Why do Asian women tend to lack muscle?

Inflammatory title, I know.
Why does it seem that Asian women who are from or live in an East Asian country seem to have very little muscle on their bodies?

On a college campus, you’ll notice that is more common for an American girl to have a body like this:




than it is for a foreign Asian girl.

It is more common for foreign Asian women to have bodies more like this:

Niether body type is better than the other since beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Also I’m not saying that “all X look like Y” but this is an obvious tendency.

SO why might this be the case?

Ass kicked by girl.

Tapeworms. Thanks to all the raw meat they eat, Asian Asians are 30% parasites by mass.

Asian people are smaller in stature on average, but my subjective impression is not that they generally have less muscle tone. In any event, there’s no “why” to answer unless you can present some evidence beyond cherry-picked photos that your premise is correct.

Ass kicked by girl - part II

Primarily a low calorie, low fat diet with genes inherited from their parents who also ate a low calorie, low fat diet.

Steamed rice, stir fried vegetables and a little meat. No cheese, cakes, cookies, candy nor dairy products. Jogging, yes; weight lifting, no.

Most Asian females don’t want to look muscular. They believe that a muscular look would be unattractive.

This is just my experience having lived in Asia for 7 years, being married to a Taiwanese girl and having her two sisters and mom around.

East asians tend to have a lower BMI. Rates of obesity in Korea & Japan are only about 3% despite the fact that fast food and alcohol is everywhere there.

I’d guess if this is a real trend there is a genetic component but I don’t know what.

True because in my experience, most women[sup]#[/sup] on american campuses* look more like this andthis.
#self edited from girls to women. I** did** learn something on this board.

  • note my experience lately is limited to campus visits along with my “looking for a school” daughter.

I don’t know but those first three pictures are very nice.:slight_smile:

best answer.

Asians in general tend to have less muscle mass than Westerners, although that said, my Vietnamese lifting partner is one of the strongest and most muscular guys I’ve ever met. But, he was born in the US, so he had the benefits of our superior nutrition.

Nope, not turning this into a voyeuristic exercise. Let’s see how this thread progresses, but I’m very wary of both racial stereotyping and a deconstruction of women’s physiques.

If too many posts cross either of those lines, I’ll have to close it.

No, this is anything but “the best answer”. This is exactly the type of racial stereotyping I’m refering to.

Muscle tone is considered unfeminine in many cultures, including Asian. Even when known for action roles (Michelle Yeoh, Jeeja, Rina) you rarely see definition and vascularity is off the table. The Asian women I’ve known that look really fit have all mentioned getting some pushback from family and friends about it. But then, as mentioned above, few Asian men shoot for that look either without some sort of Western influence. Tae Yang of k-pop group Big Bang is the only overtly fit pop star I recall seeing - most guys have a skinny-fat androgynous look.

That said, you hear lots of American women say muscle definition isn’t feminine as well. I recall it being a criticism back when Jane Fonda was the rage.

And remember, in the US a very small percentage of the population is fit-looking, among both genders. Our popular culture is skewed but the reality is something like 3% of the population works out regularly for more than a couple of years and eats a healthy diet (according to the Atlantic).

Thank you. raises glass of yoghurt to PoppaSan
(what? I’m having breakfast!)

But, my Thai wife and her “sister” Noi both held world weight lifting records. This was in the masters division (over 40 ) and they competed against men. Wifey has very broad shoulders and cannot get clothes to fit. She deadlifted well over 800 lbs, her sister has done 900 and still holds the record. Noi is the winningest women in all around weight lifting. They both weighed 115 lbs when competing. My wife was often accused of using steroids, but she was born that way. Her youngest son takes after her, he is a dead ringer for Vin Diesel.

Here is Noi when she was lifting, large thighs for that 900 lb deadlift! She looks slim today.



What the parents ate didn’t change their genes.

Cheese, cake, cookies, and candy are very popular in Indonesia, which last time I checked was part of Asia. Anyone who doesn’t believe me can Google “resep keju” which is Indonesian for “cheese recipe.”

Fair enough. I’ll see your 7 years and raise you with my 17, which suggest a somewhat more nuanced view than what you offer. I’m not saying your experience is wrong (though I have to admit, anyone who says they married a “girl” loses a few points … did you really marry a child, or an actual woman; I’m guessing the latter despite your language). But my personal experience is no less valid than yours, and I don’t reach the same conclusions.

I know if I say “culture” it will sound overly PC, but…this one really is mostly culture.

I live in Shanghai. The idea of a toned physique looking good on a woman is pretty new; mostly women just want to be slim.
And there’s a different relationship with exercise – a larger proportion of people do daily exercise here than in the west, but most of that exercise is fairly light – walking, tai chi, stretching.

Also of course the photos in the OP are hardly a representative sample; I don’t recall ever seeing muscular butts that big IRL.
If we are going to take it to that extreme, I would in fact question the premise. Because, while I agree that probably a higher proportion of western women are muscular compared to the same age group of asian women, if we’re looking at the outliers of super-toned women, it would not surprise me if the same, tiny, proportion of women have that kind of body shape.

I’ll go with a combination of genetics, diet, and culture.

Genetically, Asians tend to be smaller and slightly less muscular than people of European descent. But the diet also factors into this discussion because the tradition Asian diets in all of the Asian cultures I can think of consists of more rice, grains, and vegetables, and less on meat and dairy (and less processed junk as well). Culturally, Asian women aim to be slim and toned. Female bodybuilding and strength conditioning is just now starting to make inroads in some Asian cultures with significant Western contact like Japan, Korea, and China, and typically, only in major cosmopolitan cities like Tokyo, Seoul, or Shanghai, if at all.

Class and (sub)culture.

Women getting notably large muscles is analogous to, and often combined with, tanning. Do you see a lot of Asian women going out of their way to tan? I bet not, because they’re, let’s call them chiefly working class, aesthetic aspirations which are less often found in middle and upper-middle class communities.

Asian Americans have largely gone from cultures which were not affluent enough to have working-class status symbols which working-class people actually aspired to to being middle/upper-middle class and not caring much for muscled women and muscle cars.

I think you just nailed the true purpose of this thread.