Old And Fat Are In During Recessions

Get ready to eat, drink, and age naturally because two new studies show that old and fat are in vogue during times of economic hardship. Well, not exactly “old” but “mature” and not exactly fat but “taller and heavier.” The two studies, one using American movie actresses from 1932 to 1995, the other surveying Playboy Playmates from 1960 to 2000, found that beauty icons tend to be slightly taller, heavier, and more mature-looking with larger waists and less babyish facial features when money is tight. Why? Biologically baby-faced features are associated with neediness and small waists and big hips with fertility, while women with smaller eyes, larger chins and bigger bodies tend to be more independent and stronger emotionally. The theory is that when times get tough, it might be better to shack up with a woman who is a survivor rather than someone who looks hungry. My theory? Face cream and plastic surgery are expensive and stress makes you want to eat more. Just saying. Even though nature is sending us strong signals about what is attractive, the social and economic climate subtly changes these messages so that we are more survival-oriented. So bye-bye, Rita Hayworth, icon of the prosperous 1940s and hello, Sandra Bullock, icon of recession-tastic 2010. As if Sandra wants any more attention this year. If only Anna Nicole Smith were alive to share the spotlight with her. [Live Science]