Alternatively titled "Can you change your body shape?"
Just like my last post, Google will give you lots of opinions on this one. Here's mine: In a word, no. Because your body type refers to your frame, gaining or losing weight, or adding muscle to parts of your body doesn't change the overall shape of your skeleton.
There's a book by fitness trainer to the stars, Tracy Anderson, which claims you CAN change your shape. There are even pictures that show the amazing transformations, like the one above. But, as the old Christmas song goes, do you see what I see? In the before picture, I see a rectangle. Shoulders/bust equal to the hips, with a waist that isn't well-defined. In the after? I see a thinner woman with shoulders/bust equal to hips and a waist that still isn't well defined. Does she look great? Absolutely. Is she a different shape? No.
What does change is the degree of your body type. Someone might have hips that are just slightly larger than her bust and shoulders, but as she gains weight, the extra goes to the hips, creating a more definite pear shape.
An apple might have a big tummy, but as she loses weight and the tummy goes, her shoulders are still broad, the waist is still undefined, and she still has the apple (or inverted triangle) shape.
I think the biggest misconception about body shapes is that thin women are hourglasses, and extra weight morphs that ideal shape into one of the other 3 body types. Not true. I know size 2 hourglasses and size 22 hourglasses. I know size 6 pears and size 16 pears. Your shape is your frame. Weight tends to make the body types more pronounced, that's all.
The other thing I hear a lot is women saying they're a different shape after having a baby. I respectfully disagree. Usually what happens is you become more of whatever you were before. Even when the baby weight is gone, bodies tend to settle into a more defined shape. Apple waistlines thicken, pear hips widen and hourglasses get curvier all over. The difference isn't the shape, its the degree of the shape. Does that make sense?
So what does all this mean? Should we all ditch our great-body hopes and hard work because we'll never look like Jessica Biel or Jennifer Anniston? Not at all. The goal should be to do the best with what you've got! If you're a pear, don't compare yourself to an hourglass. Just work toward the best pear body you can--and of course, above all else, dress it well. Once you know what to do with the parts you don't love (and the parts that are unlikely to change), they become no big deal. Focus on the good stuff. So be healthy, be happy, and most of all, be the best YOU that you can be!