Female body image has become the source of a lot of conversation and controversy around magazine covers, and, for better or worse, remains top of mind for many women. So it was interesting (and slightly horrifying) to learn, via a report on ProfessionalBeauty.com, how female graphic designers in 18 different countries across the globe understand and illustrate their country's "ideal" body weight.
Huge disclaimer here: At Byrdie, we do not subscribe to the idea that an "ideal" body weight exists, either personally or professionally, so we are in no way advocating for what you see below. That said, we did find it interesting enough to report. According to UK group Superdrug Online Doctors, the ideal woman in the U.S. (who you can see below) appears to have been photoshopped. While it's not that shocking that she is visibly on the smaller side of the spectrum, we have to say, we're impressed that there are at least some healthy curves spared from the edit button.
Keep scrolling to see how some of the illustrations of ideal body weight compare.
Note the hourglass waistline and slight curves—no doubt influenced by the era of the Kardashians.
In China, a far more diminutive frame is considered ideal.
Sofía Vergara's native country values healthy curves.
Brits favor a look that's less curvy and more statuesque.
The ideal Italian form has legs for days and a tiny waist.
Head on over to ProfessionalBeauty.com to see the results from more countries with equally surprising results. And check out Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients ($17) written by the editors of Whole Living Magazine, if you want to improve your eating habits in a healthy way.
What do you think of these results? Is it what you would have expected for the U.S.? Or is she still way too tiny a target for all the diverse shapes and sizes that comprise America? Sound off below!
This story was originally published on August 22, 2015.