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Studies have shown that people favour those who are of normal weight, and that people caught up in an accident are far more likely to be rescued if they are of a normal weight than their underweight - or overweight - peers.

Here, ESTHER WALKER explains what they discovered - and what it can teach us. But although the most fashionable silhouette in recent years has been an extremely slender one, its not one we necessarily find attractive.

It might help explain, for example, why Pretty Woman actress Julia Roberts found the somewhat facially-challenged Lyle Lovett alluring enough to marry.

Or why balding, bearded author Salman Rushdie - no Adonis in anyone's book - managed to beguile the stunning model Padma Lakshmi.

Because being ugly may actually help you attract the opposite sex, scientists believe.

They have found that having an 'unusual' appearance can be a good way to charm a mate.

This doesn’t mean that they’re not shallow (they are), but rather, that they are consistent and reasonable in terms of “rating” women’s looks.

Like in a normal bell curve, 5% of the women were found to be the least attractive and 5% were found to be the most attractive, with most women falling in the middle 90%.

I’m going to do my best to summarize– and explain what you can learn from it. 1) Men have a very fair assessment of women’s overall attractiveness.They're trained from a young age to be (often) unjustifiably self-assured, to eschew personality and affability for cocksure confidence, and to generally treat people like the feudal system is alive and kickin'. And because of this I think women tend to retain some memory of what it means to be liked (or disliked) for who one is, not how one looks. The bottom line: Ask any woman who she'd rather have as her boyfriend -- the lovably awkward Albert Brennaman (aka Kevin James -- told you he was the crux of the arugment) from ? If the face you see in the mirror each morning makes you wince, take heart.And while you're at it, throw away all those beautifying pills, potions and creams in the medicine cabinet and cancel your subscription to the gym.more - how else can you explain the popularity of models like Jordan or the sultry appeal of the cartoon figure Jessica Rabbit? There is little evolutionary evidence to suggest that breast size has anything to do with fertility or health.Studies into the ideal breast size are inconclusive, and the results vary according to personal taste and culture. Marilyn Monroe, the Venus de Milo, Sophia Loren, Scarlett Johansson - at different times, these women have all been considered among the most desirable on Earth. In their new book, psychologists Viren Swami and Adrian Furnham claim to have unlocked the secrets of attraction. Pick up any fashion magazine today and you could be forgiven for thinking that the ideal female body shape is that of an adolescent boy.Slenderness (as exemplified by Audrey Hepburn) is regarded as a cultural preference. In poorer cultures, being portly can be a sign of wealth, and therefore desirability., though I would probably argue that Kevin James is kind of a stud, and really, that's exactly the point I plan on making-- and we see it in our friends.There are plenty of studies on this strangely anti-Darwinian phenomenon - studies which I think don't answer the question as well as I, with my oh-so-steadfast opinions, can, do, and will. Let's talk about what exactly is wrong with these conventionally attractive men, and let's talk about what is right about these, well, conventionally -attractive men.

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