Physical appearance and sexual attractiveness

Milan DinicResearch Manager
August 05, 2021, 5:00 AM UTC

Women are more bothered about their partner’s height, whilst men put more emphasis on their partner’s weight

The YouGov Body Image Study asked Britons to describe both their own body types and what body types they are attracted to.

Our study finds that three in ten Britons (31%) consider their body to be ‘average’. A fifth (20%) say they are overweight, with another 6% describing their body as fat and 13% saying it’s chubby. One in seven (14%) say they are slim.

Just 5% describe their body as ‘athletic’, with this applying to 7% of men and 3% of women. Among 16-24-year-olds, 15% of men and 5% of women say they have an athletic body.

When it comes to how tall or heavy Britons want their partners to be compared to themselves, Brits are less bothered about their partner’s weight (46% say they have no preference on whether their partner is slimmer/less slim than them) than height (32% say they’re not bothered).

In terms of height, two-thirds (67%) of women prefer a taller partner, with only 6% saying want them to be the same height and just 1% like a shorter partner.

On the other hand, more than a third (35%) of men like their partner to be shorter. Another 16% of men say they like their partner to be the same height as them, and 4% want a taller partner.

Men (42%) are more likely than women (24%) to say they have no preference about their partner’s height.

When it comes to the weight of their romantic partner, a fifth (20%) of Britons prefer someone who is their size, while half (49%) say they have no preference on this matter. Women (53%) are more likely than men (46%) to say they have no preference.

A fifth (22%) of men prefer partners who are slimmer than they are, as do 15% of women.

Of course, whether or not someone prefers a taller or heavier partner means different things depending on how tall or heavy that person is themselves.

Asking instead about what body types people prefer who are taller or shorter in (as opposed to simply taller or shorter compared to them), half of British women (54%) say they prefer taller men while, just 3% say they find shorter men more attractive.

By comparison 23% of women say they like slimmer men, compared to 6% who say they are attracted to men who are chubby. Three in ten women (29%) said they don’t mind what height or weight someone is.

The story is different with men: a fifth (20%) are attracted to taller women, while 27% prefer shorter women. One in ten men (10%) prefer chubby women but 40% are more attracted to slimmer women. Men are slightly less likely to say they don’t have a preference when it comes to appearance, at 22%.

See full results here