When you think of someone that is “feminine,” many images, often of women, come to mind. Descriptors like “soft,” “gentle,” and “delicate” are often used. “Muscular” is not. “Muscular” is a “masculine” term. “Masculine,” as we all know, is a term often associated with men. If men are masculine, and muscles are a masculine feature, then women are automatically excluded from such a descriptor, as they are feminine (these are broad, societal assumptions here, not the way things should be, or even the way things always are).
Yet some women *do* have muscles. Some women are naturally muscular, without putting much work in beyond a few visits to the gym a week, while others work very hard and dedicate much of their lives to building and maintaining a muscular physique. Extremely muscular women are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those that do find these women attractive, there’s nothing sexier than a woman that’s built. There’s actually a bit of a fetishism that revolves around muscular women, for some people.
And whether or not it’s something that you’re drawn to, you can’t help but admire the work and the time that these women put in to maintain their physique. They take pride in their bodies, and it can become a sport and a lifestyle. Not only that, they have the guts to challenge our traditional perceptions of what it means to look like a woman. They are turning societal beauty standards on their head by taking a trait that’s traditionally masculine and making it a feminine one. 

Whether their musculature is slight and toned or big and bulky, all of it is evidence of a woman that cares a great deal about her body and wants it to look the best that it can, using her own definition of what that means.
Let’s avoid the steroid discussion, yeah?
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  1. 13messages
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I think that all of these women are absolutely beautiful. I love strength. Strength of character, strength of musculature, etc.

    Thanks for sharing these images.

  2. Red
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    omg! Wish I had the abs of some of these women…and the thighs…and the back tone. lol. I apparently need to become a gym rat ;b

    Beautiful women. Well done once again, Brit!

  3. Sa
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    I like watching women who are proud and happy of who they are, and these women fit the bill perfectly. :)

  4. Welcome to Chicago, Jillinois
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I don't like overly muscle-y men or women simply because it usually goes hand-in-hand with too much vanity. Keeping yourself healthy and looking good is one thing, but obsessing over every part of your body (whether you are overly insecure about flaws or ripped to shreds super in shape) is a big personal turn off to me.

  5. Topaz
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    The actual word 'muscular' is surely relegated to men, but when describing women, the words typically used are 'sculpted', 'defined' and 'fit'. They even sound more feminine. Why this is, I don't know.

    I think the idea of 'soft' is a mainstream vestige that hasn't yet shrugged off it's coat, but is only a matter of time, since many women are involved in muscle training (you can see many of them online, as you've pulled some lovely examples in your pictures). After all, a woman in pants and a suit jacket were 'masculine' up until this past century. At least, I hope this is the case.

  6. Saraid
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I'm not very attracted to very muscular arms, backs and abs, but if I see a woman with totally built legs I think she's the sexiest thing ever.

  7. Hubman
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Given how willing you are to discuss a number of topics relating to beauty, I was a little surprised to see you ask us not to bring up the subject of steroids. I would think that the notion that some women feel the need to inject a male hormone would be right up your alley for a post.

    Personally, I think athletic and 'muscular' women are really hot!

  8. Eliot
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Physically, I find nearly all of the bodies pictured unattractive. Maybe if I knew and liked them as individuals I could come to find them more attractive, but from a purely physical standpoint it's a HUGE turnoff for me, and that includes overly muscular men as well. However, I don't mind pictures #2 and #3 and the last one so much.

  9. Ghouldilocks
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    IMO, these women are beautiful.

    Hubman, I think the reason Britni didn't discuss steroids was because injecting male hormones isn't exactly something women are told, over and over, to do in order to look attractive. It's not exactly like boob jobs, collagen or botox. Women aren't constantly told to look this way, in fact we're supposed to look the opposite.

    I think a discussion about steroid use would probably make more sense when talking about the standards for male attractiveness, since this muscular look is one that is often pushed onto men, not women.

    I hope that made sense…

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