The Perfect Female Body

How do we calculate the perfect body measurements for a person - in this case for a female?

Well basically its a visual survey, wherein men (who else?) pick what they find the most attractive in terms of hip waist and bust ratios. Then once you have the results of a large number of men answering this visual survey you determine what the average is... and voila, the perfect female body ratios! Essentially the ratios that will attract the average male. (To be fair 70% of men are pretty average looking themselves with a small percentage being drop dead gorgeous and another percentage being horribly ugly.)

Once you know the ratios of what is considered perfect by the majority of men then you can try and calculated what those ratios mean for you.

Generally, what women find attractive in other women are not physical things. Often they are things that indicate social status, like wearing fashionable clothing, the right colour nail polish and being found attractive by men. Men of course, are hard wired to find women who look healthy and able to bare children most attractive. Thus breasts and hips become important.

Because of this, both women and men find women who look healthy, feminine and fertile attractive (even though women do tend to alter their idea of what is attractive based on fashion and trends, it never goes very far from what men value as attractive).

So here are the formula. Please keep in mind that less than 5% of women meet these standards of perfect proportions. Most women will have slightly larger/smaller breasts, slightly larger/smaller hips, and if they have a weight problem then their waist to hip ratio could be totally off.

#1. A Relatively Low Body Fat Percentage - 18 to 20%

There is a lots of methods of measuring body fat. If you want an accurate reading, your best bet is to go and ask to have it done in a gym or clinic. Alternatively, you can buy a scale with an inbuilt body fat monitor.

18% is a good target for your ideal body fat percentage – although up to 25% is perfectly healthy, you won’t look quite so good in a bikini. Over 25% is considered overweight while over 30% is obese. Go below 17% and you’ll start to look scrawny, and worse, below 12% you will be risking long term damage to your hormonal functions which influence all aspects of your health including your bone density, the health of your nails, hair and skin and your fertility.

Note that the average American woman (not the Perfect one) is overweight. Blame that on America's over consumption of junk food and lack of exercise. But to be fair, the ideal weight is really only a few lbs lighter than the average - so all it really takes is self control and exercise and you've got it made!

It’s important not to round down your ideal body measurements; or to assume for some reason that you are an exception and that you need to weigh less than the BMI chart tells you, or that your weighing scale is lying to you (these are classic thoughts of people with the eating disorders). Ideal is ideal – no more, no less. Trying to attain the ideal is really only possible for 5% of the population because they were lucky to be born with the right genetics to give them a really nice breast-waist-hip ratio.

Other than keeping fat on our bodies for health reasons, there are also purely aesthetic reasons to maintain about 18% to 20% body fat. For example, breasts are roughly 80% fat and they will start to disappear as your body fat percentage decreases (this is one of the reasons so many female body builders on steroids have succumb to plastic surgery to make their breasts bigger). It also comes back to being healthy and fertile – very skinny women are often infertile, and therefore an evolutionary turn off to men (although some men may still be attracted by the idea of having a status symbol or fashionably anorexic trophy wife/girlfriend, they probably won't be able to deal with her on an emotional level).

Losing fat is one of those things that tends to work in theory, but not in practice. As a general rule, avoid white carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cake, sugar, rice, flour), consume 1800 to 2000 calories daily, and exercise intensely 3 to 5 times a week – this will show fast results if you were previously leading an unhealthy lifestyle. For more exercise/diet advice see Cardio Trek - Toronto Personal Trainer.
#2. An Obvious Waist – Ideally an hourglass / pear shape with a waist to hip ratio of approx. 0.7

Basically anything between 0.68 and 0.72 is considered ideal.

You can easily calculate your waist to hip ratio by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement. (Note: For both of these calculations, measure the smallest part of your midsection as your ‘waist’ and the largest area around your bottom as your ‘hips’). If your waist to hip ratio is over 0.72, then in theory you would need to decrease the size of your waist or increase the size of your hips. The easiest way to do this is to exercise 20 times over an one month period and then measure again to track your progress.

And if your waist to hip ratio is under 0.68, the reverse is true. You would want to eat more to add a little more meat to those bones.

Why are relatively hips to waist ratios attractive? The smaller your waist is, the larger your hips appear in comparison. Wide hips are necessary for childbirth and are therefore, a noticeably feminine trait. Smaller waists also indicate better health, since women with waists that measure more than 80 cm (31.5 inches) are more at risk of heart disease and other health problems. As if this wasn’t enough, women with hourglass figures also tend to have higher oestrogen levels and therefore higher fertility rates.

Your waist size will decrease as you lose fat. Ideally you should also have attractive abs and obliques, but to get that you first need to do lots of cardio. You can do exercises like side plank for tight obliques and sit ups for your abs, but nobody will be able to notice the difference unless you first lose the necessary belly fat by doing lots of cardio.

3. Visual Muscle Tone

Show those muscles!

Believe it or not the average man wants to see a little muscle on his ideal woman. It’s a personal choice of how much or how little muscle tone you want to develop, but basically all men want to see at least a little muscle tone. Most women don’t want high muscle definition (for fear of looking too masculine), but some muscle tone is desirable. eg. Nice abs is considered ideal, whereas huge biceps is generally not.

To be fair nice abs is equally attractive and desirable on men. They're so cute!

When it came to surviving childbirth, raising children – hell, surviving the pre-industrial age in general – muscle was a necessity for survival and it still is. For this reason, to this day, stick-thin arms are NOT SEXY (models and fashion photographers please take note!). But at the same time women with huge biceps, pecs, back muscles, etc... well they've been sucking down too much steroids and its just plain unattractive.

To achieve muscle tone, include weights in your workouts several times per week and do a variety of different exercises. You can use dumbbells, go for frugal exercises that use your body weight or even water resistance using swimming - some yoga moves also strengthen muscles. Muscle tone also indicates youth since the hormone testosterone, a hormone that aids muscle development, decreases as we age - but weight lifting causes a boost in hormone levels which will make you look younger than you really are.

4. Flexibility – Flexible enough to do the Splits Baby!

Men don't expect you to be able to do crazy flexibility stunts like the photo on the right, but they do find flexibility attractive.

You can consider yourself flexible once you can do side/front-splits. You can consider yourself very flexible once you can go through side-splits and you can do box/forward-splits. Keep in mind very few women can do the splits. Less than 1% of us.

Estrogen, a primarily female hormone, increases joint flexibility. It also diminishes as we age. So being flexible indicates both femininity and youth. This is important because youth is linked directly with fertility in women. After the age of 35 a woman’s fertility decreases dramatically. And because flexibility is such an important indicator of fertility, men find it attractive.

The more flexible you are the better - so doing stretches and yoga will certainly help. There are lots of other advantages to being flexible like a lower risk of sports injury and better quality of life (you’ll feel younger as you age). Being able to do front splits will improve your posture since you need to have flexible hip flexors to be able to do it. Yoga, dance and stretching at home are some of the best ways to increase flexibility.

5. Perky Curves – Gravity defying Breasts and Butt

Honestly if you have breasts like Marilyn Monroe then you can be happy about them.

This is why form-fixing bras are a woman's best friend. They give your breasts more lift and perk - without the need for plastic surgery.

Contrary to popular belief, most men don’t appear that much care about size – it’s all about ratios and nicely rounded curves. Sagginess and wrinkles is an indicator of age, and youth is directly linked to fertility.

You can’t do much to change your breasts. But you can prevent permanent damage to them by wearing a good sports bra when exercising - especially running or jumping. You should also take care of your skin by moisturizing it, avoiding yo-yo diets which stretch out your skin and such activities will prevent saggy loose skin.

Please really think carefully if you’re considering plastic surgery, because it’s irreversible, it can cause permanent damage, even the really good surgeons sometimes botch it, and not everyone is a fan of silicone. Of course, if you’re like most women, 99.99% of the population never see your breasts so you can just cheat your way to perfect curves and wear a well shaped push-up or t-shirt bra. Fashion is your friend. However, there is apparently no excuse for a less than perfect posterior. In which case exercise, cardio, yoga, lunges, cycling and stairs are your friends.

Almost done...

Perfection is unattainable for 99% of us. But that doesn't mean you can't try just so you can be a healthier version of yourself. Your body is an art piece that can be moulded like clay to become something that is beautiful, healthy and desirable. But like any great statue it will take time to achieve.

Magazines often feature articles on what they call "real women" – which in the USA usually means overweight women – as if it’s empowering or something that we should admire. But in reality being overweight is a bit like being a disabled person.

Being overweight stops you from doing the things that you want to do, like spontaneously running across the city, cycling to see your boyfriend's apartment or just climbing a set of stairs without being out of breath by the time you get to the top. If you can't even bend over and touch your toes then you are basically disabled.

Being overweight restricts you and equates to a lower quality of life - and to some extent a lower class of life because people will always looking down on you as second rate. Let’s not pretend it’s okay to have a suboptimal life – you’ve only got one life!

The same can be said, of course for girls who have a real problem with body image, including eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. But they too should be aiming for an ideal body - a slightly heavier one where they are healthy and attractive. They will likely need to gain muscle, fat and bone mass to achieve an ideal body - although it might be harder for them to achieve because of the psychological implications and them being held back by what is really a mental disorder.

Every woman on earth has the ability to, more or less, meet the criteria of the ideal body listed above. It’s not ‘unrealistic’ or ‘extreme’, but yes, it will take some work if you’ve neglected your body in the past. It is achievable through exercise and healthy eating habits. It’s up to you to decide if you want to have an amazing body or a mediocre one.

I for one have chosen to embrace cycling, yoga and weightlifting over becoming a disabled person. I hope you will too.

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