Body shape  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Human body shape is a complex phenomenon with sophisticated detail and function. The general shape or figure of a person is defined mainly by skeletal structure, muscles and fat. Skeletal structure grows and changes only up to the point at which a human reaches adulthood and remains essentially the same for rest of his or her life. During puberty, differentiation of the male and female body occurs for the purposes of reproduction. In adult humans, muscle mass may change due to exercise, and fat distribution may change due to hormone fluctuations. Inherited genes play a large part in the development of body shape.

Body shape has effects on body posture and gait, and has a major role in physical attraction between opposite sexes. This is because a body's shape implies an individual's hormone levels during puberty, which implies fertility, and it also indicates current levels of sex hormones. A pleasing shape also implies good health and fitness of the body. The art of figure drawing defines body proportions that are considered ideal.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Body shape" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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