Does Everyone Have to be Muscular to be Considered Attractive?

For the past 15 years or so, there has been a desire for a muscular/athletic figure. For women, this means having a very low body fat percentage (women naturally have a higher body fat percentage than men, for biological reasons; even women who are very slim have a higher body fat percentage than men; women who are slim to even very slim can have a high body fat ratio in relation to their muscle mass.) Basically, nature is such that women naturally have 'softer', less angular bodies than men, and if they want to look hard and muscular, they need to keep their body fat percentage very low, and work very hard in the gym....Which is, of course, totally fine if that's what you want, and you like that look :)

However, something which annoys me (and perhaps other people too, I'll wait for the comments!) is the idea that if you are not muscular, if you are slim and healthy, but soft, you are somehow 'unhealthy, 'unattractive', or even sometimes, called 'fat', despite being slim, like Marilyn Monroe in the picture below, and in the link I posted. I can see a flat stomach, yes I know she didn't have abs, but that looks flat and slim to me, and we all know she had a very small waist measurement. She also has a rounded bottom/hips, because that was her body shape - lots of women have this small waist/round hips shape, even when they are slim.

There are a few things I want to consider here:

Firstly, 'fitness' (Ie ability to do physical exercise, endurance, ability to lift weights, run at a certain speed for a certain time) and 'health' are not 100% correlated. What I mean is, the fitter you are doesn't necessarily mean 'healthier'. A certain level of fitness is absolutely essential for good health, but being extremely fit (i.e. a marathon runner) isn't necessarily healthier in the long term - some of the requirements (very low body fat, pressure on the joints) can be damaging, especially for women. Some female athletes, who maintain very low body fat, can have trouble conceiving, or even be left infertile.

Secondly, you can have no or little muscle tone, but still exercise regularly and eat healthily, and be slim....Just because a woman doesn't have muscular arms or visible six pack abs, it doesn't mean that she's a couch potato, or that she eats junk. You can eat super clean and do cardio exercise, but not look muscular.

So, I just wondered what you guys think....

These days, does everyone have to be muscular to be considered 'attractive'?

http://www.thisismarilyn.com/yellow-terri-bikini-67727.photo


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What Guys Said 62

  • Muscle is usually seen as more masculine, so it's viewed attractive on men, but on women? It's just the opposite. Even solid muscle bound guys I know find a curvy (more feminine) figure attractive. I think it looks too manly. I know a few guys who like the muscle look, but most guys I come across don't.

    Either way, people have a variety of preferences.

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  • Yes you do

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  • Generally, not individually.

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  • you don't have to be but I mean lets be honest here muscles will usually always win out over scrawnyness or fatness. Muscles mean more then just being attractive they mean patience, discipline, and consistency among other things.

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    • Or genetics building those muscles naturally for some who like to pretend to have those traits you listed.

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    • 3mo

      Western soccer 0_0 wut? Those guys are not muscular they are just lean.

    • 3mo

      @Nomad787 the asker has no clue what she's talking about just ignore her.

  • 3d

    What if I told you that me and all my male friends don't give a fuck about muscles in the girl as long as she isn't fat or super skinny (at extremes)... I was surprised by this article. On the other hand I have noticed that girls have high requirements for guys and want them with muscles. For this reason many guys are training and drinking shit chemicals protein, taking steroids just to get a single girl. I think men are the ones that risk more of this

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  • 17d

    As long as she's thin, and not fat. I'm fine, gals don't need abs.

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  • 26d

    Musculair looking looks like more power and mostly men don't want that. For an example i don't like it because to me it makes the women look like an gympartner. Yes she can look fit but no sixpack please because it feels like a guy to me.
    This is my opinion and if you not agree with this. Well good for you.

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  • 2mo

    No you don't have to take it to the extreme where you're trying to get shredded, in fact I don't think it's as healthy as many people believe especially for women to have such a low body fat percentage for the reasons you mentioned. But having some muscle and a decent body fat percentage is good.

    Fitter people, while they aren't always 100% healthy, are much more likely to be healthy because in order to do what they do they have to eat right and obviously exercise regularly. It becomes more damaging when they take it to the extreme or they start using PEDs.

    As for having little to no muscle tone, it's just not as attractive as having a little muscle tone. People who do endless cardio and no kind of resistance training usually have no muscle, and no shape. Yes they might be healthy, it just doesn't look good. Plus endless long distance cardio isn't as good for you as people think, especially for men.

    So basically no you don't need to be shredded, low bodyfat, or go to the extreme. Just working out regularly and not being under/overweight is good.

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  • 3mo

    Absolutely not , all people are attractive to someone. I myself like women to be soft and a bit fluffy. No matter what you look like everyone has someone looking for them. Even after your taken there some guys out there who want to get some of that from.

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  • 3mo

    A little muscle actually helps the female figure.

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  • 3mo

    Yes, its important to look hot if you want to attract the opposite sex

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  • 3mo

    I feel like it is desired more so in men than in women. I know most guys don't want a super muscular girl. I can't speak for all men or anything but many I've known many guys that love a girl that is soft and is just a little chubby *A little*. And most girls I've known want lean and fit guys.

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  • Muscular is definitely attractive in both genders in my opinion but girls are definitely hot that aren't muscular

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  • I don't find muscles attractive. I wonder if any straight women find feminine attributes attractive?

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  • No not to me i honestly like girls who are curvy even a little thick. Muscles on a women isn't attractive to me in my opinion don't feel you have to do this just because society tells you to gain muscles.

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  • Girls look masculine with muscle. I wish they would get that through their damn head.

    How many female pin up models, playboy playmates, or porn stars do you see who are ripped and muscular? nearly none.

    How many of these pinup models are ripped and muscular? NONE.
    www.the-warzone.net/.../nuts_girls_nov_1.jpg

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  • Fuck mucles! I love dem curves =)

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  • being slimply a normal, slim healthy body weight is sufficient for most women to be considered attractive by most men

    men can be in the best shape of their life, but if they aren't tall and handsome, it's over for them. There is literally nothing men can do outside of cosmetic surgery and leg lengthening to improve their attractiveness

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  • why does everybody have to be a lard to be hot?

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  • Yeah im not a fan of women with muscle it just doesn't meet my preference/doesn't look right in my opinion

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What Girls Said 37

  • No, and forget the people who say you have to.

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  • Maybe moreso for men, but women, definitely not.

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  • Not for girls.

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  • It all depends on preferences for femininity and masculinity.

    I personally prefer my SO (male or female) to be slim, curvy, chubby rather than athletic/muscular

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  • Personally I think men look great muscular (but they don't have to be to be attractive in my book) I think girls who are muscular are not so attractive, makes them look manly and not feminine. Feminine is what makes a girl attractive in my opinion.

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  • 16h

    nice take

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  • 3mo

    Absolutely not!! Not all guys who I find attractive are muscular.

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  • 3mo

    Not everyone needs to be muscular to be attractive, many people have different preferences on what's attractive and what isn't. Sure, some guys like muscular girls and some girls like muscular guys but some people don't prefer muscular people of the opposite gender. Personally, I don't tend to like muscular guys. What people find attractive varies.

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  • yes... muscular people means they work hard to get muscles and that means discipline, hard work and patience and that is attractive

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  • Honestly when I find a man I don't need him to be all muscled up. As long as your fat doesn't fall over your waist I'm ok. Not sure if the way I said makes sense?

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  • Most men I know prefer a little meat on the bones when it comes to their girls. My boyfriend likes muscular legs on a girl but that's where it ends.

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  • I like muscles on a man myself but not the "buff" look. I'm into a more lean physique, where it's obvious he lifts weights and takes care of himself but he's not downing tubs of protein powder and grilled chicken breast every day to look like that.
    And Marilyn sure was gorgeous wasn't she? Damn...

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  • I like this I think everything you said is so true. I think this is just another fad everyone is doing right now. I don't wants abs that u can see not muscular arms, but that's just me. If someone else that is a woman had that good for them. Just don't judge the people who don't want to do that and we won't judge you either

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  • There is a difference between a fit body and a muscular body. A fit body is something you need for a healthy life. A muscular body is a choice and you do it because you like it yourself. If you want to get muscular, you have to accept that you will loose a lot of female curvature. There is no need for that if you want a fit body.

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  • Totally not... for me I prefer guys who aren't that muscular.

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  • I don't think so. I'm soft with some muscle and I like my body. My boyfriend is skinny with a little muscle and that's perfect to me. I'm not attracted to extremely muscular people and never have been. There's nothing wrong with it obviously but it's definitely not a requirement for being attractive.

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  • you can disagree with me all you want, but too much muscle on anyone gets to a point where it's unattractive. i'd say both genders, especially us girls though, looks best when they're toned but not rippling with muscle. excess fat definitely does not look great though.

    (just to clarify, by "excess fat" i mean if your bmi states that you are overweight and in risk of heart disease and other stuff which im not going to pretend i know.)

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  • I don't think overly muscular is a good look on anyone.

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  • I like some muscle on men, but I find the extremes a bit off putting. I think it's unhealthy for a woman to lose so much fat though.

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    • I am quite sure that skinny women don't have more fat then fit women.

  • I'd rather know he was healthy. Muscles are like an added bonus. They aren't necessary. And there is such a thing as too much muscle. I go to the gym and eat healthy for the most part but my goal isn't to be muscular. I like my soft parts and feeling womanly haha.

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