Body types, hey? NOPE I am not doing that body image thing. This is not that. I want to discuss those delightfully Matrix-sounding body labels of ‘ectomorph’, ‘endomorph’ and ‘mesomorph’. Such fascinating stuff on the interwebs. The home of such friendly terms as ‘skinny-fat’.
Do you know which one you are? I’m the ectomorph one, apparently. I’m long and straight and pretty-much boobless. Like a ruler. With hair. I’m the one that people don’t like at the gym because they think everything is all just chocolate cake and peanut butter with a spoon, and lying around on couches pointing at things with my long fingers. This is not my reality.
Before I explain, I’ll give you the rundown of the others so you can play along.
These ‘somatotypes’ were originally invented by some guy called William Herbert Sheldon, a psychologist who theorised that body types were somehow connected with human temperament types. Hmmm… kind of a long bow.
Ectomorphs: are typically characterised by long and thin muscles/limbs and low fat storage; usually referred to as slim. Ectomorphs are not predisposed to store fat or build muscle.
Mesomorphs: are usually referred to as an ‘athletic’ or ‘muscular’ build, characterised by medium bones, low fat levels, and wide shoulders with a narrow waist. Mesomorphs are predisposed to build muscle but not store fat.
Endomorphs: are characterised by increased fat storage, a wide waist and a large bone structure. Endomorphs are predisposed to storing fat.
Obviously, none of us (with the odd exception Kate Moss) are a pure and exact sample of any of these body types. Perhaps more obviously, Sheldon’s theories have today been thrown out the window as outdated and loopy. However – it hasn’t stopped his scientific-sounding names from being glued to a million-and-one weight-training and fitness websites on the interwebs. If you’d like to learn some deeper insights into your psyche, or perhaps some quirky personality traits, do read on.
Endomorphs, not only are you ‘globular’ in your general appearance (I’m afraid I don’t really know what this means, sorry) you also have a ‘specific skin texture and a particular shape of the head’. To me, that doesn’t sound too good. I’m picturing one of those pointy-headed blue men on Star Trek. Is this accurate?
Mesomorphs – an interesting fact for you. Since your well-developed muscle mass is distributed on the entire body, you may even be the proud owner of muscly digits. I’m not declaring a thumb war with you guys. You do have hair heavy in texture though. I hope that’s nice for you. Hobbits.
Some other interesting factoids I found about ‘me’ on the interwebz. Did you know ectomorphs have a ‘feeble’ constitution? I will bitch slap THAT writer. With my feeble-wristed slap. I am also apparently faking my height, since “The lack of muscle mass creates the impression that ectomorphs are taller than they really are.”
They can also tell my personality from looking at me. Genius. ‘As an ectomorph body type, you’re as delicate inside as you are outside. You’re often introverted, artistic, private and thoughtful.’ [EXCEPT WHEN I'M NOT] ‘Your skin may burn easily and you may suffer from extreme body temperatures. Your hair is often fine and grows quickly.’ YES damn ok. All this last part is correct.
I’ll tell you what else is correct? My true body type is MORPH. I might be naturally tall, but I have to exercise or I look like a slab of ciabatta. It’s hard to carry off a bit of extra weight if you don’t have the curves to slinky it around on. You just look a bit like a block of cheese. I tried this after high school when I went backpacking and discovered Europe and beer and cheese fondue. Granted, it was only 4kg but I had nowhere to stash it that looked good. It refused to sit on my bum or boobs. Belly button or bust (my jeans).
I just started on some new migraine meds the other week, and this little old ectobody whacked on 2kgs in ONE WEEK. While I realise 2kg is a fairly insubstantial amount, I would like to draw you a graph to illustrate the uphill trajectory of this trend over the course of a year taking this medication. I would like to, but I can’t, because my skills are lacking in the graph-drawing arena. I will give you a number though. In a month, I would gain 8kg. In a year, 104kg. On my currently 60kg 5″10 frame, they would have to hire a forklift to move me to the aircraft hangar where I’d reside, migraine-free, with the aeroplanes and baby elephants.
I stopped taking it though, so I lost the 2kg again. Thank god I have a body type that eats food, goes to the gym occasionally and sleeps. Rocket science, I tells you. Just like all this stuff on the interwebs.