"Apparently This Matters" is CNN Tech's weekly, offbeat look at the social Web
This week, Jarrett ponders a popular study saying women prefer skinny men
Or, at least women in Latvia -- that's where the study was conducted
Science says it boils down to immune systems -- not jeans shorts
Editor’s Note: Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the interwebs.
As I write this from the breakfast bar in my house, I just now finished eating a Lean Pocket for lunch. And it was awesome. Those delicious, microwavable little bastards complete me.
But, despite the fact that this particular food-like product does, in fact, emphasize the word “lean,” I didn’t actually eat it because I’m concerned about my weight. I ate it because I have embarrassingly low standards.
Tonight’s dinner: Something edible.
Fortunately, I live alone and, unless my dog’s palate suddenly shifts from Beggin’ Strips as the gold standard for fine cuisine, there’s really nobody here to judge me.
Nevertheless, Lean Pockets do claim, at least by name alone, to be somewhat easy on the waistline. Which is a good thing, because, according to a new trending study, heterosexual women may be more attracted to men who are thin.
Not surprisingly, 9 out of 10 belts agree. Though, to be fair, that 10th belt is really kinky and likes being dominated.
“Yes! Yes! Stretch me to the limit! Oh, it hurts so good! Now burn me with your cigarette!”
“Whoa, belt. That just got weird.”
The study, first published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B and later reported in LiveScience, quickly became a popular read throughout the Internet after it sort of debunked the idea that most women are instinctively drawn to guys who posses “evolved” macho features. Or what you might call PBM: Protective Boyfriend Material.
This, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean that ladies aren’t attracted to masculinity, but the recent findings by Vinet Coetzee of the University of Pretoria in South Africa simply suggest women might subconsciously focus first on a man’s weight – or lack thereof – before rejecting him for other reasons.
Unfortunately, the finer details of the study get fairly complicated beyond that. But somehow it all oddly boils down to the strength of a man’s immune system.
Apparently, somewhere in a woman’s brain – most likely in a weird, strategic spot that blocks her ability to care deeply about the importance of a baseball player’s on-base percentage – there’s a little chunk of gray goo that instantly determines whether or not a man’s genes are worthy enough to pass on to future generations.
For example, the average heterosexual woman’s brain will make the following immediate determinations:
And immunity, the study says, has long been considered a major factor in these immediate genetic determinations.
So, tying this back to the importance of being thin, Coetzee explains, “We found that a man’s weight serves as a better indicator of the relationship between immune response and attractiveness than masculinity does. It is therefore more likely that Latvian women use weight, rather than masculinity, in their subconscious judgments of a man’s immunity.”
The interesting word there is “Latvian.”
I don’t really know if it matters or not that the female lusting tendencies of a small Baltic country of just over 2 million people have the honor of speaking for women all over the planet, but, alas, that’s who they used for the study. And I approve. They seem nice.
Besides, where else should they have done their research? Florida?
“According to our results, all women instantly swoon for a man in jorts.”
Unless it’s Carrot Top.