This is the ultimate female physique according to men

Categories: Videos & podcasts


00:00 Introduction

00:16 Men’s preferences

00:59 Women overestimate the importance of being lean

02:24 Societal pressure and health

03:23 Conclusion


What is the ideal female body, according to men? I recently made a video about what women prefer most in a male body, so this video is about what men prefer in a female body.

Now it turns out that men’s preferences are significantly more variable than women’s preferences in the research and there is only one thing that really stands out and that is waist to hip ratio. Men quite consistently prefer a waist to hip ratio of .7. The idea in evolutionary psychology is that this waist to hip ratio signals peak fertility. So it’s an indication that the woman is healthy and fertile. You can measure the ratio yourself with a measuring tape. Put a measurement tape close to the belly button and measure the smallest part of your waist, so you get the smallest possible circumference and then you get the largest possible circumference around your booty, around the hips. You divide that waist by the hip measure, and then you get your waist to hip ratio. And just like we saw that men greatly overestimate the importance of muscle mass, women greatly overestimate the importance of being lean, as one study concluded.

Both studies also found that women, regardless of gender type, had thin ideals and greatly overestimated male preferences for slender female bodies. Women’s overemphasis on being extremely lean is even more evident when we look at other cultures than Europe and the US where most research is from. If we look at research on South America and African individuals, for example, we see that white males are more likely than non-white men to prefer to date thin and tone women, while African-American and Latino men are significantly more likely than white men to prefer female dates with thick or large bodies. The difference between what women think men want and what men actually want in a female body also became very evident in a poll I conducted in my own Facebook page.

You can see that the physique that women preferred as the number one with 51% of the vote, as opposed to just 12% for the next one, so that of a very clear winner was very lean. And this was only the third most preferred physique by men. Roughly shared with two other physiques that were not nearly as lean and fit. Also interesting is that that the least preferred physique by women, these are women on my page, so these are serious lifters, not necessarily representative of the general population, but their least preferred physique was the most curvy one and that physique was actually still rated quite well by men. Now, the main reason I wanted to make this video is to hopefully make women feel a bit more comfortable about having a slightly higher body fat percentage than perhaps society or they would desire. There is a lot of societal pressure to be very lean, and this is, at least according to male preferences, not appropriate.

There are, of course, many other reasons to be lean. For your health I would also note that when you get to lower body fat levels, top three in the image in my poll, you’re probably not getting better health results. The female triad is a well-documented list of adverse effects, including menstrual irregularities and at some point even infertility and lack of a menstrual cycle altogether. So both for health reasons and for attracting a partner of the opposite sex, if those are your goals, there is no need to be ultra lean. It is good to be at a healthy body fat level, but there is no need to venture below that point. And if we look at the most curvy physique that women in, at least in my audience thought was the worst, you can see that this is actually still completely acceptable for the vast majority of men.

So I hope this makes women feel a little bit more comfortable holding perhaps a little bit more body fat the society would suggest you should have, and if you like this type of evidence based fitness content, I’d be honored if you like, and subscribe.

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About the author

Menno Henselmans

Formerly a business consultant, I've traded my company car to follow my passion in strength training. I'm now an online physique coach, scientist and international public speaker with the mission to help serious trainees master their physique.

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