The Body Debate: Can A Woman Be Too Buff?

Yesterday, Good Morning America ran a segment debating the merits of women who have defined biceps, washboard abs and sculpted legs, wondering if it’s a “bad look” for us to be “too toned.” It started with Cameron Diaz‘s bulging muscles, broad shoulders and rock-hard physique. And Kelly Ripa, Madonna and Serena Williams’ muscular bodies have also sparked controversy and discussion over whether such physiques can still be considered feminine and sexy. Apparently, some critics say these women need to lay off the weights and “tone it down.” We say these critics need to shut up.

The arguments might be shrouded in medical standards—the segment reminds us that the minimum amount of fat to be healthy is 10 to 13% for women (while it’s only 2 to 5% for men)—but ultimately, the message here is that women aren’t as beautiful if they’re too buff. The segment also features a montage of women working out and lifting weights, further scaring women away from one of the most healthy ways of working out. (Charlene Wittstock added to the negative associations with weight lifting when she told Vogue that she’d cut back on weight-lifting to get a more princess-like physique for her wedding.)

Personally, I think Diaz and any other fit, strong, healthy, muscular women are beautiful, and provide much-needed role models of health and fitness. And in the name of embracing women of all sizes and weight, being “body positive” should include those who choose to rock buff bodies, too.

Take a look at this video and let us know what you think:

Photo: New York Daily News


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    • Lainey

      Bring on the muscles. It’s beautiful and sexy and hard to attain. Critics can kiss my six pack!

    • Jake Woldstad

      I agree with Lainey. Muscles are beautiful.

    • Kat

      Yeah critics need to shut the hell up! Women with muscles are sexy.
      “Strong is the new skinny” -Jennifer Nicole Lee

    • Jennifer King

      I think muscles are beautiful. I love the muscular and “veiny” look. It’s hot!

    • Sherri

      Women cannot win (especially in Hollywood)! They are either too fat for the big screen or now, they are too buff. It really is hard to be a women in today’s world! I long for a day when men and women can truly be treated as equals!!

    • Sandy

      I think they look great, though Madonna looks emaciated.