Skinny is Overrated.

Where's the beef?

If you pick up an issue of Vogue or Cosmo, you’ll instantly be bombarded with images of stick-thin models – many of whom are photoshopped beyond recognition. The message behind these images is pretty clear: Skinny is attractive.

When this message is internalized, it is expressed through unhealthy fad diets and eating disorders in both women and men. I, for example, spent the better part of my middle school years obsessively counting calories and living with anorexia. I wanted to be attractive, and so skinny was my goal.

The other day, I came across a shocking piece of data. When it comes to adult video content, the volume of searches for overweight women are four times greater than the volume of searches for their skinnier counterparts. In other words, there may a disconnect between what people actually desire and what we think people desire.

While it’s easy to read too much into a single piece of data, it can help us rethink the notion that skinny is the only form of sexy. Curves are beautiful, too – and, according to the data, there are a lot of people that would agree.

Rather than spend our energy transforming our bodies for the desires someone else, perhaps it’s wiser to transform our bodies for the benefit ourselves. Indeed, eating nourishing foods and honoring your body with exercise and movement will change the way that you look, but it will also improve the quality and length of your life. You may even be able to use the experience, as I have, to build a stronger and more loving relationship with your body.

Today, my goal isn’t skinny… it’s healthy. It’s less about looking a certain way and more about living a certain way.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. I’m naturally skinny due to high metabolism and a heart condition that results with me having an increased heart rate. I’m also considered underweight (27 yo, 5′ 10″ & 128 lbs) due to this and my lack of muscle mass.

    Skinny is attractive – but only in the eye of the beholder that desires a thin person.

    I’m also a supporter of images having labels such as “This Image Has Been Manipulated” etc to distinguish true photography and body image alterations.

  2. I agree completely that healthy should be the goal. My take on thin is different in that, most GAY magazines tout muscular figured guys or MASCULINE features.

    Which is why I have created male thinspiration videos in the past and run a blog called Thintastics on Tumblr. I feel like people saying “eat a burger” or “I can see right through you” is equally as damaging. So I inspire people to love their thin frames.

    Thin is beautiful because it’s my body type. Everyone should love themselves into being the healthy sustainable version of them. 🙂

  3. Actually, this media obsession with promoting skinny as beautiful has been great for me.

    I’m soooo happy to have my man and his luscious curves all to my own self! (and the sex is mindblowing!)

  4. I think there are extremes to everything…too fat, too skinny, too muscular…it’s all about just being healthy. I’m a believer in the “muscles are the new skinny” attitude, but only when not taken out of context. Personally, I do not find anorexic appearing women to be attractive (yes, I’m gay, but I know when a woman looks good), but a woman that has good muscle tone is extremely attractive. Same goes for men. Granted, there will be those that cannot help it to much of a degree (much like Jonathan said), but when I see those that have less muscle mass than my thigh, intentionally, and then wear clothes than accentuate this “feature”, it’s just not a plus in my book. I’ve worked hard for the way I look now, and I’m proud of it, but I don’t let stereotypes and magazines shape me…that’s my job.

  5. No is not!!! I’m thin pretty much like Jonathan and I’m also naturally thin I love the way I look and whoever is gonna be with me is because they like the way I look, I’m not trying to be anyone or to look like anyone else… =)

  6. christopher says:

    well-when i work out i feel healthy-i want to look good-and feel good.i obsess about the weight scale at the healthclub-its out of calibration-needs to be fixed.i worry that ive gained weight-which probably hasnt happened-as i workout daily.i was without a bicycle for almost 24 hrs-mine was stolen at a suburban train station.its my transportation to the healthclub-my licence was suspended-people cant take my total life away.if i was 20-something-i probably would fret even more.—–and Thanksgiving is tomorrow-i right now cant think of this feeding frenzy and Christmas Markets-and all the holiday food-i know im not the only one.

  7. Hi davey, i believe that when you say “it is expressed through unhealthy fad diets”, you might be wanting to say “it is expressed through unhealthy fat regimens in our diets”. Just trying to clarify.

    And yeah, being skiny isnt attractive, isnt beauty, whats really beautyfull and attractive is the self confidence of feeling right with the skin (not a pun) you are dressed, feeling well with what you were born.

    Seems like whats fashion actually is looking good while felling wrong (sick), and thats a deviation of our own nature (there’s why it looks antinatural to some)

  8. OH BOY!! now to clarify myself X), when i said ” being skiny isnt attractive” i actually said ” being skiny by searching being skiny isnt attractive (being for just being). I totally hate this thing of the perfect body, because perfect means “the most”, “greatest”, “highest of all”, and definitelly fashion has been far from it, is the worst secure thing, the fashion changes as much as i change clothes daily, and if you do that to the body is dangerous.

  9. I hate the negative nancies that frequent comment sections, but I’m going to be her now: the photo choice for this entry speaks MUCH louder than the text. Your headline says skinny is overrated, but when the photo loaded, I noticed the shot was not of some hot bear, but some skinny Asian (I love skinny Asians, but you see my point, no?)

    I appreciate the uplifting words regarding body acceptance, but given the illustration choice, the kind words seem empty.

  10. Lets just start by saying that I am thin and I like how I look. You can be a full figured fellow and as long as you like your body, does it matter what other people say?
    Modern western ideas of beauty do not mesh perfectly with the idea of beauty throughout history. The best examples addressing the issue of weight would be from renaissance art, where full figured men and women are featured prominently. Just Google the word Rubenesque. In the past cutting a full figure was a way to announce to the world that you where well off, much like we use expensive jewelry and clothing today. Also, the infant mortality rate was staggering so it was in your best interest to select a gal with a full figure, as they believed that they gave birth more easily to more healthy children.
    The idea of beauty changes from period to period and from culture to culture. I don’t know any trendy women that would be sporting a unibrow around, yet the painting of Frida Kahlo tells us they where considered beautiful. The Mayans squeezed infants heads between pieces of wood to make them larger, they also tied balls or beads in between babies eyes to make them cross eyed, as that was considered beautiful. The Chinese practiced foot binding. The Riace bronzes are excellent examples of ancient Greek sculpture, ey depict idealized geometry and impossible anatomy. I could go on with other examples, but I hope I have made the point that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, and the idea of beauty isn’t a constant.
    New studies suggest facial symmetry and pheromones are the only things that remain a constant across all culture and time.
    If you want to be twiggy thin that’s fine but do it because its what you want, the same goes for if you want to be fat or muscular. In conclusion, do your best to learn to love who you are, don’t change yourself to please others, as history proves they don’t know what the hell they want.

  11. @Jabez B : IN YA FACE WORLD, someone who speak with facts that fashion is extremely overrated, the industry is treatíng us as numbers instead as beings who deserve to be happy for what we are, as that makes us better and more productive

    • I am still a bit of a slave to fashion, but I only follow trends if I like them and many times I find myself ahead of trends and am a bit pissed when everyone caches up and starts to do what I have already, and many times I don’t agree with so called fashionistas or more correctly fashion whores. But they would take my gay card if I didn’t pay some attention. Knowing that a slim tie is in, is a bit different then wearing a meat dress because lady gaga did it, Thank God I was already a vegetarian. Just the same I have a GQ subscription and I find tips etc all the time that makes it worth it. I think body image and fashion are a bit different even if one does roll into the other. Just the same I am happy that someone somewhere is setting a standard, as I don’t want to see everyone in grease stained sweat pants like life is a line at a Walmart checkout. I just think you should take things with salt, and make your own choices.

  12. The “photoshopped beyond recognition” is very very very false. I am a retoucher and I can tell you that models are only perfected but not retouched beyond recognition. And for me a thin body is flawless. I am personnally very thin and I think a think body looks very beautiful and a lot more fashionable than big muscles. But it goes with the body type. Us ectomorphic people will be naturally thin :). But people with bigger frames won’t look healthy while beeing thin so it’s about finding the shape that fits your body type.

  13. That piece of data is so misleading. People don’t have to search for skinny adult-film models, because most models are. It would make no since to search for “slender porn star” when most porn stars are slender. However, for the small majority of people who like overweight people, they do need to search using the term “overweight” in order to filter out the skinny models. So yeah, more people use the word “overweight” in their adult-film searches than “skinny” but that doesn’t mean that most people find overweight people attractive. It just means that it’s harder to find those types of adult films, so you have to be more limiting with your search terms.

  14. re Kate- I wouldn’t be so sure. The ‘BBW’ ‘fetish’ is hardly a minority. It’s one of the biggest adult industries outside of the mainstream adult industry.

    re Jabez B says:
    December 2, 2011 at 3:22 am

    You talk a lot of sense. There is a huge disconnect between what people find attractive and what the media tells us is attractive. This disconnect is less now because it’s has slowly influence our culture, but for centuries, when food was less available, the ideal was ‘plump’,,,,

    BUT the fashion/beauty/dieting industries SOLE purpose is to cultivate self hatred. Billions are invested into laser targeting insecurities – – or even creating insecurities – and offering a solution, at a price. Though, it isn’t a one off deal, because the income would dry up. There is never a way to satisfy these insecurities. There is only a temporary rest bite before they want you to fork out more.

  15. Ladygigolo says:

    I think you’re right about the disconnect! Im a curvy escort (us size 10, hourglass ) and i stay pretty damn busy. I also notice how the few curvy gals on the upscale escort site are always here, meanwhile the rest which are super skinny or muscular with bolt on boobs; they travel every 3 days just to make money. So… ill keep my curves. As long as you’re healthy rock what you got!