The Hourglass Figure ‘Ideal’ Explained

15 Mar 2021 | Category: Medical

womens health

As Seen In Women’s Health

Expert Advice From Dr Ross Perry

Women’s Health examined the ‘ideal’ hourglass figure of small waist and curvy lower and upper body, exploring how attainable this is. 

The article started out by emphasising that:

“There’s no such thing as an ideal shape when all people are so wonderfully different.”

Even so, the feature pointed out that online searches for ‘how to get an hourglass figure’ are up 450% over the last year, so it is something that a growing number of women are interested in.

Women’s Health asked Dr Ross Perry, GP and Founder/Medical Director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, to give his medical insight on the matter. He explained:

“‘The “hourglass” shape is defined by a woman’s body measurements.

“It typically consists of a smaller waist with a larger bust and curvier hips. Legs and upper body are in proportion to each other, with petite slightly rounded shoulders and curvy bottom.”

Yet as Ross explains, there is much more awareness now of the risks of this ideal, which can:

“…put enormous pressure on women and lead to body dysmorphia.”

Dr Perry continues:

“Stereotypical hourglass figures would fall into the category of many old Hollywood icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and today women like Beyoncé, Dita Von Teese, Christina Hendricks, Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez.”

Women’s Health asked Dr Ross Perry whether it is healthy to have an hourglass figure. He replied:

“Genetics play a role in the “hourglass figure” however, only 8% of women have a naturally small waist and wide hips,’ cautions Dr Perry. ‘You can be ultra-slim and yet be unhealthy, and likewise have an hourglass figure and be fit and healthy. It’s all dependent on lifestyle and what we’re putting into our bodies and how we’re treating it.

“A lot of women can naturally carry more weight around the hip area, and for many, they’re happy with the shape. For others, they may naturally have the “hourglass” but diet and exercise to lose the natural curve and weight around these areas.

“It’s often down to personal preference and of course current trends. In the 50’s it was seen as the most desired look and is seen, by many still today, but [unfortunately for some] fashion and trends dictate to the ideal women shape.”

Dr Ross Perry explained that it is normal to have some fat around the waistline, but too much fat is not healthy:

“Weight gain around the middle is known as “visceral fat” and a small amount is perfectly normal [and needed]. Too much excess weight around the stomach and middle area however can be unhealthy and come with increased health problems.”

He went on to explain what can cause the body to develop extra fat:

“Contributing factors can include a poor diet and too much sugar and processed foods, excess alcohol, not enough exercise, stress, menopause and polycystic ovaries. Lack of sleep can slow down our metabolism leading to weight gain in the stomach area.”

The article goes on to explain how exercise can work on building and shaping muscles while a sustainable calorie deficit is the way to lose body fat. It concludes with a vital message of body positivity:

“no matter your body shape, size or appearance, you are worthy of love and respect. From others but most importantly from yourself.”

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Dr Ross Perry

doctor ross perry

Dr Ross Perry is Founder and Medical Director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics.

He qualified at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in 1994. His career includes NHS skin cancer reconstruction, work as a GP, as well as private cosmetic skin treatments.

He established Cosmedics Skin Clinics in 2003 and remains in charge as Medical Director. He is best known for dealing with unwanted skin lesions and blemishes (e.g. moles, cysts, warts skin tags) and natural-looking use of non-surgical cosmetic injections.


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Cosmedics Skin Clinics

Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical skin treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors.  The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers and laser treatments; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.

Call 020 7386 0464 or email to book an appointment.

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