Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. — Vince Lombardi
The ideal female body is, as defined by this guide, the physique that is most attractive and healthiest. According to the current research, both men and women find this women’s physique below most attractive [1, 2]. The males created the left model, and the females created the right model.
Both groups had no influence on the other, but the results are surprisingly similar. Both men and women preferred similar arm sizes, small waists, well-developed legs, and a slim figure.
This data is further supported by evidence that attractiveness is correlated with a waist-hip ratio (WHR) of 0.7 [1, 2]. In simpler terms, when the circumference of a person’s waist is 70% of the circumference of their hips, they are (on average) the most attractive to most people.
And this makes sense! Wide hips, a small waist, and a slim belly to boot have always been a symbol of attractiveness. Here are two examples of this effect:
Notice that both of these women have similar muscle development, height, and appearance. The main difference between them is their body fat percentage. Because the girl on the left has less fat on her, she has a lower WHR than the girl on the right. This makes her more attractive!
The importance of low body fat
In fact, in both studies #1 and #2, it was concluded that women with low WHRs are seen "as more attractive and healthier than thinner figures with higher WHR”. In simple English, that means that a reduction in body fat plays a much bigger role in attractiveness than anything else like height or facial structure.
The findings also indicate that most people (both men and women) find female physiques around the BMI score of 19 to be more sexually desirable and healthier [1, 2] and rated women with “medium levels of muscle mass… to be more sexually desirable” .
Don’t worry about the specifics of your BMI, WHR, or body fat percentage right now. You'll calculate how much fat needs to be lost and how much muscle needs to be gained in the nutrition and training sections soon.
For now, take a mental note that most people do not desire an overly muscular or extremely thin individual. They want someone that has a balanced and lean physique, just like the one you are going to build!
The ideal weight for health
As a happy coincidence, a BMI score of 19 is also within the range of a healthy weight. Any BMI score of less than 25 and more than 18 is associated with the highest metabolic health, lowest mortality rate, and successful aging .
Additionally, having a balanced physique has a measurable effect on reducing stress and anxiety [1, 2, 3, 4], preventing the development of mental health issues [1, 2, 3], increasing self-esteem , and having a positive impact on mood [1, 2, 3].
All the fancy words above boil down to one idea: Losing weight and gaining more muscle (but not too much) will help you live a longer, healthier, and happier life!