One is a size eight; the other a size 16. So Victoria Kearns and Rochelle Siviter get very different results when they stand on the bathroom scales. Yet according to new research, both women are lucky enough to have the world’s most desirable figure.

Forget dress size, science says the most alluring female physique is one which has a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 — the number all the women in our picture get when they divide their waist circumference by their hip circumference, both in inches.

It’s otherwise known as a perfect hourglass figure, where the body gently curves in at the waist and out again over often voluptuous hips.

A surprisingly diverse range of famous women have shared these proportions over the years — from Kate Moss and Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio to the fuller figured Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and, in her youth, Elizabeth Taylor.

While the 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio had been previously identified as a highly appealing body shape for women, it was thought to be a Western phenomenon, not globally desirable.

But in the latest study, profiled in the journal Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, scientists surveyed 583 plastic surgeons and 450 members of the public in 40 countries, showing them photographs of a 27-year-old volunteer model. The image was digitally altered to create a range of different body profiles.

Overall, the researchers said 39 per cent found the 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio ‘to be their ideal’.