What’s the Deal with Body Type?


So today, I don’t as much have advice as I have a question:

What’s the deal with checking a multiple choice box for your body type?

This is the conversation I had with my friend S the other night:

S: Ah!!! I’m so confused! (Tosses her laptop on the couch and places her head in her hands.)

Me: What’s the problem? (I pick up her laptop and sit next to her on the couch.)

S: I’m supposed to pick my body type, but I can’t figure out which one I should choose.

Me: It can’t be that difficult. What’s your first instinct? (I scroll through the list of multiple choice options.)

S: Well, at first I was thinking athletic because I work out five days a week.

Me: Okay, so let’s put– (She cuts me off.)

S: But then I was thinking, I have hips and a butt so maybe I’m curvy.

Me: So then let’s– (Cuts me off again.)

S: But no matter how much I work out, I have this handful of fat on my stomach, so should I put that I have a few extra pounds?

Me: Well, I think that– (You guessed it, she cut me off.)

S: Of course, I’m thinner than most girls our age, so should I put slender? I mean, it’s all relative, isn’t it?

Me: You just need to– (This time I can tell she’s going to cut me off, so I shut up on my own.)

S: But then they tell you how men read into certain things, like, athletic means boyish with no boobs, curvy means fat, a few extra pounds means obese, and slender means no muscle definition. Ah!! (She throws herself back against the couch cushion and closes her eyes, whimpering.)

Me: I think we’re getting a little carried away. Here, let’s try this. (I close my eyes and randomly click.)

S: What’d you just do? (She peaks open her eyes, sees that I’ve made a choice, and she lunges for the laptop in a panic.)

Me: We’ve randomly selected that you’re slim/slender, which I think is just fine.

S: But–

Me: No buts. (This time I’ve cut HER off.) You’ve posted seven photos, three in shorts, and one in a skin-tight dress. If these idiots can’t tell what body type you have by looking at you, then you don’t want ’em. Okay?

S: Okay. (She sighs, and appears slightly relieved.)

(I put her laptop away before she can stress over the lengthy questionnaire. Baby steps, people, baby steps.)

So what’s the deal with selecting a body type anyway? We post photos. Do people really overlook someone because they picked “slender” over “athletic?” Seriously, I’d really like to know.