According to a study published in PLoS ONE, men under stress desire heavier, full-figured women over thinner women.
British researchers showed stressed and unstressed men photos of female bodies varying in size and shape. Men rated normal weight and overweight women significantly more attractive when they were under stress. Tense men also preferred a wider range of female body sizes than their stress-free counterparts.
So why might stress shape your judgment of a woman’s body size? The researchers point to previous studies that suggest people favor mates with more mature physical characteristics like curves when they feel threatened physically, economically, or socially. That’s because physical maturity may convey independence, control, and strength—traits that look good in a partner during tough times.
In fact, past research has shown that actresses with more mature facial and bodily features are more popular during periods of socioeconomic trouble. (See where some of those actresses land on our list of The 100 Hottest Women of All Time.)
But let’s be honest: Stressed or unstressed, it’s a win-win if you ever get the chance to choose between Gisele or Kim.