Shop More Submit  Join Login

:iconsmile-flight: More from smile-flight


Submitted on
August 23, 2013
Image Size
885 KB


1,437 (1 today)
49 (who?)
You are all beautiful (+tutorial) by smile-flight You are all beautiful (+tutorial) by smile-flight
First off: apologies for the poor quality of this picture, it is a clumsy coloured sketch done very quickly but I just wanted to illustrate a point quickly whilst I remember. And that point is Big Girl Body Types.

This is inspired by a post on tumblr about this issue and by a journal/writing on deviantART that I stumbled across that made me goggle with appalled amusement as the (presumably male) writer went on the describe exactly what heights, weights, measurements and proportions described a BBW and a SSBBW. My first thought was who the hell does this person think they are to be telling women that they are or aren't beautiful because they don't match his scientific list of qualifications but then it occurred to me that the body type he was describing as 'beautiful' is the same one that is almost always portrayed in media whenever they want to depict a 'big girl'. And I just want to say right here and now there is NO right or wrong way to be a big girl. Just because the media only ever depicts one body type of big girl that is as unrealistic for most of us as a supermodel build is for most slender women does NOT mean that you are not beautiful women. You can be beautiful in any size or shape.

So onto the picture! Here is just a sample of the various body types a 'big girl' can have! For continuities sake I kept these girls all around the same weight but with different builds! From left to right we have:

:bulletred: The 'classic' pear: Occasionally portrayed in the media as one of the few types of bigger girl, and although you can't tell in this picture because I had to crop it, she is standing with her legs wide apart, hence the crazy looking hips! This type is characterised by a slender face and neck, narrow shoulders, visible collarbones, petite breasts and rib cage, flat(ish) stomach and flaring curved hips and thigh, smooth thighs. Whilst the pear shape is common in women, very few ladies have such a sleek, smooth outline as this, though of course it does occur, like all other body types here.

:bulletorange: The 'realistic' apple: I have very, very rarely seen this figure in the media or in the drawings of non 'BBW artists'. Depending on the weight of the lady this body type tends to have round facial features, a double chin, thick neck, broad, strong shoulders and rib cage, large breasts, a large stomach, rolls around the sides and narrower, more toned hips and legs. Compared to the 'classic' apple shape the stomach is larger, the body folds/rolls around the torso that are present in most big girls are present and the facial features are softer.

:bulletyellow: The 'realistic' hourglass: Another body type that is rarely seen but in my experience is one of the most common body types for bigger ladies. Features round facial features and neck, somewhat broad shoulders, largish breasts, stomach, hips and thighs with the stomach being smaller than the other features though still pronounced. Compared to the 'classic' hourglass to the right of this picture, the body is softer with more folds and creases and a thicker middle and stomach region whilst still maintaining an hourglass shape.

:bulletyellow:The 'classic' hourglass: This is the one body type that tends to get shown over and over again whenever the media or mainstream artists want to portray a 'big girl', often to show that they have a diverse range of body types in their program/artist range whilst not actually having to research anything about fat or weight or size. I want to make it very clear that this body type is not bad or wrong, but it is rare and the fact that it is the only body type ever shown in mainstream art/media to represent a 'big girl' annoys me greatly. Because believe it or not, you don't have to have the body of Christina Hendricks to order to be an attractive larger lady. This body type features more slender facial features and neck, a visible collarbone, slender shoulders, large, firm breasts, a slender, narrow waist often little larger than that of a typical slender woman and wide, firm hips with toned thighs and arms. Certainly a possible body type and very pretty but tell me, how often do you see ladies that look like Christina Hendricks walking down the street? A form of beauty, for sure, but far from the only figure that can be beautiful on a larger lady, I am sure you will agree.

:bulletgreen:The ruler: Probably the rarest of all larger body types to be portrayed, even in the BBW/FA community is the ruler. The name does not suggest a lack of curves, but rather a balance of them. The entire body is soft with a plump face and neck, moderately thick shoulders and arms, moderately large breasts with a stomach of matching size and a full, round hip and thigh area. Distinct from the 'realistic hourglass' in having a waist area that is close in size to the chest and hips with an overall full and pleasing appearance. A common body type in real life but sadly underrepresented in art and media.

:bulletred:The 'realistic' pear: Large in the hips and thighs with narrow shoulders and more slender arms, neck and facial features, often with a visible collarbone depending on the amount of weight carried. Breasts are small and petite but the stomach is larger, round and soft, often with folds/rolls along the sides. A less sleek look compared to the 'classic' pear shape but more common, as wide hips are most commonly found with larger stomachs as well. Again, I am not implying that the 'classic' pear does not exist, rather that it is rarer and it is extremely unusual for the 'realistic' pear to be shown in art work or media. I have noticed that this is a favourite body type of most FAs however!

:bulletorange:The 'classic' apple: The main feature of this body type are the large, usually perky breasts and broad shoulders, tapering smoothly down to more toned and slender hips and legs. This is the second most common body type to be shown in media when relating to a larger lady, with delicate, toned facial features compared to the 'realistic' apple shape and a firmer, more sleek appearance over all. Often this body type is shown when people refer to an 'attractive' big girl in mainstream media. It certainly can be attractive but again is a rare body type.

Can you see the pattern here yet? The most commonly portrayed body types for the larger lady focus on a firm, sleek outline that is rarely found in girls or size whereas the more frequently found features in real women of size - rolls, folds of flesh, softness, protruding stomachs and less exaggerated proportions - are ignored as though they are unworthy or being shown, or are unattractive. And this irks me greatly, because let me tell you, ladies you are BEAUTIFUL. Whatever your size or shape. Most women are somewhere in between these shapes and sizes and this is just a sample of women's uniqueness.

Loopy is over and out! x
Add a Comment:
Forcedlactationlover Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer

Another good depiction of more realistic women's body types. Also makes its point well, as NONE of these girls is remotely unattractive (although that cute face has a LOT to do with that).

Query: Didn't you leave out a major feature of the 'classic' apple? No waist size is mentioned at all.

As I understand it, and I could be wrong, the most common body type is some form of 'pear', with 'ruler' as second most common. Real hourglasses, at whatever dimension, aren't at all common, which is one reason why they're notable. The most common 'apple' is a temporary condition (later pregnancy). All can be attractive, and often are.

2nd Query: Is there another common term for the 'ruler' shape (because, as a description it's actually terribly unrealistic, given the usual ruler's height of one foot and width of about 1 and 1/2 inches)?

smile-flight Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this comment! Sorry for taking so long to reply, real life gets in the way I am afraid, I do love reading your comments! I will admit to having to look back through my original writings to see what I said but I am glad to be able to discuss these things!

You are right that I never mentioned waist size in the descriptions but that is because to me (I am not sure if this is true of most people or not) the waist refers to the waist measurement, which is a 3D measure of circumference around the middle and so when I refer to the size of the belly I am also referring to the waist size because the belly makes up a lot of the waist circumference. You are right that I should have made that clearer and probably mentioned the waist size as a separate thing. 

Yes, pear and ruler body types are the most common in women, with hourglasses being the rarest. As it happens myself and my sister are both hourglass shapes so I have an unfortunate tendency of drawing women with that type of body as it is the type I see most often. I am not sure about whether or not most apple shapes are due to pregnancy, I know a lot of women who are very definitive apple shapes although they are not pregnant, though I admit that the people I see around where I live are unlikely to be a representative sample of women in general. As women get older the hormonal changes mean that weight gain is centered more around the waist, meaning that older women are more likely to have an apple shape compared to when they were younger. I think that there are different proportions of women with each body type depending on age but this is just a theory of mine!

To be honest I am not familiar with any other names for the squarer body type other than ruler. I imagine there are better words for it out there but this is the only one I commonly see used.  

imrainmantoo Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
I usually love big girls with any apple shape body type, especially at their biggest size and their best curvage with some nice biggest and largest sized tits (breasts, or boobs) which are a little boucy sometimes show cleavage too.
deandawg Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
I think this is absolutely fantastic. A great picture and I love your descriptions. Having read al the comments too, I have to disagree with one point and that is muscles are very attractive......... The ones that make a smile that is. To me they are the most important muscles because there is nothing as beautiful as a warm welcoming smile. I have to say I really do find your tutorials interesting I loved the last one you done on writing about sizes. That was very informative too. 
smile-flight Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, I'm really glad you think so! Hehehe, true, smiles are always attractive! I am really glad you like my tutorials/rants, there are just a lot of things like this that grate on me that I would like at least a couple of people to take the time to think about, you know? *smiles*
deandawg Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
You are very welcome and I really do like the picture. You have done a great job with emphasizing the differnt proportions. I do enjoy your tutorials/rants, I actually find them very informative. I know I have read your writing and bust sizes one a few times when I have created a character. smiles are amazing 
CeeNova Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I love this! This is very lovely, I adore the diversity--you're wonderful at drawing it. :) Truly excellent work!

I'm probably somewhere around realistic/classic apple and ruler... My body is actually pretty odd, haha! :D
smile-flight Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hehehe, aww, thank you very much! =D Thanks for saying that about drawing diversity as well, I don't think I have any characters who are physical 'clones' of each other like a lot of comic/anime characters are! I mean, the human body comes in so many shapes and sizes why would you want to restrict yourself to just drawing one type? ^^ 

That doesn't sound odd to me! I know my mum is somewhere between the classic and realistic apple shape where as I am more of the realistic hourglass type! 
CeeNova Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly--it's so much fun, even paying attention to facial shapes, shoulders, breast sizes... It's so fun to create mega diversity. ^^

Awesome! :D 
smile-flight Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know that I love creating diversity as well! It can really help define a character in your mind! I just wish that I was better at drawing different facial structures consistently! 
Add a Comment: