How often does science prove a pop song? For all you Shakira fans, science now shows: her hips really don’t lie. (About her health, that is.)

This Danish study observed 2,987 subjects, ages 35-65, over a period of 10-13 years. Women (but not men) with larger hip circumference had a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease and early mortality. The effect was independent of waist circumference, so while we always encourage a healthy weight, you’ll get benefits from a bootylicious backside, even if you’re currently overweight. 

While too much fat poses a health risk, the hips store a different type of fat than the stomach. This fat is commonly believed to be protective to your heart health, though some recent studies have challenged that assumption. Still, if you store your bulk below the belt, odds are your heart is happier.