This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but someone’s body shape and the way they walk can help make them more attractive to others.
According to several recent studies, women who wiggle when they walk and men who walk with a shoulder swagger, are perceived as more attractive than those without a "sway".
The studies (which were conducted at New York University and Texas A&M University) give scientific backing to Marilyn Monroe’s decision to adjust the stiletto heels of her shoes, making one heel shorter than the other so she swayed as she walked.
“People have always tried to identify the magical formula for beauty, and we knew body shape was important, but we found movement was also key," Kerri Johnson of New York University says.
“When encountering another human, the first judgment an individual makes concerns the other individual’s gender,” Johnson explains. “The body’s shape, specifically the waist-to-hip ratio, has been related to gender identification and to perceived attractiveness, but part of the way we make such judgments is by determining whether the observed individual is behaving in ways consistent with our culture’s definitions of beauty and of masculinity/femininity. And part of those cultural definitions involves movement.”
According to Johnson, three of the five studies used animated silhouettes of people, with volunteer participants asked to rate their attractiveness without telling them the gender.
She said the attractiveness ratings of women were over 50 percent higher when they walked with a feminine hip sway.
Attractiveness ratings of men more than doubled when they walked with masculine shoulder swagger.
The other two studies involved training people to walk in different ways and asking other participants to judge their attractiveness.
The findings reflect the views of over 700 individuals who participated in the five studies.