While we often associate a muscular physique with men, women with athletic bodies have begun showing off their gains in full force.
According to the Daily Mirror, a study shows when people rated the body types they deemed most attractive, the muscular build came out on top.
Researchers from the University of Missouri-Kansas City referenced Miss USA Competition, where the contestants are primarily judged on their appearance.
They analyzed photos of the 1999 to 2013 winners in their bikinis, in which it was discovered the title-holders have increasingly become more muscular.
The team conducted a follow-up study, where they investigated on whether the "ideal" female figure of exceptional thinness has become altered to include women with muscle tone.
Two pictures depicting 14 women were shown to 64 students, where they had to pick which image they preferred. The images were identical, with the exception of one photo having the body's muscular definition digitally cut out.
While participants rated both images as equally attractive when shown separately, when they were shown together, the students viewed the muscular version as better looking.
Professor Frances Bozsik, the lead author of the study, said: "There is a shift in the thin ideal female figure to one that now includes the appearance of physical fitness via muscularity."
The researchers hypothesize that the increased preference in toned and muscular body types is due to the increased "fitspiration" pictures of models on social media. These individuals have hundreds of thousands of followers, and constantly appear in news feeds.
"These websites allow individuals to collect images of women with whom they identify or admire, essentially allowing them to cultivate their own media repertoire of highly salient thin and fit media," Bozsik said.
“This process of selecting preferred images and then narrowing the media focus by placing these images on their ‘boards’ may inadvertently increase the risk of developing higher levels of body dissatisfaction, as well as subsequent disordered-eating behaviors that are linked to it," he added.
Do you think women with a more muscular physique are more attractive?