Is the "hourglass figure" genetic?

6 Answers
Or is it attained after pregnancy and childbirth (which enlarges the breasts and widens the pelvis)?

I would say it is somewhat genetic but also the product of maturity and a diet. A person who overeats is not going to have an hourglass figure. In the past women did use corsets tightened around their waste to enhance their hourglass figure.

Pregnancy and childbirth do not create an hourglass figure. In some cases women put on some pounds and never lose them after having a child. In fact a woman who has had 2 or more children is more likely to be "pear" shaped than have an hourglass figure.

It is the "hips" that create width the bottom of the hourglass, which do not change after childbirth.

I was pencil thin growing up but did have an hourglass figure (albeit with smaller breasts, but it is the shoulders that create the hourglass shape when viewed from the back or front). For me the figure started at about age 20, and to note, I did not have a child until I was 30.


Definitely genetic. You never realize how different body shapes can actually be until you see a lot of naked women! Moving to Japan where they have nude bathing in the hot springs, I have ended up seeing a lot of women of all ages. And let me tell you, not a single Japanese woman of any age- post-children or not, has an hourglass shape. It is straight up and down from the ribcage to past the hips. Their bottoms are more square than I'd ever expected.

Maybe this is all TMI but until I moved, I'd thought that most womens' bodies were pretty similar to my own, with a wider ribcage, thinner waist, and rounded hips. This was because I'd been raised among people who look pretty similar to myself. Not exactly of course, but mostly anglo/european shapes. The move definitely showed me how much genetics play a role in our bodies.


Having had an hourglass figure from the time I was about 10 years old, I would have to say that it's definitely genetic. Even though I'm overweight now, I still have an hourglass. It's actually just more pronounced than usual.

When I'm thin, my hourglass tends to be closer to 36-26-36. Right now, I still have the hourglass, but it's more like 42-31-46. It is a little bottom heavy, but not by much. Of course, you have to keep in mind that I have had five children.

I have seen women that don't seem to have much of an hourglass at all. Actually, my own mother was this way. She really didn't have much in the way of hips. My hips actually come from my grandmother on my father's side.


It is genetic. Some women are genetically predisposed to storing fat on their hips, and some are genetically predisposed to smaller waists, larger breasts or broader shoulders, and some have all these features, while others may have an apple shape or a very thin, boyish build.

While pregnancy and breast feeding tend to enlarge a woman's breasts, many women find their breasts are somewhat smaller or seem "deflated" once they wean the baby.

I'm not sure about pregnancy and hips. All I know is that in my case, having two babies did not widen my hips at all.


I definitely believe that an hourglass figure is genetic. All through my teen years, I prayed to just be thin from head to toe. I've always been wide on my upper body, with wide hips as well. I tried everything to slim down those body parts! I gave birth to two healthy children, but my body didn't change at all! Now my daughter is 20, and built exactly like me. I've just learned to accept that I'll never be a size 2. It's really ok to be exactly who you are.


You can change the shape of your body a lot. Not the bones but the fat and muscle. You have muscle and fat all over your body including your chest and bum. I made my upper body wider for a V shape by exercising. If you wanted an hourglass figure you could probably get it by exercising. I picked some areas I wanted to change and did an exercise routine to change them. Currently I am increasing the size of my forearms.