Oh, the quest to be the perfect woman. It’s an exhausting process that can sometimes feel like a Tolkien-esque odyssey. You have to worry about fine-tuning your career, your bank account, your clothing, your social circle, your reading list, your workout schedule, your party jokes, your Netflix queue, your blah, blah, blah, blah. The list goes on, and it’s enough to make you want to fall onto your latest New York Times in a fit of exhausted tears. But before you blot the financial section into an unreadable pile of mush, know that we have a bit of good news for you: The quest to achieve the perfect pair of feet has become much easier — that is, if a man’s opinion on the subject matters to you.
A recent study by footcare company Compeed shows that when it comes to what men prefer on a woman’s body, a very small shoe size of five reigns supreme. But don’t fret if you happen to be like the majority of US women and have a size eight or bigger shoe size, because there are two other qualities men love to see on a woman’s foot: red toe nail polish and three-inch heels.
FYI: Half Of All Men Check Out A Woman’s Feet On The First Date
You may assume that men are focused on other, much more noticeable things than feet when it comes to judging women (boob size, perhaps?), but surprisingly, feet rank pretty high when guys are judging female attractiveness. The study revealed that half of all men look at a woman’s feet during a first date, and a third of men make character judgments about the woman based on the state of her tootsies.
Several scientists have conducted studies on this phenomenon and have concluded that there's an evolutionary reason why men prefer women with small feet. A paper written by Daniel M. T. Fessler, an associate professor of anthropology at UCLA, says that dainty feet represent youth, femininity and nulliparity (the condition of a woman never having given birth). This signifies to a man that she is a good option for mating.
Though it may be surprising to women that foot size is so important to men, it’s possible that some already inherently know how important foot size and condition are, because the Compeed study showed that four out of 10 gals avoid sandals and instead hide their feet in boots, sneakers and other restricted footwear year round for fear of unveiling their unsightly feet. Meanwhile, six out of 10 women admit to trying to hide their feet from people because they are self-conscious about them.
You Feet Can Attract Or Repel, Even If A Man Never Sees Them
Before you start primping and preening your soles and toes to make your feet fit a man's picture perfect image, know this: Men have a strange super power that allows them to judge you and your feet without ever having seen them.
A study done by Jeremy Atkinson, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Albany, New York, used two different composite photos of women’s faces to prove that a man doesn’t even have to see a woman’s foot to know whether it’s big or small. And the study showed that many men are attracted to small feet without even knowing it.
RELATED: Why Human Feet Are Bigger Than Ever
Atkinson used “morphs” made up of eight faces of women with unusually small feet and eight faces of women with unusually large feet and placed them side-by-side. The result after polling 77 heterosexual men? Most were three and a half times more likely to choose the morphed headshot of small-footed women — without knowing that foot size was the main difference being contrasted in the two composite photos.
So ladies, as you juggle trying to be the perfect wives, girlfriends, moms, employees, friends and more, try to do it wearing red toenail polish and three-inch heels, eh? Short of naturally having size five feet, it’s apparently the only way to fully be “the perfect woman”.