British women hanker after a curvy hourglass body shape rather than trying to be ultra slim, preferring Kate Winslet to Kate Moss, according to a poll published Wednesday. Sixty per cent admitted to being either an "apple" or "pear shape," but 75 per cent said they wanted a figure like Catherine Zeta-Jones or Marilyn Monroe, against only 10 per cent who wanted to squeeze into a slim size 10 dress.
The findings reflect changing attitudes in Britain -- where obesity is a growing problem -- among women tired of the so-called Size Zero culture long fuelled by advertising and the fashion industry. "The report shows that women's attitudes to slimming over the last 50 years have changed with their figures," said Laura Bryant of the food company which commissioned the poll of 2,000 women.
"It seems British women have lost their waists but now they are demanding them back." And she added: "They are more concerned about getting a curvy hourglass shape like their grandmothers instead of being the perfect size 10 which shows a marked shift in attitude from the 80s and 90s, when success and failure when slimming was benchmarked against fitting into certain sized clothes."
A top-10 list of female celebrities whose shape inspired women was topped by buxom TV cook Nigella Lawson and actresses Helen Mirren, Judy Dench, and Joanna Lumley.
The findings might raise eyebrows in neighbouring France, which has the highest proportion of clinically underweight women in Europe, according to a study published in April.
Only half of those French women think they are thin, said the study, noting that in Britain, Spain and Portugal, the number of women who see themselves as seriously skinny easily outstrips the number who actually are.
A study last December found that one in three adults in England will be obese by the time London hosts the 2012 Olympics.
Between 1993 and 2004 the proportion of obese people rose "significantly", from almost 13.6 per cent to 24 per cent among men and from almost 17 per cent to 24.4 per cent among women, according to University College London researchers.