Friday, January 21, 2011

She's Too Fat

Pay careful attention, my sweet readers. A new study has found out that marital happiness depends on the wife's waistline! Or, rather, on her BMI being lower than her husband's BMI. Yup. Here is the most obnoxious popularization of this study:
Ladies: Are you nervously watching your weight to stay attractive for your husband or boyfriend? Well, put down those salad forks. It turns out you don’t have to starve yourself — unless he’s doing so, too.
A study just published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science finds a correlation between weight (as measured by body mass index, or BMI) and marital satisfaction. But the key variable is the relationship between the spouses’ BMIs.
It seems a couple is more likely to experience marital bliss when the wife is at least somewhat thinner than her husband.
A research team led by University of Tennessee psychologist Andrea Meltzer followed 165 newlywed couples for four years. The couples, most in their mid- to late-20s, filled out questionnaires every six months to measure their level of marital satisfaction.
The trends over time were clear. “Husbands were more satisfied at the time of marriage, and remained more satisfied over time, to the extent that their wives had lower BMIs than their own,” the researchers report.
“Wives who had lower BMIs than their husbands remained more satisfied over time,” they add, “whereas wives who had higher BMIs than their husbands demonstrated steeper declines in their satisfaction over time.”


In the meantime, these results may help in the treatment of women with eating disorders. If they’ve internalized the belief that they’ll never be loved unless they’re fashion-model skinny, this data provides strong contradictory evidence.
“Educating women about these findings may alleviate the pressures to be extremely thin that plague women today,” the researchers conclude. Women of any size can be happy in their relationships, they write, “if they find the right partner.”
In other words, size matters — but everything is relative.

Hah. This study has f**kall to do with anorexia and other such eating disorders.

I have not read the study. It may have problems. Its results may not be replicable and so on, or they may be. What I wish to focus on is the tone of the popularizations I have read.

They address the wives. They don't address the husbands. The husbands' reactions are taken for granted, as something obviously natural and fixed. But wives can try to stay slimmer than their husbands! That's the advice we are given.

This is an excellent example of the majority of these kinds of studies. Each of them is like a grain of sand deposited in your shoe, but over the period of some years you walk filled with anger and irritation and even shame, yet you don't understand why that is the case.

It's because the popularizations preach at women. They do.

Not that the researcher's quotes are much better:
Meltzer and her colleagues believe their findings reflect a difference in priorities between men and women. “Several studies indicate that partner thinness is more important to men than to women, possibly because BMI is more strongly correlated with women’s physical attractiveness than it is with men’s,” they write.
“In contrast, because partner BMI is relatively less important to women, relative BMI may affect them only through its effect on men,” they add. “That is, women who have lower BMIs than their partners should maintain higher levels of satisfaction with the relationship because their partners are more satisfied.”
Translated into feminazi speech, Meltzer says that men want slim women and get dissatisfied if they don't get them. Then women get dissatisfied because the men are. It is up to the women to change.