Athletic is the new skinny, thanks to the "Jessica Ennis effect"

Move over, Alexa Chung! Athletic is the new skinny, thanks to the 'Jessica Ennis effect'
Ennis beat Kelly Brook and Kim Kardashian to top of 'best female body' poll
72% of women would prefer to have a more athletic figure81% of men would rather date someone with an athletic figure
35% of women feel 'repulsed' when they see skinny celebrities

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UPDATED:

23:21 GMT, 16 October 2012

The days of women gazing enviously at photographs of whippet-thin celebrities such as Alexa Chung and Kate Moss are drawing to a glorious close.

In the wake of the UK Summer Of Sporting Love (aka the 2012 Olympics), the British female of the species has decided collectively that being athletic is definitely preferable to looking as though you really need to eat a few biscuits.

And our champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis, 26, is leading the way, topping a poll of women whose bodies are most appreciated by women and men alike.

Thanks to Jessica Ennis, winner of the 2012 Olympics women's heptathlon, British women would now much rather be athletic than skinny

Thanks to Jessica Ennis, winner of the 2012 Olympics women's heptathlon, British women would now much rather be athletic than skinny

The newly termed 'Jessica Ennis effect' means that 72 per cent of women would now prefer to have an athletic figure rather than a skinny one – and 35 per cent say they feel 'repulsed' when they see pictures of super-skinny celebrities.

Women would now rather look like Jessica Ennis than a skinny celebrity such as Alexa Chung

Women would now rather look like Jessica Ennis than a skinny celebrity such as Alexa Chung

Furthermore, 81 per cent of men quizzed reveled they would rather date someone with an athletic figure.

Sheffield's Olympic golden girl even beat the likes of curvy Kelly Brook and voluptuous Kim Kardashian to top a national poll of the most desirable celebrity bodies.

According to a survey conducted by bootcamp company Lifestyle247, a strong, athletic female physique is now the top figure admired and lusted after by women and men alike.

And Ennis gained the most votes when respondents were asked to select their most desirable and aspirational celebrity figures.

More than a third of women even admitted they
feel 'repulsed' at the sight of skinny celebrities in the media,
indicating a backlash over unrealistic and unhealthy body ideals and a
surge in popularity of the London Games message that 'strong is sexy'.

Olympic
fever also caused a surge in the British public looking to train like
their favourite athletes.

Some 71 per cent of those polled revealing
they felt more inspired to get fit due to the Olympics and Paralympics.

Lifestyle247 bootcamps saw a 68 per cent increase in
enquiries during the Olympics thanks to the athletics-based training methods it uses.

And
women who are deciding to take up exercise are doing so more with the
intention of becoming toned and sculpted rather than of losing weight.

Yasmin Mohammed, founder of Lifestyle
247 Bootcamps, said: 'Our bootcamps are structured to help clients gain
the qualities of an athlete – endurance, strength, focus and
determination – and during the Olympics we noticed a surge of interest.

'We
have noticed our female clients are more focused on toning and
sculpting their bodies as opposed to just losing weight and many
commented on how desirable Jessica Ennis' body was during the Olympics –
the most enviable body part being her abs!

'Not
only have the Olympics and Paralympics shifted disability and gender
perceptions – this has been the first Games in which women could compete
in every sport, and there were more women in Team GB than ever before –
but they also seem to have given us a new generation of role models to
aspire to, whose bodies are admired for their physical strength and
ability and not solely on their visual appearance.'

Britain's Jessica Ennis celebrates winning gold following the 800-meter heptathlon during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics

Britain's Jessica Ennis celebrates winning gold following the 800-meter heptathlon during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics

Kelly Brook's curves placed her second on the list of celebrity women whose bodies other women would most like to have as their own

Kim Kardashian's voluptuous body came third in the poll

Female celebrities Kelly Brook, left, and Kim Kardashian, right, came second and third on the poll of women who other women would most like to resemble physically

WHICH FEMALE CELEBRITY HAS THE BEST BODY

Rihanna came fifth in the list of celebrity bodies most appreciated by women.

Rihanna came fifth in the list of celebrity bodies most appreciated by women.

1. Jessica Ennis

2. Kelly Brook

3. Kim Kardashian

4. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

5. Rihanna

6. Elle Macpherson

7. Halle Berry

8. Gisele Bundchen

9. Miranda Kerr

10. Frankie Sandford