BODY COLOURS

REPORTER: SALLY OBERMEDER.

You may have thought you were an hour glass, pear, apple, or even a banana, but now there is a new body classification based on shapes and colours.

Tall or short, slim or curvy or just somewhere in-between, we're all individuals. This new body coding system claims every one of us fits into 4 basic body shapes and skin tones. And if you know your type, you can make smarter choices about nutrition, exercise, and skin-care.

Plastic surgeon, Dr Michael Zacharia, specialises in helping patients turn back the ravages of time, convinced that prevention is better than cure. "I think apple and pear were probably too broad and didn't really encompass men as well. Certainly the advantage of a system like this is that it actually allows you to position yourself where you actually exist and make some changes to your lifestyle as result of that", Dr. Zacharia said.

It works like this -- the body is represented by a simple geometric shape: a circle, an oval, a rectangle, a square. Each body shape has a predominant skin tone -- white, red, yellow, or green.

The white circle is typically curvaceous, round face with a prominent chin, often double, drooping shoulders, a fleshy, broad chest, rounded waist and solid legs and the skin mainly opaline-white with grey overtones. "I think most of the population actually falls into the white circle. They have better quality skin. They are cherub like, almost child like type of features. That makes them look younger because they have the fullness in their face." Dr Zacharia said.

The red oval has more of an oval face, a solid upper body with bulky muscles, bountiful cleavage, straight waist, voluptuous buttocks, thickset ankles and wrists. Most striking feature is skin colour -- red tones caused by a high level of haemoglobin in the blood. "They have good quality skin that does not wrinkle so much but they tend to blush easily."

For those of us with a more angular shape there's the green square. A well proportioned body with broad shoulders tapering to a slender, defined waist, a square jaw line, with the three zones of the face equally proportioned, breast are separated with bones in the upper chest discernible, legs - slender and tapered and the skin tone is olive-green. "The green squares need to try and help their skin somewhat, so things like micro-dermabrasion, chemical peels to stimulate the skin are important."

And there's the yellow rectangle. Taller and very slender, even gangly or skeletal, shoulders narrow and straight, flat chest, a long torso and limbs and a yellowish tone to the skin

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"Overall they're a more attractive grouping that we like to achieve." Dr Zacharia said.And this might be why most models and celebrities fit the yellow rectangle