Social Media Sites like Instagram and Twitter are a showcase for Fitness Influencers.
They’ve managed to gain enough views to start to shift our social values where ideals of beauty are concerned.
78 female undergraduate students (from The University of Missouri-Kansas City) were asked to rate the winners of the Miss USA beauty pageant, and the researchers found that the women with more toned or muscular physique are now seen as more attractive and even more sexy than very thin women.
The students were asked to review pictures of Miss USA winners who were crowned from 1999 – 2013 and rate them according to how attractive they were.
The study found that recent crown recipients were more muscular and toned rather than merely thin.
So have attitudes about physical beauty shifted?
We’ve been shown countless images of super heroes in the media. Actresses playing those roles have had to tone up for the parts.
Think of Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars The Force Awakens and the Last Jedi. Or Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
Head researcher Frances Bozsik published their findings in the Sex Roles Journal, saying: “There is a shift in the thin ideal female figure to one that now includes the appearance of physical fitness via muscularity.”
She explained that the explosion of “fitspo” on social media channels was a factor. Fans also tend to curate collections of images fitness Inspiration Models and Trainers on Pintrest and Tumblr. She noted that this could have motivational or harmful effects (eating disorders).
Frances also noted that both muscularity and thinness were commonly found among female celebrities.
A 2nd study carried out by the university saw 64 students presented with pictures of 14 different women.
The images were shown in pairs of the same woman with and without muscle definition.
But when one of the photos was left untouched, the results showed that the subjects found the more muscular version more attractive.
So we are inpsired by women and attracted to women who are fit, healthy and beautiful who also have good muscle tone.