A perfect waist is what men consider the most attractive feature in women, say scientists who calculated the ratio for the ideal figure in a female body.
Researchers found a woman having an “hourglass” shaped figure was more important for a man than her breast size or facial features.
They also discovered that men take a split second to decide if a member of the opposite sex is attractive.
A new study found that a man was more attracted to a woman based on the size of her waist compared with her hips.
They calculated that a “waist-to-hip ratio” of 0.7, or a waist measuring 70 per cent of the hip circumference, was the “perfect” size.
Women with “hourglass” figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Jessica Alba, the Hollywood actress and Alessandra Ambrosio, the Victoria's Secret model, were found to posses the "perfect” body.
Scientists concluded that such a small ratio was considered good for a woman’s health and resulted in high fertility.
Dr Barnaby Dixson, a New Zealand anthropologist, studied what different sexes found attractive throughout history.
In his study, a group of volunteers were shown various pictures of a woman, where her hips, bust, and waist were digitally altered.
He then asked them to rate the image for attractiveness and while they studied the photos used infra-red cameras to track their eyes.
Despite most men being drawn initially to the woman's cleavage, it was her hips and waist that were in fact what they found most attractive.
“Men rated images with an hourglass shape and a slim waist … as most attractive, irrespective of breast size,” said Dr Dixson, from Victoria University of Wellington.
Reporting in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, he also concluded that the same formula for the “perfect body” on a woman was a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7.
“It is likely that perfect 0.7 ratio sends a biological signal to men that that woman is most fertile and most likely to produce a healthy offspring, no matter what size that woman is,” he said.
“It is all about the distribution of fat which is directly linked to fertility.
Dr Dixson also studied that women found most attractive and concluded that women preferred a leaner, less muscle-bound physique in males, perhaps giving hope to men that shun the gym.
“On a biological level, women are more likely to pick a leaner, even slightly more effeminate man as they equate those physical traits with being more caring and gentle and therefore a better prospect as a partner,” he added
“Humans simply do not mate randomly.”