The Female Bulking Scare
Muscle has no gender which is good because it means ladies and gentlemen can both be strong but the concern about getting bulky is unfounded. It is more the result of the same old culprits of the athletic community...drugs and fancy photography.
Stronger is better. We work hard to explain to females that they have been short-changed and that strength is primary to being in good shape. Dispelling the myth of female bulking scare is just part of the fight.
Ladies can build muscle and thus athletic shape and a healthy metabolic rate buy they will have to work hard for it just like a male. The fact remains that both will be limited by body type (genetics). Even a lifetime of strength training exercise for a female will only build at best 15-20 lbs of muscle depending on height. Combined with a reasonable body fat level, this means ladies will look fit but not particularly muscular.
Those "bulky" looking gals you see are pumped up and drugged up whether they are willing to admit it or not.
Again it all comes down to accepting your fundamental body type. You cannot shrink you hip bones anymore than you can make your muscles longer, or make yourself taller. More muscle for a lady just means getting some symmetry and proportion like having shoulder width to go with your hip width. The real benefit is the healthy metabolic rate to keep body fat levels in check and the ability to avoid frailty, so you can remain active through life.