Partially because I have a strong interest in exercise and being fit, but also because its interesting in terms of what people actually consider attractive... And lastly because one of my previous blog posts, The Perfect Female Body at Work, is the most popular blog post on this site.
So in the interest of doing the reverse of that post I decided I should research the topic of the Perfect Male Body... and just see what scientists and experts on the topic have to say.
On the right is a photo of male fashion model Marcus Schenkenberg. Widely regarded to be one of the most attractive men in the last century - beating out people like Sean Connery, Burt Reynolds and even Tom Selleck.
According to one poll I came across in my research Tom Selleck in his younger years, when he was Magnum PI, was ranked by women as the most attractive male actor. Suck on that Sean Connery.
First, according to an article in Psychology Today women seek out relationships with handsome men for their genes - and handsomeness is largely determined by symmetry. Symmetry is effected by having a healthful body and thus the level of a man's health correlates directly to his physical attractiveness.
Symmetrical physical healthiness form part of the equation for the perfect body for men. Genetic mutations, abnormalities and environmental factors can reduce symmetry in human body development. Symmetry provides an evolutionary symbol for mating. According to another article, this one in Live Science, men with higher degrees of symmetry on the face and body will have more sexual partners than men with lower degrees of symmetry. Even men who are overweight or skinny will be considered more attractive if their face is symmetrical and thus garner them more women.
Above Right - A photo of arm wrestling champion Matthias Schlitte with his one freakishly large arm. He only exercises the one arm... and is an example of what NOT to do if you want to have a symmetrical body.
Getting a symmetrical body is really just a matter of exercising ALL your body parts evenly combined with a healthy diet. Various genetic abnormalities will decrease the level of symmetry, but most of it can be corrected. Even a crooked nose can be partially corrected by doing Nose Exercises.
The perfect body for men features a broad torso. According to several sources physical attractiveness for men also depends on broad shoulders. The human male evolved a broader torso to support larger lung capacity and better distribution of oxygen. This supports running and exercising.
Even today leaders of tribal civilizations tend to have a broad torsos. Likewise women are more attracted to a male body that features broad shoulders and a strong chest with muscular arms, but those factors are not the be all - end all, because again those things should be symmetrical.
Having broad shoulders and a broad chest likely is a visual factor in voting for leaders too, although not for women obviously.
Small, firm buttocks are another feature of the perfect body for men. Sexual intercourse involves thrusting motions that are supported by muscles in a man's upper legs and buttocks and thus a nice muscular butt that is the right shape for thrusting suggests a man who is virile in bed. A Psyduction magazine article suggests that women prefer men with small and firm rear ends because it suggests they are more powerful lovers.
Thus for men wearing a kilt which covers up a shapely butt is a big no-no. If anything men with a nice ass should be making an effort to show off their goods by wearing skin tight clothing. Like the shot of Batman's (Val Kilmer's) butt below from "Batman Forever" which they did as lewd joke within the film while hs is strapping on his armour/costume.
The perfect body for men has a waist-to-hip ratio of approx. 0.9. The Royal Society published a study that says that women prefer men who have a torso with an inverted triangle shape. This shape corresponds with a man that has a narrow waist, and a broad chest and shoulders.
Meanwhile a Live Science article says that women prefer men who have a waist-to-hip ratio between 0.8 and 1.0. The article notes that men within this range are less susceptible to certain diseases, such as cardiovascular and blood sugar problems or cancer - whereas men who are overweight and have large bellies / asses are more likely to have health problems. The Royal Society study states that this ratio is related to the distribution of fat between the upper and lower body and obesity correlates with higher waist-to-hip ratios.
Men with pot bellies thus just aren't sexy. Pot bellies are due to malnutrition (too much sugar and carbs) and are a sign of someone who just doesn't eat properly. So again, that is something that can be fixed through exercise and healthy eating.
The perfect body for men also has a volume height index that corresponds with higher levels of health. The volume height index is a man's volume divided by the square of his height. According to various sources the volume height index is the best indicator of male attractiveness and that the volume height index is a more reliable measure of male attractiveness than the waist-to-hip ratio. Whether this is true or not is questionable.
All volume height index is really just a different way of calculating BMI (Body Mass Index), a tool typically used for measuring whether people are obese, overweight, healthy or anorexic.
Except under the VHI system, anorexic men would be considered attractive, which we know is not true. Therefore I don't think the VHI system is reliable. A better system is BMI, wherein the healthy middle ground for BMI is the obvious choice for attractiveness.
According to my research most women prefer men with lots of hair - a la Burt Reynolds.
According to sources the reason is because lots of healthy looking hair is a sign of virility. Men with lots of chest hair / etc = a sexy beast in the sack, which will produce similarly healthy babies.
In contrast baldness or lack of hair suggests a deformity or genetic inferiority. However this isn't true for all women however. Some women prefer men who are bald, as per Sean Connery or Bruce Willis.
But for the vast majority of women body hair is considered to be an attractive feature.
So what do women like best?
According to a poll done in the London Sunday Times here is a list of 11 attributes British men imagine women admire most about them.
Muscular Chest and Shoulders 21%
Muscular Arms 18%
Flat Stomach 9%
Long Legs 3%
And here is the real results of what physical attributes British women found most attractive:
Buttocks (described as "small and sexy") 39%
Flat Stomach 13%
Long Legs 6%
Muscular Chest and Shoulders 1%
Muscular Arms 0%
So evidently what men think is attractive vs what women really want are two worlds apart. The buttocks are, according to the poll of women, 19.5 times more important than the penis for example.
What women really want, and consider perfect, is a tall man with long legs who is slim, has nice abs, nice eyes and hair, a nicely shaped neck and penis (WTF is with the neck stats???) and if he is muscular that is a nice bonus. Basically a man who is fit and has a nice butt and abs.
So how does a man get a nice butt and abs?
Cardio exercises. Lots of cardio. Plus sit ups once you've lost the necessary weight. Doing ab exercises won't do anything if its under a layer of fat except make your stomach bulge out more. You have to lose the weight via cardio first, then start focusing on ab exercises and core strengthening exercises. Weightlifting will help a bit, but its better to target the core muscles (abs, obliques and back muscles) first.
You can't do much about the genetic factors of long legs and tallness. You are what you are. But exercising to look better certainly helps. This poll now shows why Marcus Schenkenberg and Tom Selleck rank so high. They are both tall, slim, nice abs / butt, good eyes, hair, and I am guessing neck too.
Why would women find a man's neck so important? I am guessing it is due to symmetry.