Bodies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which are influenced by a person's build and composition. This is part of what makes every human being unique.
Some bodies are curvier, some have broad shoulders, and some have more musculature.
People usually have a defined body type after thatpubertyHowever, this can change depending on activity levels, dietary habits, and other key lifestyle and hormone changes.
This article focuses on common body shapes, common body types, what determines body shape, and how a person can improve their body image.
A person's body type depends on the distribution of muscle mass and fat. Some people are tall and lean while others are curvier.
Likewise, some people find it difficult to gain weight, while others find it difficult to lose weight.
A note on sex and gender
Sex and gender exist on spectra. In this article, the terms male, female, or both are used to refer to the gender assigned at birth.Click here to learn more.
Psychologist in the 1940sWilliam H. Sheldonintroduced the concept of different body types or somatotypes.
While many people believe that this type of classification applies only to men, it can also describe the female body. This classifies the body based on how lean a person is or how easy it is for their body to store fat.
According to this classification, there are three different body types:
- Ectomorph: This is when the body is lean and lean and tends to have less body fat andMuscle. People with this body type can often find it difficult to gain weight in the form of muscle or fat. Models are an example of this body type.
- Endomorph: This is when the body has more stored fat and lots of muscle and gains weight easily. People with this body type are not always overweight. Football lineman and Marilyn Monroe are examples of this body type.
- Mesomorph: This is when the body is athletic and strong. People with this body type are neither overweight nor underweight. Swimmers and volleyball players are examples of this body type.
Women tend to have more fat mass. They also tend to be curvier due to a combination of larger breasts, wider hips, larger buttocks, and bigger thighs.
While every body is unique, there are several broad categories for female body shape. an older one2004Article notes that historically this comes from the fashion industry.
Common forms include:
- pear or triangle: People with this body shape have narrower shoulders than their hips. A person tends to place most of their weight on their buttocks, lower hips, and thighs.
- Inverted Triangle: This is when the bottom half of the body is smaller than the top and the shoulders are wider than the hips. People with this body shape tend to gain weight in the upper body and abdomen. They also tend to have larger breasts and narrow hips.
- rectangle: This is when there is no substantial definition at the waist and hips. People with this body shape have similar hip and shoulder widths, and the body tends to have the same proportions.
- hourglass: This is the case when the upper and lower halves of the body are of equal width. People with this body shape tend to have a smaller waist than their chest and hips.
- Oval or apple: This is when the top and bottom halves of the body are narrow. People with this body shape tend to carry weight in the chest and abdomen and have slim legs.
- activity level
Changes in activity levels and diet can affect a person's body shape. For example, if someone is an ectomorph and wants to gain some weight, it may take a little more effort, but they can do it successfully with proper nutritionexercise routine.
While some people find identifying their body shape helpful, others may find little benefit. The appearance of a person's body can change with exercise and diet. Additionally, a person's body type may not be an indicator of their overall health.
A person who appears to have an ectomorph body type might believe that they won't get as much benefit from training as a type who finds it easier to build muscle, such as a squatter. B. Endomorphs.
However, people of all body types will notice improvements in strength, flexibility, and weight as they follow an exercise routine to reach their goals.
Some people assume that certain body types are less likely to develop diseases due to being overweight or overweightobesity. However, this is not necessarily true.
Low physical activity, smoking, drinking alcohol and not following ahealthy, balanced dietare all risk factors for metabolic obesity. Although some genetic factors also exist, experts have not yet fully explored this link.
People should not assume that their particular body shape puts them at a lower risk of developing obesity-related diseases.
A person who exhibits features of one body shape but wants to look like another may develop poor body image issues orbody dysmorphia. In some cases, a person can developdisturbed eating behavior.
The researchers posit that people who see a "thin ideal" on social media may be at greater risk of developing disordered eating patterns in order to achieve that ideal.
Eating disorders can severely impact the quality of life of people living with these conditions and those close to them. Early intervention and treatment greatly improves the likelihood of recovery.
Anyone who suspects that they or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder can contact theNational Association for Eating Disordersfor advice and support on:
- Phone or text at 800-931-2237
- Chat online by going tothis link
These services are only open at certain times. Anyone in a crisis can always text “NEDA” to 741741 for assistance from a trained Crisis Text Line volunteer.
Alternatively, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) operates a disaster emergency hotline that people can call 800-985-5990 for 24-hour assistance.
Many other resources are available including:
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
- The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness
- FEST., which provides support and educational resources to friends and family members who want to help someone living with an eating disorder
Sometimes people are not comfortable with their body shape.
For example, a very curvy person might want a more square body, while someone with a square body might want more curves.
It's common for some people to feel pressure around the concept of 'ideal body shape' or 'ideal body type', but ultimately there is no such thing as an ideal body shape - health is the most important factor.
DieNational Association for Eating Disordersoutlines some thought patterns a person can consider for a more positive body image:
- Appreciate what the body can do.
- Remember that beauty is not superficial.
- Be with positive people.
- Turn off negative self-talk.
- Wear comfortable clothing that inspires confidence.
- Be critical of images on social media.
It's important for people to remember that all bodies are beautiful and unique, but are only part of what makes a person. The way individuals deal with others and their behavior are also important aspects.
When a person suffers from poor body image issues orbody dysmorphia, they should get help from a doctor.
All bodies are special and unique. One aspect of what makes them unique is their shape and how they carry weight and muscle.
There are many different body shapes and many different body types. Sometimes people are not comfortable with their body shape. If a person has concerns about their body, they should see a doctor.