What if I don’t have an hour glass figure?


Millions of women ask themselves this question each and every day. Most studies show that men prefer women with an hour glass figure, and a 60 to 70% hip to waist ratio. Are women who don’t have an hour glass figure doomed to be single? What about middle aged women who used to have an hour glass figure when they were young but don’t anymore?

I am primarily writing this toward single women looking to find husbands.  But at the end of the post I will address this from the perspective of married women.

First full disclosure – I am a married man around 40 as I write this post. I think far too often women read articles from other women on this subject, but they don’t get the male perspective and I will try and provide an honest perspective here.

Do men really prefer the hour glass figure on a woman?

Yes men prefer the hour glass figure to the other body types. It is hard wired into us. If a man were to look at a series of pictures with woman’s body types as shown above, with just the body and not the face or neck shown the vast majority would choose the hour glass figure.

Is it only possible for petite women to have hour glass figures?

A common myth or misconception that women believe is that it is only possible for petite women to have hour glass figures.  The fact is that even large built women with a much larger amount of fat can actually be very attractive to many men.  Take Kim Kardashian as a woman that is certainly not petite but is considered very attractive and she has an hour glass figure.

Can a woman with love handles and extra weight still have an hour glass figure?

Yes! Just because a woman has a belly or or some love handles does not mean she can’t still have an hour glass figure.  The main point of an hour glass figure is to have that curve between the waist and the hips and between the breasts and hips.  Honestly most of us a men could care less about if a woman has love handles and a belly and far more if she has that essential curve between her breasts and hips.

What are the reasons that woman don’t have the curve of the hour glass figure?

The first reason some women just don’t have that curve between their breasts and their hips is because of genetics.  Some women just have a boxier figure closer to that of a man and it has nothing to do with being overweight.  Some women have a “pear” shape because they have very small breasts. There are some very slender women that just have an “apple” or “banana” figure as shown in the picture above.

But there is a second type of woman that has lost the curve between the bottom of her breasts and the top of her hips for one reason and one reason only. She has gained so much weight that she has essentially lost the natural curves of her body.  In essence she has either a boxy or oval shape as opposed to an hour glass shape because she over eats and does not exercise.

Will men date or marry a woman that does not have an hour glass figure?

So what if you have that apple shape, banana shape or pear shape – will men still want to date you? Absolutely! What if you have gained so much weight that you now have an oval or round shape and have lost your curves? Yep! There are still some men who will want to date you too.  You can see it every day around you. Young men, middle aged men and older men walking along side women that do NOT have hour glass figures. So right now you might be scratching your head. If men prefer the hour glass figure to the other body types, then why do we see them with women who do not have hour glass figures?

The reasons men date and marry women that do NOT have an hour glass figure

The first reason is we as guys understand that just like not all of us have broad shoulders and a muscular build so too not all women have an hour glass figure. Many of us guys are smart enough to realize we are bald, or have some extra weight ourselves.  Maybe we are super skinny and scrawny. But the point is that many of us as guys don’t exactly line up with all the physical features that women typically want either.

Another reason is that just because we think the hour glass shape is the most attractive figure, does not mean we can’t find women with other figures attractive.

Sometimes a woman may not have a very attractive form, but she may have something that is attractive on her, like beautiful breasts, beautiful legs or a beautiful face and for some men that is enough.

Sometimes a man will fall head over heels for a woman who would not seem very attractive to most people just because of her personality although this is rarer for men to do with women than for women to do with men(because of our visual natures).

What should women who don’t have hour glass figures do?

I think the Serenity Prayer is a good place to start:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

There are some things about your body that you will never be able to change. Remember that while men find the hour glass figure the most beautiful, that does not mean other figures are not beautiful too.

If you have narrow hips or no hips, you can’t change that, it is how God made you. But maybe you have narrow hips but nice breasts – then you should play to your strengths and wear clothing that accentuates your breasts.

Maybe you are like many women that have very small breasts, but you have hips or legs, again accentuate your strengths.

What if I don’t have anything to work with?

First be sure you really don’t have anything to work with, most women are far more critical of their bodies then men actually are. Let me paint a worst case scenario. Let’s say you are a woman that has flat hips(as opposed to rounded), no curve at the waste, chicken legs(bony legs), no breasts, and no pretty face.

You still have something you can work with – your personality and your inner beauty.  But even then you need to make sure you wear nice clothes and keep yourself up.  You may not be able to change the outside, but you can certainly change the inside.  You can make yourself a radiantly beautiful woman by the way you talk to men and the way you present yourself.

Don’t come off as desperate, but be humble.  Humility in a woman is very sexy to many men. In fact this is a problem many(but not all) of those hour glass women have which is a complete lack of humility.

I used to make a statement in high school over 20 years ago and I have continued to say it ever since.

“The most dangerous woman is the woman who is more beautiful than most women and knows it”

It is extremely hard to find a woman like this that still has humility. Some men still date and marry women like this because they are just as shallow as some of these women are so they make a great pair.

What if I am overweight?

While you can’t change your body type or face, weight is something you can change. You can work out, you can eat differently. Many men will overlook some extra weight on a woman depending on how she carries the weight.

But there is a certain point where as the weight increases it directly affects how many men will find you attractive. Contrary to all the statements online and elsewhere, beauty does have a weight limit, it may be different depending on height and body build, but there is a limit.

Don’t be angry at men for preferring the hour glass figure

This is perhaps the biggest thing women without hour glass figures need to realize. I have seen some visceral hatred of men for preferring women with hour glass figures both online and in real life.

After I got divorced, and before I met my current wife, I went out just as friends with a woman I went to church with. She was a nice woman to talk to and we had a lot in common because we went to the same church and had the same beliefs and life values. She taught one of my children in Sunday School.

She had been divorced for many years and my mother thought she would be a good match for me. I went out with her three times (as friends) but I simply could not get passed her figure. We had some great discussions and some good laughs.

But there simply was no physical attraction. This woman was 5ft tall and probably weighed well over 250 pounds. Since we agreed we were just “friends” she confided in me her frustration with men. She told me she would go on dating sites and put pictures of herself from her breasts up to her head.

She then would tell me she would talk to these Christian men online and they would agree to a date, then go out with her one time and see what she looked like below the waste and never go out with her again.

The majority of her extra weight was in her legs and buttocks so her photo showing only her head and breasts was in essence false advertising. I could never bring myself to share with her my belief that she needed to represent her full self honestly.

She would rail on how men were superficial for having a problem with her extra weight, while all the time I understood exactly why they did. She was unwilling to try and lose weight, men just needed to stop being so superficial or so she thought.

Can overweight women still get men?

Of course they can, they do every day. But the reality is if you as a woman are overweight it will directly affect the pool of eligible men that will come your way in direct proportion to how much overweight you are.

So if you are a really overweight woman you have two choices – you can accept that your weight will lower the pool of eligible men and be content with that. The other choice is to make a change and do something about your weight. There are many things about your body or face that you cannot change, but you can change your weight through diet and exercise, it is not easy, but most things in life that are worthwhile (like raising kids) are not easy.

But the worst thing you can do is sulk or get mad at men for preferring women that are closer to their optimal weight or have hour glass figures.

What about if I gained weight after I was married?

Most married men who love their wives can forgive some weight gain.  Also if you had some extra pounds when your husband married you then that means he accepted you as your were and it would be unfair of him to expect you to radically alter your figure after marriage.

But what happens with many women if we are honest is they simply let themselves go after marriage. It is one thing to gain 20 pounds, or maybe even 40 or 50 pounds over several years of marriage and having children.  But if you have gained a massive amount of weight to where you would not even recognize the woman you were when you married your husband I think you need to do some soul searching.

But he gained weight too so why do I have to be concerned about my weight?

Ladies I am going to be blunt here.  This is just an excuse for you not to take any action.   While men have a responsibility to care for their bodies as well – weight gain by their wives has a significantly higher effect on men and their attraction to their wives than it does for women in attraction to their husbands.

And lets be honest about another fact.  We as men typically don’t care if our wives find us physically attractive.  Most men don’t crave and strongly desire for their wives to call them handsome all the time.  We want our wives to respect us, submit to us, be beautiful for us and enthusiastically give her body to us in the bedroom.  If you do those things we are happy campers.

But you ladies want your man to think you are beautiful and to call you “pretty”, “beautiful” and “gorgeous”.  And if you don’t care about this then this a major violation of what it means to be feminine, what it means to be a woman.

So if you want your man to think your beautiful then you have to earn it. You need to do your utmost best to maintain that figure that you had when you married him(being realistic of course in accounting for age and having children).


12 thoughts on “What if I don’t have an hour glass figure?

  1. Pingback: 6 Reasons a woman may not want to display her beauty | Biblical Gender Roles

  2. Actually, Kim Kardashian is considered petite because she’s 5’2″. Petite is for women who are 5’4″ and under. There is something called plus-sized petite (name describes itself).

    I’m a pear with a 60-something% waist/hip ratio. So, I’m blessed but I’ve got some weight to lose. To my surprise, guys still find me attractive (even though this isn’t my ideal weight). I have wide hips, but really no butt. I guess if I work out, I can make one. 🙂

    Thanks for pointing this out and address us. There are websites that show women of all shapes how to dress.

  3. I think this is a very honest appraisal. My husband too prefers the hourglass figure, although he’s been known to love banana types as well. Luckily I have one, so a lot of this didn’t apply to me personally. I think that humility is important for everybody man or woman, regardless of their body types. If somebody is humble because they recognize that, like everybody else, they are a sinner in need of God’s grace, that is very attractive. If someone is humble in the whole “I realize i’m not as attractive as the hourglass girl downstairs and i’m so thankful you’re still talking to me”……I don’t really think that’s healthy. I’m honestly not sure which type you were referring to here.

    God planned our entire lives including who we marry and what body shape we have. So rather than worrying about it (which is not the same thing as just letting yourself go), relax and know that if God intends marriage for you, He will provide someone who will be attracted to you. I spent way too much time in college worrying about my level of attractiveness and I do have an hourglass figure. A lot of men who weren’t right for me didn’t give me the time of day (which helped me focus on other things), but when my husband first laid eyes on me, he thought I was the most beautiful person he’d ever seen in real life. So it all worked out. Getting angry at someone for not being attracted to you is an emotion I have experienced all too many times and it ended up being a huge waste of time and wasn’t healthy for my growth as a Christian woman.

    But very true that men do love and marry non hourglass types. One of my better friends from nursing school has the most pear shaped form i have ever seen (huge hips and tiny bumps for boobs). God did give her a beautiful face which she maximizes, but even then my husband was still just never attracted to her. Her husband however thinks she is the bomb. Point being: God has plans for all of us.

  4. “Most men don’t crave and strongly desire for their wives to call them handsome all the time. We want our wives to respect us, submit to us, be beautiful for us and enthusiastically give her body to us in the bedroom.”

    I think what most men don’t realize is that all of those things (respect, submission, genuinely enthusiastic sex) are VERY closely tied to attraction for a woman. Both physical and emotional attraction. While I don’t condone sexual denial, I believe a lot of times it could be avoided if men DID crave for their wives attraction. Women might be more emotional than men, but we are very visual beings as well. If you gain weight, dress slouchey all the time, don’t trim your body hair, ect, we WILL care.

    I hope I dont come off as disrespectful. I agree with pretty much everything else you’ve said.

  5. Mari,

    I don’t disagree that women care about men’s looks too. But I think to say that men and women are equally visual beings is a product of our modern culture teaching women this. Yes women care about hygiene and they certainly want their husbands to smell good and keep shaven and things like that.

    But honestly I think part of the problem with our culture is teaching women that their respect, submission and attitude toward sex is OK to be tightly tied to her physical attraction to him. We need to tell women this is WRONG and it is not Biblical. Biblically speaking a woman should desire to respect her husband, submit to her husband and have sex with her husband because of her commitment to God, not because of how attracted she is to her husband’s physical features.

    In the same way a man cannot base his providing, protecting, knowing and honoring his wife based his attraction to her.

    Again I am not against men keeping themselves up to the point of keeping basic hygiene – but I don’t think we can say this issue of physicality is identical in the sexes. And a man calling his wife beautiful and sexy(as she craves) is not a Biblical requirement(unlike a woman respecting, submitting to and having sex with a good attitude with her husband are requirements).

  6. AnnaMS,

    Your Statement:

    “If somebody is humble because they recognize that, like everybody else, they are a sinner in need of God’s grace, that is very attractive. If someone is humble in the whole “I realize i’m not as attractive as the hourglass girl downstairs and i’m so thankful you’re still talking to me”……I don’t really think that’s healthy. I’m honestly not sure which type you were referring to here.”

    I think there are really three types of humility and I was referring to two of them.

    If I think back to high school their were two classes of people that generally struggled with humility – the jocks who were the best athletes and the women who were those star cheerleaders with the perfect bodies. It is very easy when we are very talented, very intelligent, very rich or very beautiful to loose our perspective and our humility and forget we are all sinners saved by the grace of God just like everyone else around us.

    So yes I agree with you that we all(men and women) ought to have that first type of humility you describe and the second type of humility(coming from insecurity) is not a good type to have either.

    But I think there is another type humility, I would call it a uniquely “feminine” humility. Contrary to what our modern world says we should teach our daughters to be – most men do not find proud, independent and assertive women to be feminine. When a woman has this “feminine” humility I speak of, this sweetness, meekness and gentle spirit this is very attractive to a man. In fact it is so attractive to men that I would argue often times men will over look many physical issues about a woman if she possesses these traits in great amounts.

    That is what I was trying to say.

  7. I think I agree a little with BGR and Mari on this one. I think that attraction for a man is key for a woman. But I also agree that the lack thereof should not result in sexual denial or any other sin (God never condones sin and neither should we). However, I think there is a key difference between attraction in general and pure physical attraction. As I’ve said earlier, I ended up being in a position where I needed to choose between dating Tobias (who does not have an athletic physique d/t asthma issues) and a guy who was a marathon runner, former marine, and looked the part. I was way more attracted to Tobias, partially cuz he had nicer face and hair (which has always done it for me lol), but also because I was just more attracted to him as a person. i can’t quite wrap my finger around it, but I think it had a lot to do with emotional/spiritual maturity as well as a more winning/engaging personality.

    As far as feminine humility, I definitely agree with the whole ‘meek and quiet spirit’ concept, but I’ve never considered it linked to humility. Humility, IMO, comes from a correct recognition of our standing before God as inferior beings who are dependent on Him for His mercy, grace, and provision. I don’t think that women should have a similar view of their standing before men.

  8. AnnaMS,

    Your Statement:

    “As far as feminine humility, I definitely agree with the whole ‘meek and quiet spirit’ concept, but I’ve never considered it linked to humility. Humility, IMO, comes from a correct recognition of our standing before God as inferior beings who are dependent on Him for His mercy, grace, and provision. I don’t think that women should have a similar view of their standing before men.”

    Well big surprise AnnaMS – we are going to disagree again. LOL.

    Humility is not a quality that is reserved only for our relationship with God. We may be humble for different reasons with God, then we are with men, but humility is called for in many situations in life even between us as sinful human beings.

    One of the reasons a person may be humble is because of their lower rank, or position. For instance when a person comes in before the presence of a king and they lack a humble attitude(recognizing their lower rank) their will be problems. If I were to be called into the office of the CEO of my company and did not have humility as one of the traits I exercised toward him that would not be a good thing.

    I think this is a discussion you and I have had before(or perhaps it was with someone else). I would agree that women do not have to obey every man around them. Women only need obey their fathers and then later in marriage their husbands as well as other authorities like Pastors and teachers when they are not exceeding their realm of authority.

    However a woman should have a general deferential, reverent and humble spirit toward men in general – not because men are more important to God, or better than women but because of the higher rank God has given man over woman. I realize that some Christians believe that man’s ranking over woman is limited only to the home and the church but a key position I take on this site – which was the historical position of the churches until the last 150 years or so is that man’s ranking over woman extends to society at large as well.

    Why Did the Apostle Paul argue that women were to have a sign of authority on their heads:

    “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” – I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

    There is nothing in this passage about marriage – this is not speaking of the relationship between a husband and wife(as is often falsely argued). Rather when Paul says “the head of the woman is the man” he is referring to the relationship between men and women in society at large.

    Women of old times used to understand this concept of a woman showing deference to a man in a given social situation and that women did not belong in any authority positions over men. A lady of times past would never enter a room full of men and start arguing with the men and asserting herself. Rather she conducted herself in humility and reverence in the presence of men.

    This Biblical concept is something we have completely tossed out in the last 150 years.

  9. I think in reference to leadership (which in general men are better at than women), I would agree that those roles should be reserved for men (although I’d vote for a woman over a man any day if she was more consistent with my conservative values). However, I don’t think that not being a leader is synonymous with being of a lower rank. A concept that many miss is that leaders need followers just as much as followers need leaders. What is a leader without followers? Lonely hermit in the woods?

    Another issue is that not all men have equal leadership capabilities, or even if they do, they are not all given equal opportunities to show that (same is actually true for women now that I think of it). My husband, my brother, and my dad all have fantastic leadership qualities and they’ve been able to use them their entire life. My BIL also has them but is just now in a position where he can use them (outside the home that is). So the idea that there’s one playing field for men and another lower playing field for women isn’t realistic no matter which culture you’re looking at.

  10. This helped me a lot. I’m eighteen, apple shaped, and 4ft11. I have very low self esteem and I am not noticed by most men in comparison to my pretty friends. I don’t have a pretty face, and I have an underbite. I thought that I was doomed to be unmarried forever, especially since I see my friends getting engaged and married. Even when I tried my hardest, it wasn’t good enough.

    I would cry often and ask God why He made me this way. My mother was beautiful, my father was handsome… but I looked ugly. It didn’t add up. But in the midst of all of my self pity, I forgot that God made me this way. That actually helped me.

    I have a question, though. Is it wrong to do corset training to get a smaller waist, since God didn’t make me with a tiny waist originally? Should I give myself a makeover?

    Thank you, sir.

  11. Futurehomemaker,

    I am glad this article was a blessing to you – you would not believe how much hate mail I get on this from the other side when I am trying to encourage women that it is actually ok to accept how God made you! But you also need to accept how God made men at the same time and their preference for the hour glass figure in most cases.

    I am not familiar with “corset training” but if it simply means wearing a modest body shaper than I don’t see any problem with that. My wife wears these things called “spanx” and it really does tone her shape in certain dresses. I think there has to be balance. It is one thing to cause yourself horrible pain to look a certain way and the there is other extreme where some women wear sweats and sweats pants all the time for their “comfort”.

    You just need need to accentuate what God gave you. Even if you have small breasts – find bras that accentuate them. Perhaps you have nice calfs and ankles and you could wear skirts that accentuate that.

    The trap that many women(and also men) fall into is looking at all the people they think are more attractive and just giving up. God does not want us to do that. Remember the story of the talents that Christ told(Matthew 25:14-30) – he gave a different amount of talents to each servant.

    Don’t be the servant who had one talent and looked at the other servants who had more talents so he just went and hid his in the ground. Use what God gave you! Also remember that not all those beautiful people you see are beautiful on the inside. Don’t forget to make yourself a beautiful woman on the inside as well.

    You can and should have confidence in how God made you and still have that unique humbleness and submissiveness that makes a woman so attractive to a man.

    Go and see a hair stylist and ask what works best for you. Take some friends to the mall and ask them to help you find clothes that accentuate your strengths.

    Also as far as men noticing you. Let me tell you a little story about friend of mine(he is my age in his 40’s). He has been divorced now for several years and has had trouble on the dating sites meeting women. After a few years of doing this he just had me sit down and look at his dating site profiles to see what he was doing wrong. You know what caught my eye as a problem right away? He was only putting the slender and average body types for women! He was literally crossing off 70% of the available matches without even knowing it because his filters were too strict and most women in their mid 30s and 40s don’t have that tiny figure anymore.

    I hope he went home and changed that on all his profiles.

    I say that to say to you that you may not have noticed but there may be some men out there that are just like you that have no confidence in their looks and who by many woman’s standards would not be considered “attractive” in the conventional sense. Perhaps they noticed you and you did not notice them. Just something to think about.

    I pray the Lord will give you confidence to make the best of the “talent” he has given you and do not bury it in the ground – but rather let it shine for all to see!

  12. “We as men typically don’t care if our wives find us physically attractive. Most men don’t crave and strongly desire for their wives to call them handsome all the time.”

    While I think it’s great that you’re encouraging women to take better care of their bodies and use what they’ve been blessed with, I don’t think that this particular statement is true. A man may not care about hearing the words, “You’re handsome” from his wife, but he does care about the actions that would arise from his wife thinking about those words. Because what this usually translates to, is a more passionate attitude towards him and towards sex. This makes sense because, unlike women, men are more concerned and motivated by actions rather than words.

    A woman that respects her husband and wants to be submissive to him, will give him okay sex (one where she smiles just enough to not be accused of having a bad attitude, so as to not hurt his feelings). But the woman that is excited and passionate about her husband especially because of the physical attraction she feels towards him, will not only give him sex but will be a lot more enthusiastic about it and more importantly, will actually initiate sex more often. I’m not saying a man needs to be muscular and toned (although this is certainly welcome!), but if he gains excessive weight, no matter how emotionally connected she is with you, the physical attraction will diminish. And from what I’ve read, heard and witnessed even from my own marriage, initiation of sex is something a lot of husbands crave from their wives. These men may not suffer from true lack of sex, but they want to actually feel desired by their wives, and not just accommodated because his wife has to fulfill a duty. Granted, these husbands don’t have it as bad as those in sexless marriages or marriages with grudging sex, but there’s no passion.

    I think that if any man wants a wife that is, for all intents and purposes, ‘hot’ for him, he’d better pay more attention, not just to his hygiene, but to his weight and physique as well. A wife can also help to encourage his weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, by gently talking to him about it, cooking healthier meals and talking walks together.

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