Weight Loss
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What is the ideal size for a woman?

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I have spent too much time on the internet looking for what the perfect body size is, and what mine might look like (its hard to tell on yourself, it is always distorted in some way). It was quite a depressing trek really. I have found quite a few sites saying there ideal was a size 8, and one forum even reckoned that a size 12 is huge!

So I'd like to know what peoples thoughts are here? What dress size/measurements/weight do you think the ideal woman is? Do you like the apple, pear or much sought after "hourglass"? How do these ideas shape your weight loss goals? Are you aiming for your ideal?

I'm 37" 30" 38" and had self esteem issues to start with, but now I feel horrendous! Being a woman is so complicated when you exist in a society which places so much value on appearance! Some times I feel like all I am is a weight.

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you are going to get a lot of replies to this thread that there is no 'ideal' size.  listen to them all because they are all right.  what does ideal even mean?  ideal to who?  A size 8 on a 5'5" frame is much different than a 5'9".  What even is a size 8- each store is different. strive to find your own ideal body size- in a healthy way- that you feel comfortable in, that you have energy and confidence, that both you and your doctor agree upon is a good weight for you to maintain for your health.  don't be concerned about any other ideal than those.


and put down those trashy 'womens' magazines.  they have done you a disservice by putting that 'ideal' notion into your mind

An ideal woman to me would be someone who exudes confidence in herself no matter what she looks like or how she dresses. She would make her shape, self and size appealing regardless of what it was because she would be evidently proud of it. There are some exceptions, such as if said person is a clearly unhealthy size (overly over OR underweight, for example) but yeah. That's what makes a woman (or a man) 'ideal' to me.

You're in the UK too so I can tell you now a size twelve is NOT huge at all! Still, an ideal woman isn't one made up by her weight and numbers and measurements. Take this from someone who knows this too well: basing your self-worth on those is a very, very miserable way to go about things. Don't compare - love what you've got. Think "How to Look Good Naked" over "Extreme Makeover".

That was a little bit corny but the best way I could think to put it across!

Comparing yourself to other people, either in magazines or on websites or even on this message board is folly.....  Everyone is different and hence the phrase 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  Beauty aside, there are many more things that make us 'attractive' .... and even more things that make us wonderful as human beings

Happiness does not come from shoe-horning yourself into a shape that someone else says is 'perfect'.  That way lies a lifetime of misery and dissatisfaction.   Self-esteem come from being totally happy in your own skin and making the most of what you've got... physically and intellectually.  If you believe your friends or other people in your environment judge you entirely on your appearance then know this....  they are shallow and worthless creatures.  If you judge people on their appearance, maybe it's time to stop.   If you 'feel horrendous' and you have what sounds like a perfectly  normal-sized body, it's not your shape that's making you feel that way.  It's something else. 

There is no "ideal" size. No two people are the same. Instead of focusing on the ideal size or perfect body focus on your health. Getting healthy and fit.


"Beautiful means so much more than a pretty face! It also means that you are unique and oh so much full of grace, the things in you that go much deeper than the softness of your skin are the things that make you beautiful both outside and within"

Yes society sucks.  It's really not fair to try to live up to the standards of the women in the magazines especially when they get airbrushed.  Granted they are beautiful but they are very airbrushed. 

I guess I would just say, try not to get so discouraged.  As far as the perfect size or the perfect shape, I think that as long as you are happy and healthy then that should be good enough.  Whatever weight/size makes you feel good about yourself is what you should try to maintain.

For me personally I'm really happy at 140, I'm 5'4".  I enjoy wearing a size 4-6, or small clothes.  I love my shape, I have the hourglass shape.  I'm pretty happy with myself and my body.  I've worked very hard to be where I am now and I'm proud of my accomplishments. 

My measurments are 38" 29.5" 40.5", sounds somewhat similar to you.  You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, your beautiful girl.


If you're just concerned with knowing whether you're in a healthy weight range use the Hamwi Method. It's 100 lbs for the first 5 feet and then five pounds for each inch after that. So someone who is 5'6" should weight about 130 lbs give or take 10%. Obviously muscle mass throws things off a bit. Hope that helps!



What a silly concept!!  Ideal size for a woman?   Women come in all shapes and sizes and they are all...okay most of them..lol..are beautiful.   Put your focus on health, eating healthy, exercising for health and everything else will fall into place naturally...

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Well, the Hamwi Method doesn't fit me, proving that there is no ideal size. *smile* I'm big boned, and as a result I look like I weigh a lot less than I actually do.  The weight charts say I should weigh about 127 lbs, but I know that is completely unrealistic.  I'm most comfortable at about 135 lbs.  (And I'm about 5'3" tall.)  I haven't weighed less than 135 since early high school!

The most freeing feeling is to let go of outside pressures to be a certain size.  I'm finding it much easier to watch my diet and exercise now that I've set my own guidelines and stopped trying to figure out what someone else things I should weigh.


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Original Post by malomadame:

I have found quite a few sites saying there ideal was a size 8, and one forum even reckoned that a size 12 is huge!


 I have been both of these sizes and I have felt both perfect and terrible at both of these sizes.

I'm not sure if you're looking for an actual answer or if you are just starting a discussion, but I think that the search for perfection never ends, so it's important to be happy where ever you are and whatever size you are.  You can want to have a healthier/tighter/smaller/bigger/etc body, but still be happy with yourself now, which, I think, is the most important thing.  If you can't be happy now, I don't think any size will be the ideal size.

girl, i can completely relate to the body-image issues.  i have vacilated from anorexia (103 pounds on my 5'6" frame and being forced to see a shrink) to 176 pounds (after my military hubby had to spend 17 months away from me, and dealing with the separation by eating everything in site).  i'm now 38 years old, and i've realized that i need to focus on strengths and positives and not on outside ideas of what i "should" look like.  we are all different, and that's an incredibly awesome thing.  make a list of things your body allows you to do: do you enjoy walking, biking, dancing, etc.  be thankful for what you can do, and treat your body with respect.  everything else can flow from that.  when you look at the positives, your image of yourself may change...and forget "ideal".  as everyone else has said: there is no ideal.  we each have a set point where we can be both healthy and happy; strive to find that!

What is the ideal size for a woman?

i must have missed the memo that said we're all supposed to be the same size.

Wow!!  I can definitely relate!!  I was once anorexic as well - and the last time I got on the scale - it said 172.....I am 5'6".  I can't tell you the horror I have felt after seeing that number.

I think the ideal size for me is the size I feel my best at....which is a size 8.  I would say the same goes for each of us.



Forget the ideal size! This is the ideal for every woman in my humble opinion regardless of your size:

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own even if she
never wants to or needs to...

A woman should have something perfect to wear if the employer or
date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

A woman should have a youth she's content to leave behind....

A woman should have a past juicy enough that she's looking
forward to retelling it in her old age.

A woman should have a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and
a black lace bra...

A woman should have one friend who always makes her laugh,
And one who lets her cry...

A woman should have a good piece of furniture not previously
owned by any one else in her family...

A woman should have eight matching plates,
Wine glasses with stems,
And a recipe for a meal that will make her guests
feel honored...

A woman should have
a feeling of control over her destiny.

how to fall in love without losing herself.

Every woman should know how to quit a job,
Break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without losing the friendship.

Every woman should know when to try harder
And when to walk away.

Every woman should know that she can't change
The length of her calves,
The width of her hips,
Or the nature of her parents.

Every woman should know that her childhood may not have been
perfect...but its over.

Every woman should know what she would and wouldn't do
For love or more.

Every woman should know how to live alone...
Even if she doesn't like it.
Every woman should know whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally.

Be it to her best friend's kitchen table
Or a charming inn in the woods
when her soul needs soothing.

Every woman should know what she can and can't accomplish in a
A month...
And a year...


don't even listen or look at the hamwi method! that's ridiculously absurd!

I believe we must all come to terms with our body image...I am a pear, 5O years old and get told I look great for my age!  LOL...I am great because of who I am not my outside.  Having said that, one of the sexiest woman ever was Marilyn Monroe and she wore Size 14!  Hurray!  It's the confidence, not the body size, that matters! 

Ideal size? Phooey!  It doesn't exist.  Different strokes for different folks.

i just thought of something that illustrates the ridiculousness of comparing ourselves to other people.

the other day i googled a young woman from my home town who's a world cup skier.  there was a super-G race on TV and i wanted to see if she was racing before i decided whether or not to watch.

she's an olympic athlete, 23 years old, and at her absolute physical prime.  and she's the same height and weight as me (5'8", 140).  it's more than possible that we wear the same size.  does that make us the same?  should i take that to mean that i'm her equivalent?

how stupid.

The Hamwe method doesn't work for me, either.  I'm 5'2" tall.  The weight I look and feel best at is somewhere around 135.  I cannot maintain a weight below that long-term. Once when I was in my early 20's, I got down to 116, but just couldn't stay that low.  My sister, who has never had a weight problem, is the same height as I am.  When she was going through a divorce, she slipped below 120 and looked emanciated.  The Hamwe method may work for figuring weights if you're in your teens or very early 20's, but if you go for that sort of weight when you're past 40 (as I am), you will probably look more wrinkled and rather skeletal.  We idealize the adolescent body shape too much in Western society.  What looks good at age 16 doesn't necessarily look good on an adult woman.


There is no ideal size.  Its all about how you feel about yourself.  Trust me!  I have had 2 brothers have a stroke in the same month!  They are 45 and 54.  That was a sobering wake up call for me.  I have been exercising and eating healthy since then and my committment has influenced my children (who are following suit).  That is way more satisfying for me than squeezing my frame into a smaller dress or pair of jeans.  I am way more flexible and feel tons better mentally and physically.  I have struggled with weight my entire life but you what?  I will continue to work at it because I am worth it!

I have a friend who is considered a very large woman. All throughout our childhood I watched her struggle with her weight. I saw her sweat and I saw her tears. As we grew older she stopped struggling and said "You know what? I'm going to learn to love myself just the way I am. If no one else loves me, that's their problem!" 

She's healthy. Her skin is flawless, her hair a gorgeous red and she carries herself like she's a queen. Her smile lights up a room and she has a heart of gold... I'd do anything for her. We're almost 46 now (we were born something like 16 hours apart about the same number of miles apart) and I've known her for about 40 years. Even though we live thousands of miles apart in different states, everytime I get an email from her I can't wait to open it and I smile all day.  

She is indeed the "perfect size" because it's made her who she is today. To me, she is truly one of the MOST beautiful women on this earth.

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