The Four Basic Female Body Shapes

The female figure is a combination of a woman’s skeletal structure and the quantity and distribution of muscle and fat. A woman’s body type is often expressed by bust, waist and hip measurements.

Estrogen level have a significant impact on a female’s body shape, especially during the productive years. Besides other functions, estrogen promotes the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts and the widening of the hips.

Height will also affect the appearance of the figure and a taller woman with similar measurements to a shorter counterpart will look slimmer and less curvaceous since the distance between the measuring points is at greater distance.

Independent of fat composition, weight and height, female bodies are categorized into four elementary geometric shapes with a wide variety of actual sizes within each shape.

Rectangular – if the waist measurement is less than 9 inches smaller than the hips and bust measurement with body fat being distributed in the abdominal area, the buttocks, chest and face, creating a typical rectangular shape.

Apple Shape – these women have broader shoulders compared to narrower hips and slim thighs with fat distribution in the abdominal area, the chest and the face.

Triangle Shape – the hip measurement is greater than the bust measurement and the fat deposits tend to go to the buttocks, hips and thighs. This body type supports a larger rear end, thicker thighs and a smaller chest.

Hourglass – the hips and bust measurements are almost equal with a narrow waist. Body fat distribution tends to be around both, the upper and lower body. This body type enlarges the arms, chest, hips and rear before the waist and the upper abdominal area.

A study conducted in 2005 found that 46% of females were rectangular shaped, about 20% were tringle shaped, 14 % were triangle shaped and only 8% fell into the category of hourglass shaped and the rest was a combination of shapes.