But you’ve said that men prefer more realistically sized women, and yet it’s common practice to comment that any woman who is in the public eye who doesn’t look like a starlet is too fat. Comedian Amy Schumer is a size 6 and is routinely targeted for not being thinner. Men say this way more than women do. It’s a male go-to insult. You can’t have it both ways. Women are starving themselves and men are agreeing that they should — and not just men in the fashion industry.

Red Online writes of the study, “The most popular card depicted a female body with a BMI of 19, which is borderline underweight and associated with youth.” Okay, so not only do men apparently prefer women thinner and younger, they also prefer women who are borderline underweight (according to the standard of BMI used in this study)? This is another toxic idea to perpetuate, and it’s here that we have a responsibility to talk about the immense pressure studies like this (and the way we talk about them) puts on women.”

Plus, little girls start obsessing about their bodies in first grade. If men don’t care that their daughters (and children in their community if they are not parents) are prone to anorexia and eating disorders starting in elementary school, and don’t care to do anything about it, that’s pretty selfish. But the fact of the matter is, many men do buy into this beauty ideal. They do want women to be ultra-thin. Not runway model skeletal thin, but Hollywood thin. It’s gotten a bit better in the past five years, with more body diversity but only because women have been screaming bloody murder.

I think our agreement is that a desire for excessive thinness is a cultural issue. Our disagreement is who is driving that culture. I believe men drive it just as much or more than women.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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