Human body shape is a complex phenomenon with sophisticated detail and function. The general shape or figure of a person is defined mainly by the molding of skeletal structures, as well as the distribution of muscles and fat. Skeletal structure grows and changes only up to the point at which a human reaches adulthood and remains essentially the same for the rest of his or her life.
During puberty, differentiation of the male and female body occurs for the purposes of reproduction. In adult humans, muscle mass may change due to exercise, and fat distribution may change due to hormone fluctuations. Inherited genes play a large part in the development of body shape.
Physical attractiveness is the degree to which a person's physical traits are considered aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. The term often implies sexual attractiveness or desirability, but can also be distinct from the two; for example, adults may regard children as attractive for various reasons. There are many factors which influence one person's attraction to another, with physical aspects being one of them. Physical attraction itself includes universal perceptions common to all human cultures, as well as aspects that are culturally and socially dependent, along with individual subjective preferences.
In many cases, humans attribute positive characteristics, such as intelligence and honesty, to physically attractive people without consciously realizing it. From research done in the United States and United Kingdom, it was found that the association between intelligence and physical attractiveness is stronger among men than among women. In recent times, evolutionary psychologists have tried to answer why individuals who are more physically attractive should also on average be more intelligent, and have put forward the notion that both general intelligence and physical attractiveness may be indicators of underlying genetic fitness.
Fat feminism or fat-positive feminism is a form of feminism that argues overweight women are economically, educationally, socially and physically disadvantaged due to their weight. Instead of losing weight, fat-positive feminists promote acceptance for women of all sizes and oppose any form of size discrimination. Fat feminism originated during second-wave feminism, and has not met mainstream acceptance. However, fat-positive feminism is a growing field within third-wave feminism. While very closely affiliated with the fat acceptance movement, fat feminists focus on women who are discriminated against because of their size.
According to Monica Persson, over 56 percent of obese or overweight women have answered that they have been treated disrespectfully by their physicians, and 46 percent view their physicians as uncomfortable with the women's unhealthy weight.