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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have decided to post this, because I see so many woman disillusioned about their own unique body type.

Just like clothing trends, throughout time there have been body type trends. In the 1920s, the banana/ectomorph type was celebrated, in the 50s-60s, the hourglass, and these days, its a mixture, but its still very limiting.

I see a lot of ladies get into diet and exercise thinking that they can change their body to fit a certain mold, but sometimes that isn't possible. For example, if you're an endomorph/apple/large frame, you aren't going to look like a super-thin ectomorph/pear.

This, I believe, is a cause of poor body image / unhealthy habits in diet and exercise. You're made to believe that anyone can look like a ballerina or runway model (typically small-framed ectomorph/banana) if you just have enough determination and willpower.. but I'm about to show you why thats wrong.



#1 The different body shapes:

Hourglass

This is the figure that most women desire. Although there are some disagreements about characteristics of other body shapes, hourglass is easy to describe. Woman has big breasts, slim waist and wide hips. Although waist to hips ratio could have slightly different values, it is always low and bust should match the proportions of hips and buttocks. Popular women with this body include Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, and Katy Perry. You can wear almost any swimsuit with this body type and still look good. Although you can dare to wear bikini, you would be also suprised, how flattering can one piece swimwear look at you.

Pear or Triangle

This figure is characterized by wide hips and buttocks that are bigger than bust. Fat is tends to be stored in the lower part of the body. This body type is very feminine and widely popular across different times and countries, but is not preferred in current western civilization as much. Beautiful examples of Pear shape are Beyonce, Shakira, and Nina Dobrev. Swimsuit for this body shape should optically enhance upper half of the body, especially breasts. Try padded swimsuit bra and/or wearing lighter color on top, darker on bottom.

Inverted triangle or Athletic

Main feature of this type are wide shoulders with slim waist and narrow hips. Desired by many fitness freaks while others perceive it as too manly. Usually breasts are not very large, but exceptions exist. Look for example at Jessica Biel, classic inverted triangle while she still has natural C cups. Other celebs with this body type include Bo Derek and Pink. When choosing swimsuit by body shape, this women should to pick the type of straps that are not making shoulders to appear even wider. Attracting attention toward cleavage also works.

Apple

All apple types store fat predominantly in belly area, while hips are smaller. Round figure and usually also round face are charateristic features. Breast size can vary from small to big one. Check following examples of “Apple”: Kate Upton, Lindsay Lohan, and Adele. One piece swimsuit with colors, that optically narrow the waist and with deep cleavage to work with your best assets, are good choice for this body type. But also look at Kate Upton and how successful bikini model she became with apple body shape.

Banana or Rectangle (or ruler)

Very slim figure, classic supermodel-like look. Praised by current fashion industry and targeted as too boyish by some others. Women of this type have slim shoulders and hips, flat belly, smaller breasts and butt cheeks. It is very easy for them to maintain low weight. On the other hand, is they never have larger bust than B cups, if they stay natural. Take Cintia Dicker, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Miranda Kerr as typical examples of this shape. Banana body shape is the one that should wear tiny triangle bikini most of the time while swimming or tanning. This swimsuit type flatters to slender firm body with smaller curves.

(source Female Body Shapes and swimsuits to choose from)



(*You can be a combination of types)



#2 Frame size:

Here is one of the reasons that bmi is flawed. Two people of the same height can have different sizes of bone structure, which means that one can weigh 10-20 lbs more than the other and still be at their ideal weight. If you plan on using bmi, keep that in mind. The lower healthy range is probably fine if you have a small frame (even slightly under or over that of course), and the higher healthy range (a little over or under) is better for a large frame.

From what I have observed however, there are more frame sizes than small, medium, large. I'd say there are:

xs, s, sm, m, ml, l, xl

Adele and the red haired lady from madmen probably have xl frame size. Kate winslet, probably large frame. They have all been criticized for their weight even at a healthy weight for their frame size (though yes I acknowledge that Adele carried more weight before, in the past - it still wasn't enough that it would likely lead to a health issue. Vanity thinness =/= health.)


#3 Endo, Meso, Ecto:

Now again, you can be a combination of these.

An anecdote to start off with. I had a friend who ate less than me, but weighed about 80 lbs more than me. In order to get down to my average size, she had to cut calories by a lot, and work out constantly. Frustrating for her, puzzling for me, until I learned about differences in body types.

She was an endomorph: I had an endomorph lady once tell me that she could just smell cake and gain five lbs. The endo naturally gains fat easily -- but they also gain muscle easily. Even at a lower weight their body will appear softer and rounder (traditionally thought of as "womanly/curvy") than the mesomorph or ectomorph. I have read that the endomorph tends to do better when they limit their carbs, and time their carbs so that they burn them off during workout sessions. Both weight training and cardio are recommended for this body type.



The lady on the right has a very lovely shaped endomorph type body, very sensual curves.

Mesomorph: Most of the winners of the miss america pageants tend to be mesomorphs. This body type is slow to gain fat, quick to gain muscle. They gain muscle definition with much less work than any other type. This body type can look athletic even if they sit on their asses most of the time. : P
Venus and Serena Williams are good examples of -pure- mesomorph women. Their bodies just soak up muscle mass.


Amazingly athletic, beautiful muscle tone.

Ectomorph: This is the type that others often admire, for their naturally thin body, and lack of worry about weight gain. They find it hard to gain fat, or muscle. Ballerinas and runway models who are still healthy, yet super thin, are ectomorphs. There are other types who can stave their bodies to look this thin, but they can't maintain such a low weight as healthily as the ectomorph who is in fact, naturally thin. These ladies often get a lot of flack from others, unfairly, who might assume they have an eating disorder. There is a lesson in this: you can look at two thin bodies of the same size, and not know what kind of actual -health- they are in.


The ecto, being small all over, has the luck of being able to fit into all the prettiest fashions, and rarely has trouble finding a good bra. ; P
Ectomorphs can also be curvy - and I would call their curves "sharp" curves, instead of "soft" curves like the endo.

#4 Muscle Twitch:

Slow Twitch (Type I)

The slow muscles are more efficient at using oxygen to generate more fuel (known as ATP) for continuous, extended muscle contractions over a long time. They fire more slowly than fast twitch fibers and can go for a long time before they fatigue. Therefore, slow twitch fibers are great at helping athletes run marathons and bicycle for hours.

Fast Twitch (Type II)

Because fast twitch fibers use anaerobic metabolism to create fuel, they are much better at generating short bursts of strength or speed than slow muscles. However, they fatigue more quickly. Fast twitch fibers generally produce the same amount of force per contraction as slow muscles, but they get their name because they are able to fire more rapidly. Having more fast twitch fibers can be an asset to a sprinter since she needs to quickly generate a lot of force.

What Causes Muscle Fatigue?

Type IIa Fibers
These fast twitch muscle fibers are also known as intermediate fast-twitch fibers. They can use both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism almost equally to create energy. In this way, they are a combination of Type I and Type II muscle fibers.

Type IIb Fibers
These fast twitch fibers use anaerobic metabolism to create energy and are the "classic" fast twitch muscle fibers that excel at producing quick, powerful bursts of speed. This muscle fiber has the highest rate of contraction (rapid firing) of all the muscle fiber types, but it also has a much faster rate of fatigue and can't last as long before it needs rest.

Fiber Type and Performance
Our muscle fiber type may influence what sports we are naturally good at or whether we are fast or strong. Olympic athletes tend to fall into sports that match their genetic makeup. Olympic sprinters have been shown to possess about 80 percent fast twitch fibers, while those who excel in marathons tend to have 80 percent slow twitch fibers.

(Source: Fast and Slow Twitch Muscle Fiber Types)






So, your unique body is some mixed combination of all of these - one shape and size, does not fit all, no matter how fit and healthy you are.

*I am not making -any- value judgments in this post, other than acknowledging the beauty of all different types. Their perceived strengths and weaknesses are in the eye of the beholder, and cultural trends of any given time period.
 

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Can doing squats make a flat butt any bigger if the person is already slim with a slim waist? I really don't know what my body type is, even my measurements don't give me much clues imo.
 

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I'm not sure I wanna start heavy lifting tbh. Resistance bands work?
If you can feel it working your desired muscle group - its working (no matter how silly), to some extent at least.

Lifting just works better/faster than anything else.

Ballerina workouts are good, as are general body weight strength training exercises. The beach body stuff (p90x and so on) are fine - people do get results. I mean you'll even get results from the machines at the gym, really. Just not as much, or as good as lifting, but I do understand the hesitation to lift. I didn't want to at first myself, then after a ton of research, I said bring it on. ; P
 
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I have the ruler shape, medium frame, ectomorph, slow twitch muscles. I can put on weight if I eat enough junk, but putting on weight while eating healthy is freaking impossible! I was supposed to put on weight during pregnancy while I was also supposed to be eating healthy. I kept losing weight and looking more like a snake that swallowed a gopher than a pregnant chick. I then tried to put on weight while weight training, I wanted nice big muscles. I wanted to feel strong. I just looked like Olive Oyl from Popeye. :frustrating: But for the record, I can put on weight. I just can't do it eating healthy food, even the high calorie healthy food. It's not happening.
 

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I'm a slim pear/hourglass mix I'd say, prolly mesomorph because I put on muscles like it's nobody's business :)

When I was a teen I was a bit annoyed by the existence of my hips and wanted to be more streamlined (maybe I was influenced, as stated by the OP, by the fact that hips ain't that popular in the West now) ...but now I loooove the femininity of my shape :)
 

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Ah I gain weight too easily endomorph it's so frustrating some girls eat the whole fucking fridge and still are as thin as a stick me on the other hand I don't eat much, (don't excersise too much, but neither do they..) as for body type, pear maybe I have large hips, but large boobs too, some weird hourglass maybe, I've never actually measured some people say pear others say hourglass...(Haha a girl can dream can't she?) Oh and thanks @Promethea for the post it was very interesting to read.
 

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Ah I gain weight too easily endomorph it's so frustrating some girls eat the whole fucking fridge and still are as thin as a stick me on the other hand I don't eat much, (don't excersise too much, but neither do they..)
Skimming, the bits on endo/ecto/mesomorphs aren't completely accurate. They're absolute theoretical 'models' and everyone exists on a scale between them (as explained accurately) but they're not actual body types. It is true that some people are more likely to gain fat and other muscles, but differences are largely neglicable.

Those rail thin girls who can raid a whole fridge barely eat anything in the rest of the week and are probably fairly active. The girl that barely eats anything but still gains underestimates how much she eats and is fairly sedative.

People will say they 'swear they eat everything but don't gain a pound' are overestimating how much they eat. A real life example would be my roommate. I lift weights; he doesn't. He's a stick, I'm built. When I just moved in, everyone swore he ate like a pig. But I was eating 3000 calories per day when I started bodybuilding and they were BLOWN AWAY by the sheer volume of my food. He doesn't count calories, but I do, accurately. And 3000 calories is just 500 more than what an average male should consume. They just noticed the large pizza who often eats, not taking into account that he barely eats anything at all beyond that.

Even on another forum I post at, some guy was asking for help on how to gain weight. Another classic 'I eat everything in sight but I'm super skinny'. I told him to list a typical day's worth of food and I would count the calories for him. He thought he would be between 4000 and 5000 calories; he only eats 1800.

Once you start tracking calories accurately, though you'll notice that you're eating far more or less than you've estimated.

Just think about it. Everyone's bodytemperature is around 37 degrees celsius (give or take). Meaning, we have a similar metabolism. Compare our body temperature to that of a humming bird, who have a ridiculous metabolism and a body temperature of almost 42 degrees celsius. And then to the body temperature and metabolism of a sloth, which is just incredibly slow and low.

From that, you should already be able to deduce that there isn't that much variation in metabolism in humans. Some factors, mostly hormonal, can influence metabolism. But other than some absolute outliers, they're usually caused by eating too little. For most people, it's safest to assume that you're not an outlier.

But that's good news. You're not an unfortunate soul who was cursed with bad 'weight gain genetics'.

This video explains it in pretty great detail for those who are curious:

 

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@Promethea, you forgot the hourglass category from the first article.

I really like the idea behind the thread. The system below is my favorite and has been since I discovered it; rather than assessing women based on fat, it assesses them based on bone structure, which will never change, though it acknowledges that fat gain can change one's shape. The site also does quite a bit on body proportions, showing how being short in a certain measurement leads to more weight gain there (except for some of us weird ones).

A (pear)
O (apple)
H (rectangle)
I (boyish)
X (low-hip hourglass)
8 (high-hip hourglass)
V (inverted triangle)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@Promethea, you forgot the hourglass category from the first article.

I really like the idea behind the thread. The system below is my favorite and has been since I discovered it; rather than assessing women based on fat, it assesses them based on bone structure, which will never change. (As such, bust size doesn't figure into it at all.) The site also does quite a bit on body proportions, showing how being short in a certain measurement leads to more weight gain there (except for some of us weird ones).

A (pear)
O (apple)
H (rectangle)
I (boyish)
X (low-hip hourglass)
8 (high-hip hourglass)
V (inverted triangle)
oh shit.. oops.. lol

thank you!
 
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Skimming, the bits on endo/ecto/mesomorphs aren't completely accurate. They're absolute theoretical 'models' and everyone exists on a scale between them (as explained accurately) but they're not actual body types. It is true that some people are more likely to gain fat and other muscles, but differences are largely neglicable.

Those rail thin girls who can raid a whole fridge barely eat anything in the rest of the week and are probably fairly active. The girl that barely eats anything but still gains underestimates how much she eats and is fairly sedative.

People will say they 'swear they eat everything but don't gain a pound' are overestimating how much they eat. A real life example would be my roommate. I lift weights; he doesn't. He's a stick, I'm built. When I just moved in, everyone swore he ate like a pig. But I was eating 3000 calories per day when I started bodybuilding and they were BLOWN AWAY by the sheer volume of my food. He doesn't count calories, but I do, accurately. And 3000 calories is just 500 more than what an average male should consume. They just noticed the large pizza who often eats, not taking into account that he barely eats anything at all beyond that.

Even on another forum I post at, some guy was asking for help on how to gain weight. Another classic 'I eat everything in sight but I'm super skinny'. I told him to list a typical day's worth of food and I would count the calories for him. He thought he would be between 4000 and 5000 calories; he only eats 1800.

Once you start tracking calories accurately, though you'll notice that you're eating far more or less than you've estimated.

Just think about it. Everyone's bodytemperature is around 37 degrees celsius (give or take). Meaning, we have a similar metabolism. Compare our body temperature to that of a humming bird, who have a ridiculous metabolism and a body temperature of almost 42 degrees celsius. And then to the body temperature and metabolism of a sloth, which is just incredibly slow and low.

From that, you should already be able to deduce that there isn't that much variation in metabolism in humans. Some factors, mostly hormonal, can influence metabolism. But other than some absolute outliers, they're usually caused by eating too little. For most people, it's safest to assume that you're not an outlier.

But that's good news. You're not an unfortunate soul who was cursed with bad 'weight gain genetics'.

This video explains it in pretty great detail for those who are curious:
I'm not saying that, for example, all endomorphs are going to weigh 200 lbs no matter what - however I stand by everything that I actually said in the op, and I believe its dangerous to try to convince women that they can look like any body type they choose simply "with enough diet and exercise," because it is simply not true.

I have read on plenty of fitness sites, that some people just won't get their body fat percentage low enough to show visibly ripped abs for example (because of their weight distribution). There was a case of a male dying from anorexia because he believed that he could get his bfp low enough for it - he couldn't apparently. Fat does not distribute in the same places on everyone. He died from undernourishment and still didn't have a visible 6-pack.
 

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to convince women that they can look like any body type they choose simply "with enough diet and exercise," because it is simply not true.
how does some think it's possible to change how that works? (endomorphs etc.) isn't that the natural way the body burns and stores fat? how it deals with it.. it doesn't make sense to believe that that is changeable through normal diet and exercise the only way would be messing with your body's functions and appearance I guess.
 

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I'm not saying that, for example, all endomorphs are going to weigh 200 lbs no matter what - however I stand by everything that I actually said in the op, and I believe its dangerous to try to convince women that they can look like any body type they choose simply "with enough diet and exercise," because it is simply not true.

I have read on plenty of fitness sites, that some people just won't get their body fat percentage low enough to show visibly ripped abs for example (because of their weight distribution). There was a case of a male dying from anorexia because he believed that he could get his bfp low enough for it - he couldn't apparently. Fat does not distribute in the same places on everyone. He died from undernourishment and still didn't have a visible 6-pack.
Now you're talking about fat distribution, in the OP you talked specifically about how easily "endomorphs" gain weight, which is a matter of metabolism:

She was an endomorph: I had an endomorph lady once tell me that she could just smell cake and gain five lbs. The endo naturally gains fat easily -- but they also gain muscle easily.
Genetically determined fat distribution has nothing to do with the speed and the ease at which you gain mass. You're changing the argument.
 

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how does some think it's possible to change how that works? (endomorphs etc.) isn't that the natural way the body burns and stores fat? how it deals with it.. it doesn't make sense to believe that that is changeable through normal diet and exercise the only way would be messing with your body's functions and appearance I guess.
Yeah.. The reason I mentioned before, that certain body types are more revered culturally, in whatever time period, is because those become these sort of icons that people strive to live up to.

I remember in the 90s, how girls all lived on cigarettes and diet cola to try to look like a svelte banana/ectomorph when the waif model trend came out. Some ladies (about 8-10 percent I think it was) are naturally small framed, and thin, with an even weight distribution (creating a more straight than curvy figure). For the others who try to maintain it, they will have to restrict calories -too much- to achieve that look (imagine a large-framed inverted triangle with naturally large breasts for example, trying to starve herself into that shape - it doesn't work).

In another thread, I'd also posted a link to an episode of intervention with a girl who was bulimic, and undernourished as fuck, but she still looked as healthy as I do. Her parents would even shake their heads and say people are lying about her eating disorder - but of course in the show we got to see the reality of it with the cameras rolling. She was also a dancer, so she was constantly active.

She likely thought she should restrict more/workout more, because she "should" look more like a body type that she simply was not.

So, where expectations of looking a way that someone does not, plays into this - well:

- Its in the media (some body types are more revered culturally/in a time period), and then you are sold products and services that claim to "fix" your body, making it into the more socially celebrated type.

- Sometimes when a girl begins to mature into a woman, the changes in her body give her an anxiety, and she becomes phobic toward these changes (The case in a lot of anorexics, who despise their growing breasts, widening hips, softening curves, etc..)

- Some men who don't understand these things will also have weird expectations for their significant others. For example, a friend of mine with a short waist was dating a guy who had a fetish for a long waist on a banana body type, and though this girl was at the low end of her healthy weight, he kept trying to force her to keep losing, thinking that would have her waist longer. (Idiot, and abusive.)

^All of those things need to stop, basically. So thats the point of my thread - to show that people gain weight easier, harder, in different places, and that its all ok in its own rite. : )
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Now you're talking about fat distribution, in the OP you talked specifically about how easily "endomorphs" gain weight, which is a matter of metabolism:



Genetically determined fat distribution has nothing to do with the speed and the ease at which you gain mass. You're changing the argument.
If you have something to actually prove that no one ever gains weight easier than anyone else, then by all means share it.

Until then, ALL of this is nutrition and fitness theory.
 
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If you have something to actually prove that no one ever gains weight easier than anyone else, then by all means share it.
False dilemma. I posted that the differences are minute, not non-existing, with a video explaining it in great detail + my own reasoning you did not bother to debunk logically.

And this is the second time you're changing the argument after I pointed out that a specific type of fat distribution doesn't equal weight gain.

Until then, ALL of this is nutrition and fitness theory.
Now you're making an appeal to ignorance
 

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I posted that the differences are minute, not non-existing]
Yeah, cool, I agree that the differences exist too.

And thanks for the bonus defensive use of logical fallacies, it proves that your ego needs this more than mine does. I am a little annoyed though, that you tried to turn a positive thread into a heel-nipping session.
 

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Ah I gain weight too easily endomorph it's so frustrating some girls eat the whole fucking fridge and still are as thin as a stick me on the other hand I don't eat much, (don't excersise too much, but neither do they..) as for body type, pear maybe I have large hips, but large boobs too, some weird hourglass maybe, I've never actually measured some people say pear others say hourglass...(Haha a girl can dream can't she?) Oh and thanks @Promethea for the post it was very interesting to read.
Yeah, I think larger breasts can happen across the board, but they're just less common in some types than others.

If one's measurements come up as smaller on top than bottom or vice versa, they're likely not an hourglass. I read an article a while back on celebrities whos figures look like hourglass, but don't have the measurements for it - I think angelina jolie was one of them.
 
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