Real women have curves, as the saying goes. Any men or women can conjure up a mental picture of the ideal female form. But it begs the question: how is the perfect female form attained? The common assumption is of course, genetics or through dieting and exercise. There are even those who believe perfection is unattainable without fitness gadgets, pills and cosmetic surgery. Well, everything you know about the female form is wrong!
Sleek, solid and sexy womanly curves – the kind that don’t jiggle with movement and sag with age – actually come from God’s greatest sculpting medium, the muscles. It is more than attainable, given that a woman is willing to work for it. In her 1995 book, Supervixen: Secrets for Building a Lean and Sexy Body, the late female bodybuilder Negrita Jayde insisted that bodily perfection doesn’t depend on what you are born with, nor do you need the aid of modern innovations.
Apples and Pears, Rulers and Hourglasses
The female body is generally categorized into six distinct types:
The Apple or Oval frame – This shape carries fat mainly around the midsection.
The Pear, also known as the Spoon or ‘A’ frame – Fat deposits are mostly around the lower body.
The Ruler – This body type has low but even fat distribution throughout the body and doesn’t gain weight easily.
The Hourglass or ‘8’ frame – Considered the perfect figure with minimal fat deposits around the mid-section and equal fat distribution around the upper and lower body.
The Cone or ‘V’ frame – Characterized by large bust, narrow hips and thin legs; this shape is normally the result of uneven muscle development on the upper and lower body.
The ‘H’ frame – An athletic build, but with stubborn fat around the midsection, resulting in a stout and blocky look.
These shapes are not “body structures” but genetically pre-determined fat distribution patterns. The majority of women are either a pear or apple. For the minority of hourglass-figure women who are blessed with fats in the right places, do not rejoice yet. Fats can’t be maintained even with the best exercise program in the world. Eventually, as the candles on the birthday cake increased, fats can cause the skin to droop. Not to mention, fat deposits under the skin are not attached to muscles and hang loosely, which means they are also prone to cellulite.
While genes do play a part on the body shape, it is not what you are destined with. In truth, the female body is meant to be a curvy hourglass shape. Look at the difference between the male and female bone structures; women have broader pelvic bones that are almost similar in width to the shoulders. The bones are then wrapped in muscles which give shape to the body. The reasons this natural shape is not the image in the mirror is because of high body fat percentage and lack of muscle development that are encouraged with poor eating habits and inactive lifestyle.
Attaining the Perfect Body
If having fats in the right places for curves is an impossible goal, then the only way to attain the perfect body is to chisel away the fats and developed the muscles. Jayde suggested that the perfect female form should have around 14-17% of body fat and well-developed, symmetrical muscles mass on the upper and lower body that is relative to one’s height.
Even with the lack of testosterone, women can build substantial muscle mass and strength with proper diet and resistance exercises. There are studies in human physiology to show enough evidence that both the male and female bodies are meant to build and maintain muscle mass way over the age of 60. Unfortunately, women are left behind on this part greatly due to misguided social standards about feminine beauty and sexist views against strong feminine images.
Strength, with Beauty Superimposed
Take a look at the svelte physiques of female athletes and the physical feats these women can accomplish. Observe the way strong, confident and capable women are depicted in contemporary commercial art and fiction. See how feminine yet muscular comic book and video game heroines are drawn. Obviously, these in some way represent a certain ideal look of female beauty and empowerment.
For many women, the idea of attaining larger muscles and low body fat seems strange, if not insane. Well, consider these facts: muscles are metabolic and need fuel from food, which means you get to eat a bit more without worry. Low body fat percentage can slow the process of skin sagging with age. In addition, the continuous dedication to training also results in a stronger and functional body.
Imagine waking up feeling lighter, having more energy, being able to perform some of the physically demanding tasks without killing yourself and smile at the sight of your mirror reflection. Of course, when you look and feel good from all the benefits of strength training, you automatically project an air of confidence that turn heads whenever you go. Now, what more can one ask for?
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