesn’t talk about diet, her weight or her physical flaws, but rather wants to talk about the more important things in life.

Can women be happy at size 16? Of course they can. Dammit, they are! The greater revelation — one that’s a long time coming — is that women can be happy at any size. Even more revolutionary an idea is that women can be miserable at any size too. Because it takes a whole lot of women — happy, sad, skinny and curvy just skims the surface — to constitute half of the human race and no one size has got a lock on happiness or perfection.

Do you think you’re happier when you’re a smaller size? Or vice versa? Tell us in the comment section below.