The Perfect Female Body
Much of the following was taken from an article I wrote for Cosmetic Surgery Magazine a few years back but with some changes and updates.
For women, evolution has created an ideal of a perfect female form and the closer you approach that ideal the closer you will be to health and attractiveness.
Sadly, numerous studies have shown that physical attractiveness is a more important predictor of attraction than other attributes (e.g. social skills, intelligence, personality, etc.), at least in the short-term.
Researcher Susan Sprecher at Illinois State University, showed that men and women are equally affected by physical attractiveness (although for long-term mating women are also affected by status). Working to give yourself the Perfect Body is an investment that will pay off in increasing attraction and self-esteem. Sprecher states that:
Men are affected by non-physical characteristics [personality etc.] in a potential date only if she is attractive,(no, it doesn't mean we are shallow) whereas women respond to non-physical characteristics in both a physically attractive and a physically unattractive potential date (and slightly more if he is unattractive)(no, it doesn't mean women are nicer than men).
These results suggest that a woman cannot compensate for an unattractive appearance with social status or warmth, at least in romantic situations (that is not the whole story but it is generally true).
So for women especially, being attractive will enhance romantic interactions and provide a whole bevy of advantages in life. Creating a body in line with evolutionary principles or even a vague resemblance to it can enhance your life in many ways.
In previous pages I have discussed those facial characteristics that are found to be appealing, such as neoteny (juvenile characteristics such as small chin or large eyes carried into adulthood).
On this page I will be discussing aspects of body shape that are found to be attractive and whether or not there is a perfect female body from the point of view of attractiveness and human perception.
Over the millennia we humans have developed a whole range of abilities to determine the acceptability of a mate. Beauty is a cue to fitness (fertility) and the ability to produce healthy children.
From a male’s perspective he will want to find a female who is very fertile with many years of reproduction ahead of her. She will have to exhibit traits that indicate health and vitality so that the children will also be healthy and capable of surviving and in turn reproducing.
If men chose only women who were past their child bearing age then they would be extremely unsuccessful at producing children and passing on their genes to future generations. Between the ages of 30 and 34 female fertility rates declines to 85% of the fertility rate of 20-24 year olds, and between 40-44 it is down to 35%. This is one reason why youth has a universal appeal.
One way that males appear to determine fertility is through visually assessing the distribution of body fat on the female body. It is an unconscious mechanism and will be explained later in this article.
Human body shapes can be divided into three categories; ectomorph (thin), mesomorph (muscular, athletic) and endomorph (heavy, fat). Children and adults, irrespective of their own gender, tend to attribute personality traits in varying degrees to these different body types.
Generally, mesomorphs are rated to have highly favourable traits, whereas endomorphs are given highly negative stereotypes. Ectomorphs (particularly male ectomorphs) are generally also evaluated negatively but female ectomorphs are treated positively due to their association with health conscious slimness.
For women being an ectomorph is an advantage but being too thin is also viewed negatively. It is rather tragic that if you are an ectomorph people will judge you to be more likely a smoker, alcoholic, anti-social and lack leadership abilities based solely on your body shape.
A mesomorph on the other hand will be attributed a whole range of positive characteristics such as being social, a leader, and be considered likely to have a wide circle of friends. Perhaps that is why most women prefer the middle (mesomorph) figure above.
The endomorph will be considered lazy and lacking in will power, untrustworthy and be thought likely to be incompetent, amongst many other negative qualities.
Children as young as 6 years show biases towards certain body builds. The seem to have a built in template for the perfect female body and the perfect male body although it becomes more prevalent as they approach puberty. They prefer mesomorphic (average sized and muscular) builds over ectomorphic (thin and unmuscled) and endomorphic (overweight and unmuscled) builds, and children of all ages tend to associate a variety of social stigmas to the endomorphic build.
Given that people make value judgements of us simply based on our body build where does this leave us in terms of the perfect body, especially the female body, when it comes to self-satisfaction and positive perceptions from others?
The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)
It has been theorised by evolutionary anthropologists and others that when humans were subject to varying periods of famine and plenty, the most reproductively successful females were the ones who were able to store surplus energy as fat.
The extra fat, stored on the body, breasts and buttocks, is said therefore to be attractive to males (and also attractive to women since women are in competition with other females for potential mates, and know what is preferred). This is a plausible theory given that it is necessary for women to have a critical amount of body fat in order to initiate and maintain the menstrual cycle.
However, just being fat, is not an attractive trait (except in countries where it is a sign of wealth - like India, though that is changing with the adoption of western culture). It is the distribution of that fat that enhances or detracts from female beauty and the distribution of fat is an important component in the perfect female body.
Fatness is generally only a positive attribute in countries where food is scarce. In these countries it is a sign of health and wealth and confers high status on those who have this attribute. However, in the western world, a slim, curvy body is preferred.
The distribution of body fat, especially on the waist and hips (the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)) is one of the main features which determines the attractiveness of women (the Body Mass Index or BMI is another). It is a key ingredient of the Perfect Female Body. The WHR is calculated by measuring the ratio of the circumference of the waist to the circumference of the hips.
You can do this at home – the waist is measured as the distance around the smallest area below the rib cage and above the belly button. The hip measurement is taken as the distance around the largest extension of the buttocks. For instance if your waist measurement is 28 cm and your hip measurement is 40 cm then your WHR is 28/40 which is a ratio of 0.7.
Studies show that men and women between the ages of 18-85 regard normal weight female figures with a low WHR (e.g. 0.7) as more attractive and healthy than other women with a higher WHR who had the same or lower body weight.
The WHR for healthy, pre-menopausal women is generally between 0.67 and 0.80. All of these ranges are found to be attractive but the ideal is about 0.7 (a BMI of 20 or less is also maximally sexually attractive). Sexual attraction is one aspect of the perfect female body.
You can calculate your own BMI below (use the drop down arrows to change to metric)
WHR and BMI are both components of the perfect female body.
The beauty of this (pardon the pun) is that even though you may be carrying excess weight you can still have a WHR of 0.7. It is the distribution of the weight that is attractive. If your waist is 42 cm in circumference and your hips are 60 cm then you will still have a WHR of 0.7 and still be considered attractive (though a slimmer woman with 0.7 WHR will be more attractive).
An overweight woman with a low WHR is judged to be more attractive than a slim woman with a high WHR which shows that it is the distribution of body fat that is primarily correlated with attractiveness. In essence, if you are overweight but curvy you will be more attractive than a slim woman with no curves.
Men’s average WHR is between 0.85 and 0.95. If you are female and your WHR is in the male range then you will be considered less attractive than women who are on the female side of this range. In fact you will be viewed as less and less attractive as the ratio of your waist to your hip approaches 1.0.
If you have a high WHR then you will also be judged to be older than those women with a low WHR. For the perfect female body you need to get your whr down to 0.7 or 0.8.
Body Shape and the Perfect Female Body
Due to a high level of estrogen it is common for women to begin to deposit fat cells on the lower regions of the body (e.g. thighs and buttocks) after they enter puberty.
This is because it is necessary for women to have a critical amount of body fat in order to maintain the menstrual cycle and to be able to conceive.
The extra fat stored on the body is considered attractive when it creates the classic curved female or gynoid shape. The WHR is a measure of this gynoid shape.
Research from the Netherlands showed that females who have a WHR of 0.9 are 30% less likely to become pregnant than females with a WHR of 0.8. From an evolutionary perspective it is no wonder then that researcher Devendra Singh found that women with a WHR of 0.7 were perceived as more attractive than women with a WHR of 0.8 and a WHR of 0.8 was seen as more attractive than a WHR of 0.9. A WHR of 1.0 was seen as the least attractive (and many women today are going way beyond this with large bellies). The further you move away from a WHR of 0.7 the further you move away from having the perfect female body.
He also found that normal weight figures (mesomorphs) were preferred over underweight (ectomorphs), who were preferred over overweight (endomorph) figures. Support for the idea that the distribution of bodyweight determines attractiveness can be shown from the fact that overweight women with low WHR’s are considered more attractive than slim women with high WHR’s.
Investigations of Playboy magazine centerfolds from 1955 to 1965 and Miss America contest winners back to 1923 showed that, although their body weight has been dropping over time, their WHR has remained within a range that is quite narrow, suggesting that the preference for a low WHR continues across generations.
In research conducted here in Queensland a large number of Brisbane schoolchildren, aged six to eleven, were shown male and female figures with varying waist-to-hip ratios and asked to give their preferences.
It was found that the preference for a WHR of 0.7 for women and 0.9 for men emerged strongly around the age of ten and eleven. This seems to indicate that these preferences are inbuilt but only triggered as humans approach puberty and hormones begin to flood the body.
As humans age, their waist-to-hip (WHR) ratio gradually increases. This is one of the reasons that older women are generally found to be less attractive than younger ones. It is difficult to maintain a perfect female body as you age but as one of my special forces instructors once told me about commando training 'If it was easy, everyone would do it'.
The Perfect Female Body will confer advantages on you that the masses will never achieve because it takes work. By maintaining a youthful, low WHR a female can maintain bodily attractiveness.
Aiming for a WHR of between 0.67 and 0.8 will generally be considered attractive but 0.7 is the ideal that both men and women find the most attractive. A WHR of 1.0 (waist and hip the same measurement) is considered the least attractive. Anything beyond this will indicate a protruding abdomen which is definitely found to be unattractive by both sexes.
It is rare genetically for a woman to be born with the perfect female body but whatever body you have can be shaped by diet and exercise. The characteristics of the perfect body are different for men and women because our evolutionary development led to different attributes being seen as attractive in the different sexes
WARNING: The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 lbs. The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 lbs. Fashion models are thinner than 98% of the American population(Swami and Furnham 2007:271). Don’t even bother trying to achieve this. It is unnecessary as you can be attractive even when you fall far short of this ideal. Remember this:
If Barbie was a real woman she would lack enough body fat to menstruate and her measurements would be 39-21-33. She would be 6' tall and weigh 100 lbs. In the average population there is a 1 in 100,000 chance of attaining this so let it go.
Studies have found that female figures with slender bodies, low WHR, and large breasts are rated as the most attractive, healthy, feminine looking and desirable for both casual and long-term romantic relationships.
These characteristics are almost a template for the perfect female body. Large breasts consistently enhance the attractiveness rating of both slender and heavy figures, so long as they have a low WHR.
Polish research has shown that women with large breasts and a small waist had larger amounts of female hormones than women with a broad waist and large hips, narrow waist/small breasts, or broad waist/small breasts.
No wonder then that they are considered attractive because a low WHR (i.e. a curvaceous body) is believed to correspond to the optimal fat distribution for high fertility, i.e. they are more fertile, and therefore more attractive. They may also be healthier, given that a high WHR resulting from a bloated abdomen can be a sign of parasite infection.
A high WHR in a female can also predict menstrual irregularity, hirsutism (hairiness), elevated plasma tri-glycerides, diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, gallbladder disease and cancer of the endometrium, ovaries and breast. So creating the perfect female body can also enhance your health.
A study of Playboy centrefold models reported average bust (90.8 cm), waist (58.6 cm) and hip (89.3 cm) measurements. This represents a waist to bust ratio of 0.64, roughly the same as their waist-to hip ratio. This is very close to the 36-24-36 ratio that has been presented to us for years as an ideal, the so-called hourglass figure.
The 36-24-36 ideal results in a curvaceously thin female with small waist and hips and large breasts. This is very difficult to achieve naturally. However, evolutionary research shows that a WHR of 0.7 and a WBR (waist-to-breast ratio) of 0.7 are considered the ideal. This can be represented as equivalent to two equal inverted triangles
Unfortunately only a small percentage of women are born with this combination of attributes. For all other women it is a near impossible goal to achieve naturally (but that doesn't mean you can't still look 'HOT').
Even through dieting and exercise it is impossible to lose body fat without also reducing breast size. This is because the breasts are composed mainly of fat and that fat is reduced in line with other fat loss throughout the body when a diet and exercise regime is followed.
From the viewpoint of maximisation of attractiveness and the perfect female body it would seem then that large breasts would be optimal, but are they?
It is a trade off between attractiveness from a biological perspective and attractiveness from a societal viewpoint. We are influenced by biology but also by societal norms. One of the greatest influences on our expectations is television.
Research has shown that television not only reflects societal preferences but also shapes them. Studies by Kristen Harrison on television viewers ideal body proportions have shown that the television ‘worldview’ of the ideal female waist and hips could be described as relatively extreme: thinner is better.
In contrast, the television worldview of the ideal female bust is more moderate: medium is ideal. Harrison’s work was the first to empirically link the curvaceously thin female body ideal with media exposure.
Experimenters have also found that women with smaller breasts were rated as competent, ambitious, intelligent, moral and modest. However, women with large breasts were judged to have the opposite characteristics, by both females and males.
So medium breasts combined with a low WHR would appear to be the best option to achieve both physical and social attractiveness and the perfect female body. Large breast from a fitness point of view in chasing the perfect female body ideal can be a pain, especially for jogging. I have two friends who have undergone breast reductions due to back pain and soreness from jogging.
Unfortunately the most popular way to achieve this ideal for most women is through liposuction and breast augmentation (or reduction depending on your present size). Not surprisingly liposuction and breast augmentation are the two most popular surgical cosmetic procedures at the present time.
Since the achievement of status and the emulation of status-rich people (e.g. television and media personalities) seems to be built into the human psyche, and we also have evolutionary pressures to secure mates who demonstrate high fertility and health through ideal waist-to-hip ratios and ideal waist-to-breast ratios, it is no wonder then that women seek to achieve the 36-24-36 ideal as representing the perfect female body.
This ideal is very close to research findings of the most preferred ratio (34:24:34). Remember though that it is a ratio so you could be 40:28:40 or 53:37:53 and still be attractive (although a thin body with this ratio is the most preferred).
Note: If you are of Asian descent you should be aware that a number of studies have shown that a measurement of 32:24:32 is more in line with the modern aesthetic ideas of Asian women.
Body, breast and WHR sizes interactively influence judgements of attractiveness, femininity, healthfulness and age, and males and females generally agree in their judgements of bodily beauty.
The Perfect female Body will be the one generally thought to be attractive by the majority of people. Unfortunately, unless you were lucky enough to have been blessed with 36-24-36 measurements, diet and exercise may not be enough to get you there.
The research indicates that a lower figure (34-24-34)may be closer to the perfect female body and be considered to be more attractive by more people. It would also be more easily achievable for some but for many women liposuction and breast enhancement may be the only options to achieve the perfect female body.
They are viable options but need to be considered carefully. If you decide to go down this path then discuss the possibilities and aesthetics of your choice thoroughly with your surgeon.
Alternatively you can get relatively close to these figures and look hot through diet and exercise if your genetics allows it. Some women simply have wider hips, or broad shoulders, skinny legs or feel they are too short or too tall. You can however make the most of what you do have and look good.
The Perfect female body is just an ideal to aim towards. You don’t have to have the perfect shape in order to be considered ‘HOT'. A healthy diet (preferably Palaeo- but there are others that may suit) combined with working out can transform you, and even if you are not 'perfect' you will still look good and feel better about yourself. You can check out my paleo-diet page
If you are interested in the perfect female body in order to attract males then you should also look at my pages that deal specifically with this issue from a
Remember though, our hunter/gatherer ancestors got by happily for millennia without necessarily achieving the perfect body as they were too busy hunting, fishing, gathering, dancing and enjoying their lives, so maybe we just have too much time on our hands. They were not generally overweight because they were ACTIVE. Think about it.
To start on the road to the perfect female body you will need to make sure you develop the best shape that suits our evolutionary programs. You need the right Waist to hip ratio and the best way to do that is to flatten your stomach and shape your body using evolutionary principles.
I have trained most of my life, been through special forces, and joined numerous gyms so I have some background in fitness but I am not a qualified personal trainer and even if I were, the demands on my time are so great I don't have the time to put together a program for you. Maybe I will in the future.
However, for our purposes I think it has already been done because the best program that I have seen so far to shape your body and give you the body that will allow you to be at your most attractive is this one
It is based on evolutionary principles and here are some examples of normal woman like you who transformed themselves with this program.
It is called the
I hope you will run with it because there is a better future out there for you. And if you need some inspiration please visit my hot fitness models page
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