Beauty standards varied widely from country to country. Graphic / onlinedoctor.superdrug.com
Beauty standards varied widely from country to country. Graphic / onlinedoctor.superdrug.com

What the 'perfect body' looks like in 18 countries

AN online doctor's surgery asked 18 designers to amend an image of a woman in her underwear to reflect the ideal body in their country - and were left astounded by the results.

Perfection appeared to vary considerably depending on the country, with Spain opting for a fuller-figured look and China Photoshopping the model to the opposite extreme.

Other countries involved in the survey included the UK, the US and the Netherlands, as were Italy, Egypt and Syria.

Thinnest of all were the retouched pictures from China and Italy, which in both cases, also amended the model's other physical attributes and underwear.

Shockingly, the Chinese BMI is so low, it qualifies as anorexic under Britain's NHS guidelines, which state: "Adults with anorexia generally have a BMI below 17.5."

Not every country venerates the ultra slender however. Spain's entry, the curviest of the bunch, was thought to weigh 10st 9lb which gave the 5ft 4" model a BMI of 25.5 - slightly overweight.

The remaining Photoshopped bodies all came within the healthy weight spectrum, although silhouettes varied considerably.

In the UK, a boyish shape with a large bust proved popular, while in the US, Kim Kardashian-style curves and a noticeable thigh gap was most liked.

The Philippines opted for a similar, if slightly thinner, silhouette to the UK while Venezuela wanted a curvaceous body with a very large bust.

Explaining the concept behind the experiment, the unnamed medics involved, writing on the Superdrug Online Doctors website, said:

"We asked female graphic designers from around the world to Photoshop a female form by making her, in their opinion, more attractive to other citizens of their country.

"Widely held perceptions of beauty and perfection can have a deep and lasting cultural impact on both women and men.

"The goal of this project is to better understand potentially unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how such pressures vary around the world."

Further experiments using a male model are now planned, as are others looking at female beauty around the world.

They added: "As you can see, our designers' changes made some of these images almost unrecognisable compared with the original photo.

"While some remained largely similar with the exception of slight slimming, others resemble a new woman altogether.

"Drastic changes in hair colour, attire, and waist-to-hip ratio were common.

"Some designers in North, South, and Central American countries produced an exaggerated hourglass figure; others in European and Asian nations chose to render her so thin that her estimated BMI, according to a survey we conducted... would fall under or dangerously close to 17.5. According to the NHS, "Adults with anorexia generally have a BMI below 17.5".


A profitable partnership

A profitable partnership

East Ballina Lions and Ballina Fair partner to support farmers

Keeping the heart beating

Keeping the heart beating

Bike ride to raise AED awareness

Skatefest going ahead

Skatefest going ahead

Fair Go Skatefest to run again this year

Local Partners