Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hourglass figure returns to fashion - Telegraph

Female body shape is the cumulative product of a woman's skeletal structure (her build) and the quantity and distribution of muscle and fat on the body. There are, and have been, wide differences on what should be considered an ideal or preferred body shape, both for attractiveness and for health reasons. These have varied among cultures simultaneously. As with most physical traits, there is a wide range of normality of female body shapes.

Human beings and their cultures have perennially focused attention on the female body as a source of aesthetic pleasure, sexual attraction, fertility, and reproduction.

The female body occurs in a range of shapes. The female figure is typically narrower at the waist than at the bust and hips, and usually has one of four basic shapes: banana, pear, apple, or hourglass. The bust, waist, and hips are called inflection points, and the ratios of their circumferences define these basic shapes. Usually, the bust area will depend on the person's weight and height.
Apple (triangle downward)
Apple shaped women have broad(er) shoulders compared to their (narrower) hips. Apple shaped women tend to have slim legs/thighs, while the abdomen and chest look out of proportion compared to the rest of the body. Fat is mainly distributed in the abdomen, chest, and face.

Banana or straight (rectangular)
The waist measurement is less than 9 inches smaller than the hips or bust measurement. Body fat is distributed predominantly in the abdomen, buttocks, chest, and face. This overall fat distribution creates the typical ruler (straight) shape.

Pear or spoon or bell (triangle upward)
The hip measurement is greater than the bust measurement. 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. The women of this body type tend to have a (relatively) larger rear, robust thighs, and a small(er) bosom.

Mohini an avatar of Vishnu shows an hourglass body shape.
Hourglass shape. (triangles opposing, facing in)
The hip and bust are almost of equal size with a narrow waist.Body fat distribution tends to be around both the upper body and lower body. This body type enlarges the arms, chest, hips, and rear before other parts, such as the waist and upper abdomen.

A study of over 6,000 women carried out by researchers at the North Carolina State University around 2005 found that 46% were banana (rectangular), just over 20% pear, just under 14% apple, and 8% hourglass. Another study has found "that the average woman's waistline had expanded by six inches since the 1950s" and that today women are taller and have bigger busts and hips than those of the 1950s.

Finally the hourglass figure is back in fashion and the link below speaks more on this.
Resources Wikipedia

Hourglass figure returns to fashion - Telegraph
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  1. Nice article on describing the female body shapes. I remember some idiot trying to claim that a small/compressed torso and waist is impossible on the female body. Looks like this moron failed to realize that there really are women out there who do have natural hourglass body shapes.

  2. Yes, I was told by a fashion expert that without the belly fat, I have an hour glass body shape and I don't have a size C or D breast, either. It's about the waist. My waist is clearly defined - even with the fat.

  3. I seem to be hourglass both when I'm slim and when I'm a bit overweight. Doesn't seem to matter, the proportions stay the same. I was an hourglass when I had an A/B cup size for my bra. My waist is always 10" smaller than my bust and hips.

  4. True, but people need to learn the definition of the word curvy.

    This is not curvy (I've heard people call Scarlett Johanson curvy before!?!):

    This is not curvy (it irritates me when overweight women label themselves as curvy):

    THIS is curvy: