AND NOW FOR THE LADIES ...
We know Barbie's measurements. Adjusted to the size of an average woman, her measurements are 38-18-34. But is that normal? In common parlance, the ideal female measurements are 36-24-36. Is that normal? Well, according to the National Textile Center (the folks who do research to make sure clothes fit), the average female measurements are 38-32-40.
But we'll focus on the first number the breasts. According to the fun folks at www.sexualrecords.com
well worth a visit if you want to know, say, average hymen thickness or average erection angle* the average breast size is 35.9 inches, yielding an average bra size of 34B. Cup sizes break down as follows: A=15%; B=44%; C=28%; D=10%, with the rest (3%) outliers (Twiggy, Dolly). Breasts have been growing in recent years due to improved diet and the increased use of birth control pills.
Of course, women with tiny breasts have a surgical option unavailable to men with tiny penises. And big breasts are in! According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), there were 216,754 breast augmentation surgeries performed in 2001. On the other hand, there were 114,926 breast reductions performed the same year, so the net number of breast-size increases is only 101,828. (Oddly, breast reductions are frequently covered by insurance, but breast augmentations are not.) Of course, breast augmentation is just the tip of the cosmetic surgery iceberg. According to ASAPS, there were 8,470,363 cosmetic procedures performed in 2001 a 48 percent increase from the previous year, and a 304 percent increase from the annual trend over the previous five years.
What explains the meteoric rise in the occurrence of plastic surgery? Three words: Botox, Botox, Botox. The newest and most popular cosmetic procedure is Botox injections, with over 1.6 million procedures. Trailing close behind are chemical peels (1.4 million) and collagen injections (1.1 million). Forget breast augmentation cosmetic surgery has moved above the neck!
You may assume that your odds of opting for cosmetic surgery are larger if you do not live in Hollywood or the surrounding California area. You would be wrong. According to ASAPS, which analyzes statistics by region, the thirteen-state mountain and western region, which includes California, accounted for only 27.5 percent of procedures. The botox was flowing far faster in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, which account for 37.0 percent of all procedures.
The castle, the title, the money, the loyalty of one's devoted subjects yes, it's nice being Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney. But Mr. Eisner is married, so if you want all those things and more, better odds lie in seeking out a royal marriage. And in the twenty-first century, with most European royalty long forgotten and Middle and Far Eastern royalty running for their lives, the only royalty really worth marrying into is English.
We'll have to define our terms here a bit, though. Strictly speaking, royalty connotes only those members of a royal family. In England, this means the Windsor clan small in numbers, big in ears, except for those demigods William and Harry, who favor their mother and do not lack for attention. Given the limited options and stiff competition for the palatable ones, you'll need to broaden your search a bit to improve your chances.
One's best odds come with seeking a member of the English peerage or baronetage. The concept of the peerage dates back to the fourteenth century and King Edward II, who kept a fixed list of those members of the landed gentry who were eligible to attend meetings of parliament. In past centuries, leaving one's castle for government service had been seen as an annoyance and imposition, but under Edward II it came to be seen as a privilege (akin to voting). Furthermore, when Edward II and his successors decided that the right to attend meetings would be inherited, the honor of being a member of the peerage grew in importance.
Today, a "peer" refers specifically to certain persons who hold a title of honor (or, as the British would say, honour), including duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron. Peers qualify for membership in the House of Lords, with the House of Commons generally limited to commoners.*
While a peerage would certainly be ideal, a baronetage should also suffice. A baronetage is also a hereditary title of honor, but just short of a peerage. While membership in the House of Lords is not part of the package, other good things are. Besides, time saved traveling to London for governance is more time for shooting, horseback riding, and sumptuous banquets.
One should probably draw the line there, however. A knighthood is certainly impressive, but only for the holder, not the spouse. Knighthoods generally are conferred for the knighted one's lifetime only. (Think Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Sean Connery.) While a knight gets a title (the "Sir" or "Dame" part), the spouse gets nothing, and the spouse's children inherit no title. Plus, people who are routinely referred to as "Sir" start to get a little too big for their britches, and quickly cease taking out the garbage and putting down the toilet seat. (As the toilet seat analogy suggests, analysis here is limited to the odds of a female finding a male peer or baron, as matters get even more complicated the other way around.)
Of course, while to some extent a peer is a peer, some peers are of higher rank than other peers (even though that sounds oxymoronic). So, if you get invited to a shooting party, and there are two guys standing by the bar, each looking equally dapper, it pays to know which one is of higher rank.
Here, the "order of precedence" should be your guide. For this purpose, "precedence" governs the order in which you are seated at dinner, listed in a roster of those attending a function, march at a royal funeral (with most important to the rear), and share in any number of other royal bounties. The order of precedence is not the same as the order of succession, since it includes persons ineligible to wear the crown, but there is considerable overlap at the top.
In the most senior ranks, the list does not discriminate by sex, but below the top twenty-nine peers, the order of precedence is determined by the man in any couple; women have a separate list, in case unaccompanied. So, for example, the sovereign is numero uno (seated and listed first, marching last). The sovereign's uncle's wife (currently, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester), is 18th; the Archbishop of Canterbury is 30th; the lord Privy Seal (who knew that was a person?) is 38th; and Marquesses in the peerage of Ireland created before the Union of 1801 are 57th. The list hardly stops there, though, with Eldest sons of Knights of the Garter (too easy) seated 137th, and younger sons of Knights Bachelor 171st. And then it's time for the ladies. Lest you think it's all about royal blood, the Master of the Horse (if not a peer) comes in 90th, well ahead of the average Knight.
With these rules in mind, one's indispensable reference is Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, first published in 1826 and listing all the royal houses, from Abdy to Zouche. For one in a hurry say, a lady has met a gentleman at a party, and just has time to pop out to her Land Rover for a quick peek at the copy of Burke's on the backseat the latest edition contains an index listing all 120,000 living persons of noble heritage.
Obviously, your odds are going to be best living in the United Kingdom, where these folks well, they're not really folks tend to live. With roughly 60 million inhabitants, the odds of finding royalty there are around 500 to 1, with women having a much better shot than men. In the former colony, the United States, the overall population is larger, the peers are fewer, and the odds are far longer. Improving the Odds
Those seeking to identify British royalty are fortunate indeed that the latest edition of Burke's, its 106th, was published relatively recently, in 1999. The 105th was published in 1970. So if you were, say, a Fox producer looking to cast Who Wants to Marry an Earl? circa 1998, you were stuck with either doing your own research or settling for some decidedly long-in-the-tooth contestants. Now, with the 106th edition, it's open season once again.
But if one is really set on finding royalty, one can expand beyond British royalty. You probably don't want to be marrying into the Shah of Iran's clan, but the latest Burke's has been expanded to include Scottish and Irish chiefs, and Scottish and feudal barons. There is even an edition now devoted to ancestors of the American presidents. So, today's social climber can look to multiple ladders.