Science Says Women With More Kids Are ‘Less Beautiful’ & We’re Not Here for It

mom and kids

There has always been a huge debate between parents about whether it's better to have a big or small family. But while any numbers of kids has its pros and cons, a new study that's making the rounds shows women with more than two kids are actually found to be less attractive than women with smaller families. Oh, great! One more way moms simply can't win.


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The study was published in the American Journal of Anthropology and explains that "women who had given birth to fewer children were judged both by men and women as more attractive, younger, and healthier than women with more children."

Researchers found this data by taking photographs of post-menopausal women with different numbers of children and then making composite photos to show what the "average" woman in each group looked like. There were three categories that they made: women with 1-2 kids, women with 4-5 kids, and women with 7-9 children. According to Newsweek, researchers then had 571 participants judge the photos based on attractiveness, youthfulness, and how healthy the woman's face appeared.

Consistently the group that ranked the lowest in all three categories were women who had the most kids (the 7-9 children group), while women with the least amount of children consistently ranked the highest. The study couldn't point to exactly why this was, but suggested that the oxidative stress of carrying and delivering more kids really does take a toll on your body.

Newsweek reports that oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals -- molecules that can do damage to our cells and DNA -- and our body's ability to counteract their effects. The placenta is apparently the perfect living environment for free radicals, so it makes sense that the more you give birth the more oxidative stress you would have.

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While the science behind this study is certainly interesting, we have to wonder, was it really necessary to have people randomly score women on their attractiveness in order to make these findings? Studies like this one do a disservice to women everywhere. Already, places like Newsweek are using these results to suggest that women should maintain a certain family size in order to keep themselves looking young. "Moms: Want To Look Great In Old Age? Stop At Two Children" their headline reads.

But your looks shouldn't impact the amount of kids you choose to have. And while this study is the definition of rude, moms with large families shouldn't let it stop them from having the big family of their dreams. Most moms would agree that their big broods bring them a lot of joy and love, and future looks played zero part in their choice to have more kids. Of course pregnancy takes a toll on your body, but that's not how most of us decide how big our families should be. Besides, don't we already have enough pressure to look a certain way without bringing our personal choices about how many kids to have into it?

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