Being sexy may not be an exact science, but one New York City fashion designer insists he has a no-fail formula no matter your measurements. The secret is symmetry.
Bradley Bayou, author of "The Science of Sexy," insists that balance, not body type, is the key to fashion and physical attraction. "What we are attracted to, what we find sexy, are things that are symmetrical. Research backs that up," Bayou told The Associated Press. "Women try to force their figures into fads and trends, even if they're not flattering to them, because they think they're 'sexy.' But it's really all about balancing the body."
Bayou knows of what he speaks. A former creative director at Halston, he has created red carpet gowns for celebrities with very different body types, including Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria. "All these women are sexy, and they're all different. The one thing in common, though, is that they're not emaciated," Bayou explained to AP. "If that's what magazines say is sexy, they're wrong."
Bayou has identified 12 distinct body types and determined the best clothing for each. For example:
Bayou acknowledges that while you can't change your body, you can change the way you dress. "Everywhere you look in nature, it's always balanced. A tree is balanced, even looking, even though it's not exactly the same on both sides," he told AP. "Yes, you'll have imperfections, but if you pull it all together, they'll be balanced."
- Short hourglass shapes should wear jackets that fit snugly at the waist and skirts that are semicircles or A-lines.
- Tall, boyish shapes should wear tops with a V or scoop neckline with a pleated skirt or straight-leg pants that have angled pockets.
This theory is backed up by University of New Mexico biologist Randy Thornhill who has studied the link between symmetry and physical attraction. In nature, optimal developmental health is typically based on bilateral symmetry. He says this signals to others that the individual would be a strong and healthy mate capable of producing strong and healthy offspring. Although Thornhill's research focuses on facial symmetry, he says the same rules apply to breasts, buttocks and thighs.
"With women, bodily symmetry is conveyed in the face but also how she mobilizes--how she walks, a more attractive gait," Thornhill told AP. "When dancing, symmetrical people are more attractive when they dance. It comes out in the grace and movement."
What is the one thing that looks good on any body shape? Bayou says that would be a wrap dress. As well as the ultimate accessories: pride and a sense of humor.
--From the Editors at Netscape