A study of half a million women found that most equate a curvaceous form with genuine beauty.
They prefer the voluptuousness of a Catherine Zeta-Jones to the slender shape of a Kate Moss.
The findings coincide with the fact that British women are themselves much bigger in all the vital statistics than even 20 years ago.
So maybe they are looking for confirmation that bigger is beautiful.
In the poll, Elizabeth Taylor was voted the greatest British beauty legend of all time, while Miss Zeta-Jones was named greatest British beauty of today.
Media fashion and beauty experts chose Julie Christie and Miss Moss in the same categories.
The poll was carried out by Tesco, which is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its entry into the beauty business, with sales now worth more than £300million a year.
Its director of beauty, Catherine Baxendale, said: 'Real women disagree with media experts on whether blonde and skinny is best. British women's ideal of
beauty is a voluptuous brunette. And the young Elizabeth Taylor and today's ideal, Catherine Zeta- Jones, share those physical qualities.'
The half-a-million respondents were also asked which publications they most valued and trusted for beauty advice. The Daily Mail was named Best Daily Newspaper for Beauty and the Mail on Sunday's YOU Magazine was voted Best Colour Supplement.
Details were revealed last night at a London party and presentation attended by the beauty industry. The full results were:
Public vote - British beauty legend: 1 Elizabeth Taylor, 2 Princess Diana, 3 Diana Dors, 4 Vivien Leigh, 5 Joan Collins, 6 Twiggy. Current British beauty: 1 Catherine Zeta-Jones, 2 Kate Winslet, 3 Elizabeth Hurley, 4 Kate Moss, 5 Victoria Beckham, 6 Kate Beckinsale.
Media vote - British beauty legend: 1 Julie Christie, 2 Jean Shrimpton, 3 Princess Diana, 4 Elizabeth Taylor, 5 Audrey Hepburn, 6 Twiggy. Current British beauty: 1 Kate Moss, 2 Catherine Zeta- Jones, 3 Kate Beckinsale, 4 Kate Winslet, 5 Keira Knightley, 6 Sophie Dahl.