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What Thinner Men Means For Women

Size Matters: What Thinner Men Means For Women

Not that society's expectation for women could get much smaller, but if men's cultural ideal loses any more weight, how will it affect women?

From the rising occurrence of eating disorders and plastic surgery to shrinking pant waistlines (American Apparel doesn't sell its most popular pants in waists larger than 30 inches), men may be the new women. And while the buff male ideal is hardly disappearing, it's hard to say yet whether the slimmer male is a trend or a cultural shift.

Whether buff, thin, average, or just above, size often doesn't start to matter (except when it comes to height) to women until the man is thinner than her. Even when women are the bigger partners, they usually love men despite that and not because of it.


The author of the Guardian article "Thin Is In: In Search of the Perfect Male Body" found a similar trend when he asked Twitter users how concerned women were with men's bodies. Sixty-some women responded; while several said muscular bodies were a turnoff, most said skinny was fine as long the men weren't skinnier than them.

My anecdotal evidence and the quick Twitter survey may not be scientific, but both point to changing attitudes among women and men. At first it sounds like a reason to rejoice — finally, men know how it feels! — but how long until women start feeling the need to be thinner than their 28-inch-waisted boyfriends?

Join The Conversation
Sue00 Sue00 6 years
Chrietine and Sundaydrive... My ex was 6'2" and weighed 138 and that was fine since I am extremely skinny. Unfortuantely that didn't last since I caught him cheating. My current guy is equally as thin at 5'9" and stays at no more than 114, and I could ever be physically attracted to a man who was heavier. Like me, he's fanatic about weight and exercise and obsessed with keeping his body as lean as possible. I love that he so conscious about taking care of himself physically and that he is exceptionally fit and thin. We are definitely attracted to each other for those reasons..
amber512 amber512 7 years
I prefer a man larger than me who can easily pick me up and surround me with his arms. Probably why I am 5'4'' and my husband is 6'8" and we are both have a few extra pounds.
zeze zeze 7 years
I think men look like boys when they are too thin, which for a normal height, anything under 160lbs... I've always like guys to look lean and a bit muscular, I think I would take a slightly overweight guy over a slightly too thin guys, so I'm surprised at these results. Like Matthew Goode to me is the thinnest a guy can get while still being attractive, anything less is too boyish.
whats-her-name whats-her-name 7 years
I've kind of been on both sides of the fence with this issue. I dated one guy who was a little heavier and then almost immediately after, one who was so thin I couldn't hug him without saying "ow" or wanting to stuff a cookie in his mouth. Size doesn't matter as long has he's within a medically healthy range and it's not uncomfortable for either party involved in a hug, cuddle session, or... whatever. I will say though, thin isn't bad, but being small myself, it's comparable to two chopsticks colliding trying to pick up a live fish.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
My guy is lean, 6'1 and 154 pounds, but he's very active (military) and eats a bunch of healthy food. I love every square inch of him :) I prefer my guys on the leaner side.
kulikuli kulikuli 7 years
I'm not a big fan of skinny guys, i wouldn't deny a guy because of it, but i prefer muscles. Then again i'm a slender gal, but with muscle tone myself, so i think it would look awkward if i was more muscular and cut than my man. To put it simply, i wouldn't want to look more manly in the relationship. And i love working out and sports, so i look for the same in a partner so they are ok that i'm at the gym 5-6 nights a week. :-) But to each their own, that's why we all come in diff shapes, sizes, and colors, a little something for everyone right?
icecreamsprinkle icecreamsprinkle 7 years
My boyfriend and I have very similar body types. We both weigh around 115-125 and I'm 5'4" and he is 5'9". Though sometimes when I wear heels I am a tiny bit taller than him, I don't think it bothers him at all. He wears 28inch pants but he isn't bony, just slender.
Sundaydrive Sundaydrive 7 years
@Christine... My boyfriend it the same way 6'1 and 135. Except with even junk food and beer he doesn't gain weight. Appearance wise, I don't think I'll ever be as skinny as him. Which is fine. I'm 5'7, so I'd probably have to be 100 lb to look as skinny as he is, which is both impossible and very unhealthy. So I'm fine with at least just being the same weight.
Blackwood Blackwood 7 years
Who cares, really? as long as the man in question is healthy and not skinny because he has some kind of disease, then it's probably not relevant either way. I guess this could also be seen as a fact that men are shrinking, in the eyes of women and society. I think that in the old days a woman wanted a big man that looked rough enough to protect her and take care of her. Since women don't depend on men the way they used to, they don't see the appeal in big muscles anymore, but want a man that they can measure up to as an equal. That's one theory though and I don't think that all women feel that way. Maybe it's just an aestethical fad like silicone implants or fake tan, etc.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
For now, my boyfriend is smaller than me, but it wasn't always that way, and I am obviously working on changing it. He has an incredibly high metabolism, so he doesn't gain weight easily. It took a lot of fast food and beer to make him gain 30 lbs and ONE pant size. Anyway, he stopped his bad habit and lost the 30 lbs, and now weighs in at under 140 lbs. I would not mind if he wasn't 6'2. He is *very* skinny, I think he is too skinny. He is still attractive to me, and while I don't want him to be huge, the stick skinniness gets to me sometimes. Bones popping out from your upper rib cage is really not that hot, to be honest. For me, even though he is really skinny, not being too much smaller than him wouldn't matter to me. My reason being that I know I'd be the healthy one in the relationship, not the one who is bordering on unhealthy, if not already unhealthy. That's way more important than trying to be way thinner than him. He really does need to put on weight...haha
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Truthfully, it's hard to find a man thinner than I am, as I'm petite. Even when my husband was thinner (he wore 28-inch-waisted pants, BTW), I was still smaller than him. These days, he's gained some weight. He wears a size 30" or 32," and uses a belt. I think I met a man thinner than me one time. He happened to me shorter than me, too. That's really rare.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
I'm not into guys that are skinnier than me. I like average weight. Not too skinny, not too fat, not too muscular. Fit and healthy is my guy.
brindey brindey 7 years
Ok, so I am one of those girls. I am in shape (size 4, work out, run marathons) but my boyfriend is naturally very tall and very thin. I absolutely adore him, and he has plenty of confidence. I am, however, a tad concerned I look thicker standing next to him, and I do love muscles as much as the next girl. Just being honest.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I dated a guy who was about my height and probably weighed the same too. He was pretty skinny. I definitely prefer someone who's larger than me, only because any guy much smaller than me would be frighteningly slim. I'd prefer average over bony, a little soft over totally chiseled. Anyway, I don't know why it's news that a guy might be sensitive about his appearance/size.
Studio16 Studio16 7 years
Too thin is disgusting, as is too fat in my book. I myself am about 10 pounds underweight because of metabolism issues, so you can imagine that me behaving intimately with someone of my size would be like two needles poking each other. Plus, it's just aesthetics. Perhaps because most of my male cousins are thin, and I just associate their personalities with their build, but skinny men look awkward and appear to lack confidence to me. So I usually go for guys of average weight with some muscle.
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