Categorization of Lower Body Shapes
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Previous research on lower body shape analysis is mostly based on subjective comparison of body silhouettes or by calculating ratios of waist and hip girths. However, our study investigated a reliable and objective way of analyzing lower body shapes and postures using statistical analysis based on 3D scan measurement data. Analysis of 2,488 women aged 18 to 35 in SizeUSA (national sizing survey) data revealed five components that can represent a distinctive lower body shape:

  1. waist to top hip silhouette [PC1]
  2. top hip to full hip silhouette [PC2]
  3. buttocks prominence [PC3]
  4. abdomen prominence [z-score 1]
  5. slope from abdomen point to front hip point [z-score 2]
Based on these five components, body shapes can be categorized into three types: curvy shape, hip tilt shape, and straight shape.

After the analysis, we recruited 83 participants in Ithaca, NY, and scanned their bodies with our Human Solutions Vitus 3D scanner. The scan files were then measured using the same [TC]2 automatic measuring software used for the SizeUSA survey. Each participant’s body shape group and her position within the group were identified based on her measurements. Then, the best three representative ‘fit models’ were selected from within each group.

The five components representing lower body shape. (Image: Cornell Body Scan Research Group)
The three fit models. (Image: Cornell Body Scan Research Group)