36, 24, 36 or The Perfect Size...

Written by 61craint on 10/22/2010 1:18 AM | COMMENTS (11)

As women we have always been told that 36-24-36 is the perfect measurements for a woman. 36, 24, 36 implies beauty to most people. Actually, 36-24-36 is more commonly known as BWH, which is an abbreviation of bust, waist and hip measurement. It is also informally called a woman’s Vital Statistics. These measurements are a common method of specifying body proportions for the purpose of FITTING CLOTHES.

BWH was never meant to be used to describe ones appearance and here is why:

The three sizes are used mostly in the fashion industry, and almost exclusively in reference to women. In many places in the western world, this ideal size for a woman is APPROXIMATE as 36, 24, 36 is actually 91.4-61-91.4 when converted into cm.

Because cup size is not measured in BWH measurements, breast volume will have an effect on the perception of a woman's figure even when BWH measurements are nominally the same. A woman with measurements of 36A-25-38 will have a different physical presentation than a woman with measurements of 36C-25-38.

Height will also affect the physical presentation of the figure. A woman who is 36-24-36 at 5'2" tall looks different from a woman who is 36-24-36 at 5'8" tall.

With that being said, does this imply that there is no perfect figure? And that 36-24-36 is not a true representation of what a woman should look like.

Once upon a time it was believed that the hourglass shape represented a woman of great breeding that could be a great breeder. In the 18th century women wore tight fitting corsets to achieve this hourglass figure; pressing their internal organs into a small unreasonable space. Now days we have Kymora body shapers, Spanx and Ardyss to do the same thing. I doesn’t seem like times have changed much does it????

Why do these 3 numbers mean so much to us? Are they magical? Can we win the Lotto with them? Even Marilyn Monroe did not have these measurements, as her weight fluxuated over a period of time.

As for me, I knew by age 9 that I did not have the average 9 year olds shape; as I was already measuring 36C, 20, 38. My mother spent a lot of time trying to get me to wear a girdle all day and a bra all night. She insisted that I would not be able to keep all of my curves in the proper places if I did not control them. I was 9, how many 9 year olds can control their shape. At 9…a girdle was uncomfortable and bra was itchy….and I wanted no part of either one of them.

I admit I have always had curves and a natural hourglass shape, no matter what size I was. However, I don’t think I will ever be 36, 24, 36. It would drive most of us crazy trying to get to those measurements and we still would all look different based on height and cup size. I bet if I asked all of you right now to tell me just the first 2 measurements we would find that our numbers would be all over the place.

The use of BWH measurements for anything other than garment fitting is like playing roulette, when applied to social body acceptance and evaluation. We all look different and our shape is truly our own. There are no two women with the same curvature, so we need to stop trying so hard to measure up to the immeasurable.

There is no perfect shape.

As I continue my weight loss journey to the unknown territory of a smaller person, I look forward to my new shape, whatever shape that is……

I challenge all of you to look at the women you see over the next week to count how many actually have a 36,24, 36 figure vs. those that don't.

Categories: Lose For GoodLove & lifeMy weight loss


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  • Post Image 61craint

    10/23/2010 11:12 PM
    Latonya, I agree....I also am aware about the waist measurement being the most important. I have also been working on my stress. Thanks for your comment.


  • Post Image besusan (latonya m)

    10/23/2010 9:24 AM
    Theresa, the only time I think about those measurements is the Commodores song. According to Dr. Oz, the measurement we should be concerned with is our waist because belly fat leads is linked to diseases including cancer. Our waist should be half our height in inches. I don't think the average woman is 48 inches tall. The body also releases cortisol and then rests in the belly. Cortisol is released when we are stressed. Reduce stress, reduced belly fat.


  • Post Image karenc615

    10/22/2010 10:48 PM
    I love your blogs!! I too have always been curvy. When, my sister and I were little the Dr. called us the little big girls. Even last week at WW my friend meaning no harm, said you are solid and probably will always be large :) Well, as long as I am a healthy weight, I can handle being termed as large. Keep posting and sharing you are awesome.


  • Post Image zonicka1

    10/22/2010 9:11 PM
    Thank you! It is good to know the history behind these numbers and that there isn't a secret culture of women who have those measurements but I got left out! :-) This puts things in perspective for sure!


  • Post Image dannmc (debra)

    10/22/2010 9:33 AM
    I think that when we look in the mirror and like what we see...that is the perfect body for that day. I love all of your posts.


  • Post Image yhenderson40 (yulonda)

    10/22/2010 9:25 AM
    Great post. There is no such thing as a "perfect" body, even if they were a size 0 or 2. I agree with you everyones body proportions is different. I have not known anyone with the measurements 36-24-36. All I know I will always have a big butt (tone), a large bust, and the waist is questionable (LOL)..Thanks for the post.


  • Post Image deewohl

    10/22/2010 8:50 AM
    By today's standard (all the women who want to be size 2 or even zero) 36,24,36 would be considered overweight. You are so right we are all different and I for one am only striving to be the best ME I can be - healthy and happy. Heck I was happy when my thighs got to 24 LOL


  • Post Image vivi29_

    10/22/2010 8:39 AM
    Nice post. I don't know a single woman who meets the magical 36-24-36. I'm just looking forward to seeing what my pear shaded boby will look and feel like when it's at it's best, what ever measurements that may be.


  • Post Image maineveggie66

    10/22/2010 5:39 AM
    Excellent blog!! 9 years old? Wearing a girdle and bra?? How terrible! The perfect body is one that is healthy, one that is moving daily, one that is ingesting fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein and lots of water. Thanks for this, Theresa! Tammy


  • Post Image this1isit

    10/22/2010 2:26 AM
    What society may think is a perfect body ... may not be what I think is the perfect body. I will hopefully know when I have gotten to the measurements that make me happy. I personally do not know any one who fits into the measurements of 36-24-36.


  • Post Image mimilefay (maria)

    10/22/2010 1:37 AM
    I'd have to say that none of the women I know have those measurements. Some are bigger; some are smaller; some are close, and you are so right that none of them look the same. The perfect body is the perfect body for each of us individually.




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