What is the Most Attractive BMI? What Should You Weigh to Look Your Hottest?

What is the most attractive BMI? What should you weigh to look your hottest?

What’s your Body Mass Index (BMI)? What do you mean you don’t know? This is probably one of the most important figures you will ever find out. This is the number that protects you from obesity. The most attractive BMI is a number that’s particular to you – and one you must find out. Really, what is the most attractive BMI?

It is possible to be obese if you weight only 100 pounds, or 45 kilos. How? It’s all to do with your height. Every person, (I don’t care who they are) should become familiar with their BMI.

Yes, yes. I know what you are going to say. BMI is not a calculation that is recommended for children. Or athletes. Or old people. Or people of Asian descent. Or pregnant women. It is not without its flaws.

Want to know more about understanding the BMI formula? Here is your 10 point BMI Cheat Sheet

What the hell is BMI?

most attractive BMI

Calm down. It’s nothing sinister. If you’re old school, grab a calculator. If your nu skool – go to this BMI link for instant gratification, no matter if imperial or metric is your thing.

Now you know your BMI – let’s be very clear about what this means:

  • If the number is 18.5 and below, your weight is too low. This is not ideal.
  • If the number ranges from 18.5 to 24.9, your weight is normal – congratulations and maintain it here.
  • If the number ranges from 25.0 to 30.0, you are overweight.
  • 30.0 to 35.0 indicates obesity.
  • 35.0 to 40.0 indicates morbid obesity.
  • 40.0 and above indicates hyper-obesity

most attractive BMI

What’s the most attractive BMI?

There have been many studies done on this.

A recent University College London paper called Female physical attractiveness in Britain and Malaysia: A cross-cultural study asked 682 men to give a score to photos of women. This was then collated and the most attractive BMI was found to be 20.85.

To put that in a frame of reference, a woman who is 5 foot 6 or 168 centimeters tall would have to weigh 58.5 kilos or 129 pounds. The study also found that 75% of a woman’s physical attractiveness to men is determined by her BMI.

The study also looked at waist-to-hip ratio, leg length and other attractiveness indicators.

I found another study called Optimum body-mass index and maximum sexual attractiveness (seriously, do these scientists need to get out more or what!) interviewed a bunch of university students and found that they were slightly less specific, but keener on slimmer gals. They preferred a BMI of 19-20.

To put that in a frame of reference, the same woman (5 foot 6 or 168 centimeters tall) would have to weigh 53.8 and 56.4 kilos or 119 and 124 pounds. Now, I’m not sure about you, but I regard those weights as being very low, but given the age of the participants (college age) it doesn’t surprise me. Humans are leaner as young adults than when they pass 30, so I guess it makes sense that college-age guys would be keen on ultra-slim women.

Want to know more about understanding the BMI formula? Here is your 10 point BMI cheat sheet.

what is the most attractive BMI

But if you are too thin – guys are not interested!

The study also showed that attractiveness ratings dropped sharply when the women pictured were below a BMI of 17. The scores dropped more gradually beyond a BMI of 25.

Are we all so fat that we aren’t even noticing anymore?

Yes, apparently so. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Extreme obesity has increased to the point that people are losing sight of what a normal weight is.” It’s also increased 68% since 1997.

The president of the Public Health Association of Australia has said, “Our view of normal has changed. I think that people are not really aware of what normal weight is any more, if you have got 60-plus per cent of people overweight or obese, that has become normal viewing these days – not only for children but for parents as well – so our view of normal has changed.”

Is social media making you feel less attractive and more insecure? Have a read of my new post What makes someone attractive? Social media, vanity & insecurities for some extra tips.

So what should you look like at a certain BMI?

Years ago, I found this interesting Flickr site where people post images of themselves at certain BMIs.

It’s called Illustrated BMI Categories and you can hover your cursor over the photos to see that people have given themselves labels such as “Shauna is obese”, “Tom is overweight”, “Carol is normal.” It’s interesting because you can see that obesity has many appearances, as does normal.

Photo by Lucysol – many thanks

What is the Most Attractive BMI? What Should You Weigh to Look Your Hottest?
Article Name
What is the Most Attractive BMI? What Should You Weigh to Look Your Hottest?
What is the most attractive BMI for men and women? What is the Body Mass Index & why will it help you maintain a healthy weight?
Publisher Name
Alyce Vayle | Content Strategist
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  1. June 8, 2013

    Seriously if you ask me, I’ll say don’t listen or pay attention to this dang BMI of a thing, the best is for one to stay Healthy and love one’s body but nice post tho!.

    1. June 10, 2013

      Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, I find it really frustrating to remember so many – often it takes me multiple tries to get into the most basic sites and apps!

  2. June 10, 2013

    Yes- it’s certainly not the be all and end all of health. I only first discovered it when I was an overweight teenager and discovering how high my bmi was made me take action. It was the difference between my brain justifying, “oh I’m just a little chubby” to “oh wow,my weight and health are not where they should be, and I can fix this”.

    Having said that, health and weight is a very personal journey and what works for one person may not work for the next, and what worked last year may not work this year as our bodies age and change.

    Thanks again for your comment, Kim.

  3. Dave
    November 2, 2014

    I see mistake in yours calculations:

    “the most attractive BMI was found to be 20.85”
    168 cm and 61,6 kg -> bmi = 21,83

    so the question is the most attractive BMI is 20.85 or 21.85?

    1. November 3, 2014

      Hi there Dave-

      Well well – you are most certainly correct! I usually get my sums right, particularly when I’m calculating money, calories or BMI – so I am surprised that I messed up. My original text said, “the most attractive BMI was found to be 20.85.To put that in a frame of reference, a woman who is 5 foot 6 or 168 centimeters tall would have to weigh 61.6 kilos or 135 pounds.” Which is wrong (as you pointed out). The text should read, “the most attractive BMI was found to be 20.85. To put that in a frame of reference, a woman who is 5 foot 6 or 168 centimeters tall would have to weigh 58.5 kilos or 129 pounds.”

      I will go an correct the text. Thanks for your comment – GOLD STAR for you today.


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  8. Joanna
    October 6, 2016

    I am surprised the author regards 5 ft 6 and weight 53kg as ‘ultra slim’. Would be skinny fat at best.

    1. October 12, 2016

      Hi Joanna,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. The person you describe would have a BMI of 18.8 so definitely not “skinny fat” !

      Hope you have a lovely week.


    2. Jenni
      June 21, 2019

      I take it you’re either anorexic or not great at math.

      1. July 5, 2019

        Hi Jenni-

        Hmmm – definitely not anorexic but you can check out my posts on pro-ana sites in the 90s/2000s if you are interested in the subject:

        Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  9. Daniel
    October 17, 2016

    Below are links to two interesting articles that compare the bodies of people with the same height and weight and thus the same BMI. Conclusion? The BMI index may be useful but a very inaccurate indicator of someone’s health.

    Women’s Comparison http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/a43295/bmi-body-comparison-chart/

    Men’s Comparison http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/summer-of-science-2015/latest/bmi

    1. October 18, 2016

      Hi Daniel,

      Yes, you are 100% correct. The BMI index is not suitable for everyone, including pregnant women, children, people of Asian descent, athletes… http://alycevayleauthor.com/2013/10/21/the-bmi-index-is-not-suitable-for-everyone-heres-why/ check out this post I wrote for more info.
      Thanks for your comments and have a great day.


  10. David
    December 8, 2016

    Your BMI looks mighty good there Alyce, are you single?

    1. December 12, 2016

      Hiya David, why thanks so much! Not single, no. Happily married now to a sexy guy! I recently blogged about being married for one year! http://alycevayleauthor.com/2016/12/02/lessons-first-year-of-marriage-married-1-year/ hope you have a great day and thanks so much for the compliment!
      –love, Alyce

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  14. Mr Cabbage
    July 20, 2019

    Even though you are probably not married and not a virgin, God can still forgive you if you repent your sin. Repent now!

    1. August 2, 2019

      Hi Mr Cabbage,

      Thanks for your comment. I am married in fact!
      Love, Alyce

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