During recessions, Americans’ idea of female beauty has more curves. That’s according to a pair of studies, which compared the waist, bust and other measurements of popular actresses and Playboy Playmates to yearly economic data. And in down cycles, the extra few inches associated with maturity and strength are in, one researcher tells LiveScience.
For instance, Anna Nicole Smith was popular in the economically uncertain 1990s, where the svelte Sandra Bullock was last decade’s sweetheart. “Our genetics are suggesting that we make certain decisions,” Terry Pettijohn says, “but at the same time there is this social element.”
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