Home | News | World News | Today's stars post six-pack pictures as young women eschew curves for muscles

Today's stars post six-pack pictures as young women eschew curves for muscles

  • Celebrities' social media seems to suggest six packs are body look du jour
  • Stars like Kate Hudson seem to post pictures of sculpted stomachs daily
  • Jennifer Lawrence and Cara Delevingne also sport impressively toned abs 

By Claudia Connell for the Daily Mail

Published: 16:36 EST, 14 October 2015 | Updated: 02:48 EST, 15 October 2015

192 shares

305

View
comments

Look at photographs of Hollywood starlets in bikinis from the Fifties and Sixties. You’ll notice they all have similar body shapes. They are slim but curvy with very little muscle definition and nipped-in, hourglass waists.

Look again, and you’ll notice something else they have in common: in most shots the actresses are sucking their tummies in for all they’re worth. Ursula Andress in Dr No; Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC; Brigitte Bardot in And God Created Woman and Marilyn Monroe in every swimwear shoot she ever did. All beautiful women. All with softly, rounded tummies. All breathing in.

Compare old-school stars with some popular celebrities today and it’s another story. Take Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, an idol to many young girls. She was photographed recently coming out of a nightclub in a cropped top, sporting a set of abs so defined you could bounce coins off them.

Scroll down for video 

Jennifer Lawrence was photographed recently, above,  in a cropped top sporting a set of very defined abs

Jennifer Lawrence was photographed recently, above,  in a cropped top sporting a set of very defined abs

Lawrence isn’t the only female celebrity showing off rock-hard abs. Pippa Middleton was photographed on holiday recently sporting a washboard stomach most men would kill for, supermodel Cara Delevingne has a six-pack, as do many of the female cast of reality shows The Only Way Is Essex and Made In Chelsea.

You only have to look at the Instagram and Twitter accounts of some well-known women to see that the six-pack snap has become the new pout shot.

Chloe Madeley, Kate Hudson and Ellie Goulding seem to post pictures of their sculpted stomachs almost daily.

Perhaps the most famous older owner of a six-pack is Davina McCall - 48 tomorrow and a mother-of-three. But with a series of workout DVDs to plug, it’s little wonder she flashes her tum at every opportunity.

Talk to men of any age and very few will admit to finding a masculine body shape attractive on a woman - whether it’s bulging biceps, broad shoulders or six-packs. When you think about it, why would they? That’s how their bodies are meant to look.

So why are women - particularly those under 30 - eschewing waists and curves for muscles?

See more of the latest pictures of Jennifer Lawrence's rock-hard abs

Hollywood starlets from the Fifties and Sixties, like Ursula Andress, above, had very little muscle definition

Hollywood starlets from the Fifties and Sixties, like Ursula Andress, above, had very little muscle definition

‘To look tough, to appear equal to men rather than weak and feeble,’ says Marisa Peer, a therapist and body-image expert.

‘It’s a step on from tattoos. There was a time when it was mostly men who had tattoos; then women started getting them.

‘They started off small and discreet, got bigger and now there seems to be a trend for women to be inked on particularly painful parts of the body, such as the back of the neck or the spine. It’s saying: “I can endure anything a man can.”

Pippa Middleton was photographed on holiday recently sporting a washboard stomach most men would kill for

Pippa Middleton was photographed on holiday recently sporting a washboard stomach most men would kill for

‘The six-pack craze is part of that same mentality.’

Marisa believes the fact men find it unattractive adds to the appeal.

‘If you look at the type of woman who has this body shape - Mel B, or Madonna a few years ago - they’re feisty and opinionated.

‘Part of the message is that they don’t pander to men and they don’t need looking after. Social media is promoting the trend, but it’s unobtainable for ordinary women without trainers and personal chefs.

‘Most eventually realise it’s pretty miserable to have to devote so much time to exercise and dieting.’

Our bodies are designed to look different to men’s and we need to stop trying to fight Mother Nature

One side-effect of a six-pack in women is that it will always come at the expense of a waist.

Boobs also go out of the window when a six-pack comes to town. It’s why we are seeing increasing numbers of women with bodies like men, save for their bolted-on beach-ball breast implants.

No doubt this ugly trend, just like the size-zero fad, will pass. However, for any woman crazy or deluded enough to think she, too, can get a six-pack like the stars, then there’s certainly no shortage of information available.

A quick look at YouTube reveals 1.2 million video tutorials all targeted at women - Killer Abs! Extreme Abs! Ripped Abs! Six Pack And Sexy! - all featuring photographs of toned, tanned, scary-looking women.

While there are plenty of books, apps and DVDs promising to deliver a six-pack with just a few minutes’ exercise a day, how realistic is it for the average woman with a slightly doughy tummy to think she can get a six-pack?

‘Not very, unless she’s particularly genetically blessed,’ says personal trainer Karen Austin.

Perhaps the most famous older owner of a six-pack is 48-year-old mother-of-three Davina McCall

Perhaps the most famous older owner of a six-pack is 48-year-old mother-of-three Davina McCall

‘There are some women for whom a six-pack would be a real challenge to achieve. A natural apple shape, who stores her fat around her middle, will find it very hard to get defined abdominals.’

Karen, who is based in Manchester, says she notices a real generational divide when it comes to the ideal body shape.

‘My clients over 40 want a flatter stomach and to tone up - particularly their arms - but they are all very anxious about not looking too muscular or masculine.

‘Younger women want rock-hard abs and muscles. Luckily, a six-pack’s easier for a younger person to achieve because her hormones are more balanced - unlike older women, who tend to start laying fat down around the middle when their hormones go out of sync.’

Another fact women seem to ignore in their quest to look like gladiators is that we have a naturally higher body fat percentage than men. The average healthy woman has 25 to 30 per cent, compared with 18 to 24 per cent for a man.’

So the truth is that a six-pack takes great dedication. ‘Abs don’t come from hundreds of sit-ups or holding a plank for ten minutes,’ says Karen. ‘It’s about high-intensity interval training, but also an entire lifestyle overhaul. A celebrity with a six-pack will also follow a very strict diet, with plenty of protein, and limited starches and sugar.

‘An important part of fitness is having realistic goals and not setting yourself up for a fall. Remember, celebrities are paid a lot of money to look as good as they do.’

Another thing to bear in mind is that the abs may not, in fact, be all that they seem.

Beyonce and Lindsay Lohan have both been accused of digitally editing their Instagram photos, and a six-pack is fairly easy to achieve with skilfully applied fake tan contouring.

Worth remembering, too, is that a muscular body isn’t necessarily a healthy one. Many female celebrities - including those who bleat on endlessly about eating ‘clean’ and working out - smoke like chimneys. After all, cigarettes are said to suppress the appetite.

Our bodies are designed to look different to men’s and we need to stop trying to fight Mother Nature. A woman’s stomach muscles should not come in six-packs. Doughnuts, on the other hand...

Read more:

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

MOST READ NEWS

Most Watched Videos

Most Read News

Best Of The Web

 Join The Ghana Social Network

More from World News

ENTERTAINMENT

Recent Comments

Most Popular Posts

USA News

UK News

News - Articles
Ghana Articles News
Go Up!