- Body shape
Human body shape has sophisticated details and purposes. Shape or figure is defined mainly by skeletal structure,
muscles and fat. [ body shape is determined by the nature of body fat distribution [http://www.psichi.org/pubs/articles/article_548.asp] ] Skeletal structure grows and changes only up to when a human grows adult and remains same for rest of lifetime. [ Growing is usually completed between ages 13 and 18, at which time the epiphyseal plates of long bones close allowing no further growth - Human skeleton] During pubertydifferentiation of male and female body occurs for the purpose of reproduction. In an adult human musclemass may change due to exercises and fat distribution may change due to hormone fluctuations. Inherited genes induce details of body shape.
Body shape has effects on body postures and gait, and plays a major role in
physical attractionbetween opposite sexes. [ body shape is important in physical attraction [http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/lessonplans/circlesofsexuality3.htm] ] This is because shape implies individual's hormone levels during his puberty which implies fertility, it also says about current levels of sex hormones. [ "body shape is determined by the nature of body fat distribution that, in turn, is significantly correlated with women's sex hormone profile, risk for disease, and reproductive capability" [http://www.psichi.org/pubs/articles/article_548.asp] ] Good shape also implies good healthand fitness of the body. Art of figure drawingdefines body proportionsthat are considered as ideal.
Skeletal structure frames overall shape of the body. This remains almost the same in an adult human, and does not alter much during lifetime. Males are generally taller, but body shape is analyzed after normalizing with respect to height. [ Males are taller ] ;Broad shoulders and expanded chest (in males):Widening of
shouldersoccur as part of male pubertal process. [ Secondary sexual characteristics occur as part of the pubertal process. [http://www.columbia.edu/itc/hs/pubhealth/modules/reproductiveHealth/anatomy.html] ] Expansion of ribcageis caused by effects of testosterone during puberty. [ testosterone causes expansion of rib cage during puberty as one of secondary sex characteristics. [http://www.humanhormones.com/category/steroids/androgens/] ] Hence males generally have broad shoulders and expanded chest. This is to allow for more room to inhale more air for muscles. Wider shoulder results a swagger in shoulders while males walk. [ males walk with swagger in shoulders [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523105948.htm] ] ;Wide hips (in females):Widening of hip bones occur as part of the female pubertal process, [ Secondary sexual characteristics occur as part of the pubertal process. [http://www.columbia.edu/itc/hs/pubhealth/modules/reproductiveHealth/anatomy.html] ] estrogen(predominant sex hormonein females) causes widening of pelvis as a part of sexual differentiation. Hence females generally have wide hips. This is to allow for childbirth, the shape of a female pelvisis flatter, more rounded and proportionally larger to allow the head of the foetusto pass during childbirth. [see Gender differences in Human skeleton and Sexual dimorphism in Hips] Sacrum in females is shorter and wider, also directed more backward(see image). [Saukko P, Knight B. Knight's Forensic Pathology, 3rd Ed. Edward Arnold Ltd. 2004. ISBN 0-340-76044-3.] This affects their walking style, resulting in hip sway, [ females walk with hip sway [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523105948.htm] ] also, females generally stand with hips relaxed to one side.After puberty, females generally have hips wider than shoulders and males otherwise, which is considered as a secondary sex characteristic. [ "hips grow wider than their shoulders" [http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/ATLAS_EN/html/secondary_characteristics.html] ] But not everyone follows this stereotypical pattern. Both male and female hormones are present in body, though only either of them is predominant in an adult human, the other hormone has effect on shape to some extent. [ "some women have more male sex hormones than the average woman" [http://www.tinajuanfitness.info/articles/081505.htm] ]
Due to the action of testosterone, males develop these facial-bones features during puberty:
* A more prominent brow bone. [ bone across the centre of the forehead from around the middle of eyebrow across to the middle of the other ]
* A squarer
* Larger nose bone. [
testosteronethickens the brow and "upper bridge of the nose" [http://www.unl.edu/rhames/courses/male_facial_beauty.htm] ]
Because females have around 20 times less testosterone, these features do not develop to the same extent, and smaller nose makes for fuller upper lip unlike males. [ Females have fuller lips. [http://www.beautyworlds.com/humanbeauty.htm] ] Hence female faces are generally more similar to that of a pre-pubertal child.
Fat distribution, muscles and tissues
Body shape is affected by body
fatdistribution, which is correlated to current levels of sex hormones. [ "body shape is determined by the nature of body fat distribution that, in turn, is significantly correlated with women's sex hormone profile" [http://www.psichi.org/pubs/articles/article_548.asp] ] Muscles and fat distribution may change from time to time, unlike bone structure, depending on food habits, exercises and hormone levels.
Estrogen stores fat in the
buttocks, thighs, and hips in women. [ estrogen causes fat to be stored around the pelvic region, hips, butt and thighs [http://www.annecollins.com/obesity/reduce-abdominal-fat.htm] ] [ [http://www.healthywomen.org/columns/drpeekescolumn/dbcolumn/waistlineworriesturningapplesbackintopears Waistline Worries: Turning Apples Back Into Pears ] ] When women reach menopauseand the estrogen produced by ovaries reduces, fat migrates from their buttocks, hips and thighs to their waist, [ Researchers think that the lack of estrogen at menopause play a role in driving our fat northward [http://health.yahoo.com/topic/nutrition/overview/article/womens-health/26287] ] later fat is stored in the belly. [ Abdominal fat and what to do about it [http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it.htm] ] Thus females generally have relatively narrow waistand big buttocks, ["Big butts are back" [http://www.buttsbymendieta.com/Cosmo_aug_2006.htm article] Cosmopolitan] and this along with wide hips make for their bigger hip section and lower waist-hip ratio, around 0.7Fact|date=September 2007
fatstorage in the body, [ estrogen women have activates fat storing enzymes and causes them to multiply [http://www.tanita.com/MessageForWomen.shtml] ] which results more fat stored in body of females. Body fat percentage recommendations are more for females, this serves as an energy reserve for pregnancy. Males have less subcutaneous fatin face due to effect of testosterone, [ "Subcutaneous fat in face decreases" - Advanced postnatal effects ] also testosterone reduces fat by aiding fat metabolism. Males generally deposit fat around waistand abdomen("apple shape") due to lack of estrogen.
Testosteronehelps build and maintain muscles through weight exercise. [ Maintaining sufficient levels of the hormone testosterone can "build muscle and decrease body fat" [http://www.vitamins-supplements.org/hormones/testosterone.php] ] Males have around 20 times more testosterone than women. [On average, overall men have about "20 times more testosterone than women" [http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/articles/testosterone.shtml] ] Prominent muscles of the body include the pectoral muscles, bicepsand tricepsin the arms and quadricepsin the thighs.
Females have enlarged breasts due to functional
mammary glands, developed due to the effect of estrogensince puberty. Mammary glands do not contain muscle tissue. The shape of female breasts is affected by age, genetic factors, body weight.
Overweight and underweight
Overweightand underweightcause change in shape as well as posture and walking style. Obesityor overweight also brings about noticeable change in shape of body, obesity is measured using BMI or waist circumference. Depending on the BMI, a body may be referred to as slim, overweight or obese. Dieting, in conjunction with exercise, may by used to bring and keep the BMI within an acceptable range. Fatand carbohydrates constitute the majority of energy factors of foodand is measured cumulatively in the USA in kCals (which is customarily reported as Calories with a capital C) and in KiloJoules in the rest of the world. Though proteinsare a major component of food consumed by humans, they mostly aid growth and repair of tissues and muscles and have comparatively little effect on weight control.
A Low-fat diet and a low-carbohydrate diet will both produce identical results.
Fitness and exercises
Different foms of
exercises are practiced for fitness of body and also health. Different forms of exercises include yoga, aerobics, dancing. It was commonly believed that targetted exercise reduces fat in specific parts of the body [ [http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Myths.html Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths ] ] -- for example, that exercising muscles around bellyreduces fat in the belly. This, however, is now proven a misconception. But exercising reduces fat throughout the body, and where fat is stored depends on hormones. liposuctionis commonly used surgery to remove fat from body. Other common methods include walking, jogging, cyclingetc.
Clothing and accessories
Clothingor dresses enhances or even changes appearance of body. Fashionclothes enhance appearance of shape, while tight jeans, bikinis, bras, belts, corsets etc. hug body into their shape against gravity. High heeled sandals, generally used by females, also alter body proportions.
Dress size depends on different dimensions. US, European and international standards are considered dress size standards. Different terms used in dressing include
Petite sizes, [ [http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=59213&dict=CALD Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press ] ] full-figured(FFW), [ [http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/Full+Figured+Women Full Figured Women - What does FFW stand for? Acronyms and abbreviations by the Free Online Dictionary ] ] Size zero, vanity sizingetc.
Types and terminologies
Classifications are mainly based on circumference of bust-waist-hip(
BWH), like 34-24-36( inches) respectively. In this case waist-hip ratio is 24/36 = 0.67. Many terms or classifications are used to describe body shape types.
*V shape: Males tend to have proportionally smaller bottom, bigger chest and wider
shoulder, which makes for V-shape of torso. V-shaped males are considered attractive. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article855409.ece Women seduced by ‘V man’ with a matted chest from timesonline.com]
*Hourglass shape: Females body is significantly narrower in
waistboth in front view and profile view. Waist is narrower than chest region due to breasts and than hip region due to buttocks, which resembles an hourglass.
*Apple: Belly region is bigger than hip section, mainly males.
*Pear or spoon or bell: Hip section bigger than upper body, mainly females. [ Illustration of shape in body shape calculator. [http://www.1is2fat.com/Body-shape-calculator.htm] ]
*Rectangle or straight or banana: Hip section, waist and shoulder are straight.
Impact of body shape on health
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, those people with a larger waist (apple shaped) have higher health risks than those who carry excess weight on the hips and thighs (pear shaped). People with apple shaped bodies who carry excess weight are at greater risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetesand high cholesterol. [cite web|title=Body shape impacts your health| url= http://www.my-blood-pressure.com/weight-assessment.html]
Human gait(walking style etc.)
Human physical appearance
* Sexual dimorphism in hips
* Gender differences of skeleton
Secondary sex characteristics
* Advanced postnatal effects of Testosterone
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