You are beautiful, no matter what shape or size.

Bodies come in many different shapes and sizes. Some of us have broader shoulders, narrower hips and some of us are curvier. It’s important to remember that there isn’t a “typical” or “average” body. We’re all a little bit different, it is one of the things that makes us all unique.

Some of the most common general categories include:

Triangle or “pear” – With this shape, your shoulders and bust are narrower than your hips. You probably have slim arms and a fairly defined waist. Your waist most likely slopes out to your hips.

Inverted triangle or “apple” – If your shoulders and bust are larger than your relatively narrow hips, you have what’s known as an inverted triangle or “apple” shape.

Rectangle – If your waist measurements are about the same as your hip or bust, and your shoulders and hips are about the same width, you have what’s called a “banana” or rectangle body type.

Hourglass – If your hips and bust are nearly equal in size and you have a well-defined waist that’s narrower than both, you have an hourglass shape. Your legs and upper body are probably considered proportionate. Your shoulders may be slightly rounded, and you most likely have rounded buttocks.

Athletic – If your body is muscular but isn’t particularly curvy, you might have an athletic body type. Your shoulder and hip measurements are about the same. Your waist is narrower than your shoulder and hips, but it isn’t overly-defined and looks more straight up and down.

How you describe your body is your choice, no one can label it for you. The key thing to remember is to not fixate on your bodies shape or size and compare it to others. This can lead to habitual body monitoring, which, in turn, can increase women’s opportunities for shame and anxiety, which is the main reason for mental health risks that disproportionately affect women.


What factors affect your body shape?

Many elements of your body shape are determined by your bone structure. For example,

  • Height
  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Weight

What if you want to change your shape?

Apart from exercise, there is cosmetic surgery. However, the main thing to remember is whatever body shape you have, you are beautiful. There’s no such thing as an “ideal” body shape, regardless of what some may try to tell you. The most important thing is that you’re happy and healthy.

If you have any concerns about your body — including how it feels or the way it moves — then come and talk to us, a doctor or other healthcare provider.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.