Woman Shapes

Body Shape

The female form is a combination of multiple attributes which cause many conflicting descriptions when taken as a whole.

Three inflection points

The female body has three key physical points of inflection:

  • Chest, which is measured across the fullest part of the bust
  • Waist, which is usually measured at the smallest circumference of the abdomen
  • Hips, which is usually measured at the largest circumference of the hips and buttocks

The female body usually inflects inward towards the waist around the middle of the abdomen. The waist is smaller than the chest and hips, unless there is a high proportion of body fat distributed around the waist. How much the chest or hips inflect inward, towards the waist determines the structural shape. A woman’s “dimensions” are often presented by the circumference around these three inflection points. For example “36-29-38”.

Four combinatorial structures

Independent of fat percentage, weight or width, most female bodies have one of four elementary geometries, ordered by their commonality in western society.

Banana or Straight:The waist circumference is at least 75% of the chest or hips circumferences, which are virtually the same. The body has a relatively high androgen level compared to the estrogen level, and this causes the skeleton to develop in a more masculine pattern and body fat to be distributed predominantly around the waist.
Pear or Spoon or Bell (Triangle upward):The waist circumference is at least 75% of the chest circumference, and the hips circumference is at least 110% of the chest circumference. The distribution of fat varies, with fat tending to deposit first in the buttocks, hips and thighs. As body fat percentage increases, an increasing proportion of body fat is distributed around the waist and upper abdomen.
Apple (Triangle downward): The waist circumference is at most 75% of the chest circumference, and the chest circumference is at least 110% of the hips circumference. Body fat distribution tends to begin in the arms, shoulders, chest and upper abdomen first.Hourglass Shape (triangles opposing, facing in)
Hourglass Shape(opposing triangles, facing in): The waist circumference is less than 75% of the chest or hips circumferences, which are virtually the same. It is also called figure of 8. Body fat distribution tends to be around both the upper body and lower body. Their body typically enlarges the arms, breasts, hips and rear before other parts, including waist and upper abdomen.

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