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Two thirds of us are actively trying to lose weight, but is model-thin really that appealing? Melissa Field hit the streets with this billboard - bearing images of women sized 6 to 16 - to find out.

  • 87.5cm is the average waist size of Australian women aged over 25 - an increase of 2cm in five years*
  • 67.7kg is the average weight of Australian women†
  • In our study, men were more evenly divided between all the sizes than women – suggesting they’re less focused on one body shape than we might think
  • Less than 10% of the people canvassed voted for a size 6 or 8
  • 13% of men voted for size 14 - nearly twice the number who voted for size 6
  • One in four people thought a size 14 or 16 were the sexiest body shapes
  • 16 is the average Australian dress size‡
  • 18 is the average US dress size#


How They Voted

Janelle Jones, 41, full-time mum, chose size 12."This girl exudes natural glamour - she's healthy looking, not too thin, her hair is glossy and fabulous."
Monique Schwarz, 20, student, and Anthony Bellantoni, 22, scientist, both chose size 12.Monique: "She glows with good health. I wish I had her hair; it's fabulous. Lucky girl!"Anthony: "She's really pretty, with nice hair and great legs. She's athletic in a sexy kind of way!"
Luke Smart, 28, IT worker, chose size 12."Like many guys, I like women to have a few curves. She looks gorgeous, her eyes sparkle, her smile lights up her face and her shape is perfect: fit and curvy."

Read more comments from our vox pop in the January issue of marie claire.

  • AusDiab 2004/05 study. †Overweight and Obesity in Adults, Australia, 2004-05, Australian Bureau of Statistics. ‡National Size and Shape Survey of Australia, University of Adelaide, 2003. #Size USA survey 2004