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.