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Is a 27 inch waist small for women? What does one look like?

Is a 27 inch waist big? Learn the truth in this science-backed anthropometric analysis.
Written By  Brianna Martin
Last Updated on 9th March 2022
A woman looking at her 27 inch waist in the mirror

So many people are worried that their waist is too big in general or too big for their height. But what do the facts say?

As a woman, if you have a 27 inch waist, then your waistline is 12 inches smaller than average. You can see our waist circumference chart for more information.

If you have a 27″ waist as a man, then your waistline is a whopping 13.5 inches smaller than average.

All of this is to say that a 27 in waist is small and not something that you should be concerned about unless it’s indicative of other health problems (such as you being underweight or lacking in nutrition).

Compare Your Waist:

What does a 27 inch waist look like?

A slim woman showing what a 27 inch waist looks like

What does a 27 inch waist look like on a woman? On a female, a 27 inch waist looks small and slim, especially if the lady is tall. This is because a 27 inch waistline takes up less space on a long torso than on a short torso; hence it looks smaller.

This isn’t to say, of course, that a 27 in waist will look fat if you’re short. A 27″ waist will look small on just about any kind of body, but it might not look skinny or tiny if you have a petite build.

Your body composition also influences what your 27 inch waistline will look like. For example, if you have toned abs and a relatively flat stomach, then your waist will likely look even smaller than it is (unless you have really developed obliques, in which case your core might actually look thicker).

Is a 27 inch waist small for women?

A woman showing how small her 27 inch waist is

Is a 27 inch waist small for a woman? Yes, a 27 inch waist is small for females and is an indicator that your body is in good health (anything over 37 inches puts your health at great risk). [1] Many women greatly desire a sculpted 27″ waist, so if you have one, then you’re definitely in the minority.

In one sense, it’s easier to get a 27 inch waist if you’re short in stature because shorter people naturally have smaller builds and bone structures than taller people.

On the other hand, you could argue that some taller women have an easier time sculpting a 27 inch stomach. This is because if a short lady and a tall lady both have an equivalent body fat level, the tall woman’s body fat will be stretched out over a larger surface area, which will likely make her waist physically slimmer.

Of course, some women just naturally have a slim waistline without being particularly short or tall. Your genetics play a big role in how your body looks, but they’re definitely not a guarantee that you can or can’t get in better shape.

Is a 27 inch waist big for a man?

A skinny man showing his 27 inch waist

No, a 27 inch waist definitely isn’t big for a man (or woman). In fact, the opposite is true. A 27 inch waistline is very small for a man and might even be an indicator that the man is underweight (indeed, 27 inches is a normal waist measurement for a 10-year-old).

On the flip side, some physique athletes—especially those with a naturally small waist—can actually sculpt a 27 inch stomach without being too skinny or having a low BMI. This is because when you compete in a physique show, you need a really low body fat level, which in turn means losing fat and thereby inches from your abs.

Now, the average guy can hardly hope to have a 27 inch waist size—even if he’s ripped. This is simply because men typically have a bigger bone structure than women, and so even when much of the body fat is removed, the waist can still only get so small because your build determines how slim you can get.

Being lean, of course, can make it look like you have a 27″ stomach even when you don’t.

How big is a 27.5 inch waist?

A woman with a 27.5 inch waist

A 27.5 inch waist and a 27.6 inch waist are both small waistline measurements and are an indicator that you’re in good health. The one exception to this is if your 27.5 inch waist when doubled, exceeds your height. The reason for this is that health professionals and academic researchers often say that your waist size should be no more than 50% of your height. [2]

Since you’d have to be very short to only be 55 inches tall, it’s unlikely that a 27.5 inch waist represents any kind of health threat to the vast majority of the adult population.

When you consider that a 27.5 inch waist is a normal measurement for 10-year-old children, you begin to realize just how slim such a waist size is!

What’s a good hip size for a 27″ waist?

A woman holding a big tape measure around her 27 inch waist

Even if you don’t have a 27 inch waistline, you can still look like you have one if your hips are wide. This is because having a low waist-to-hip ratio can make your waist look slimmer, and your body more attractive. Indeed, a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of 0.7 is often said to be the ideal ratio for women. [3]

27 inch waist 36 inch hips

If you have a 27 inch waist and 36 inch hips, then you have a 0.75 WHR. Although this isn’t right in line with the 0.7 value, which is often touted as the ideal WHR, other research shows that the ideal WHR is more of a range (0.65 to 0.75) rather than a precise value. [4]

In other words, you will look great and will likely be very healthy if you have a 0.75 waist-to-hip ratio.

27 inch waist 37 inch hips

Having a 27 inch waist and 37 inch hips gives you a WHR of 0.73 and a very shapely figure. Since a 27 inch waistline is pretty slim, many women don’t have such large hips because a slim waist is often indicative of a small build, which may mean that you have narrower hips.

27 inch waist 38 inch hips

You have a 0.7 WHR if you have a 27 inch waist and 38 inch hips. This is very close to the ideal value suggested by numerous researchers and is the ratio that many successful models have.

27 inch waist 40 inch hips

If you have a 27 inch waist and 40 inch hips then you have a 0.68 WHR ratio and very likely an hourglass figure (your body type depends on your bust measurement as well).

Most women who have a 27″ waist are unlikely to have 40 inch hips unless they have exceptionally well-developed glutes from resistance training. In other words, you shouldn’t feel like these proportions (or any of the others) are somehow better than your own because the reality is most people don’t have these kinds of measurements.

Can you be a model with a 27 inch waist?

A model with a 27 inch waist lying on the bed

Yes, it’s possible to have a 27 inch waist and still be a successful model. While it’s true that many catwalk models, for example, have waists that are a few inches smaller, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t exceptions, especially if you tick all the other boxes (height, hip size, coordination, etc.)

Other types of modeling, such as lingerie modeling, have less strict requirements when it comes to the size of your waist and hips.

Also, it’s likely that at least some of the successful models that you see have waists that are 1-2 inches bigger than advertised. For example, some models might artificially reduce their measurement by sucking their waist in.

Furthermore, your waist is likely to be bigger when you’re on your period (due to water retention) and when your stomach is full.

Are there any celebrities with a 27 inch waist?

A woman with a 27 inch waist like a celebrity

Like the measurements of models, the waist sizes that you see for various celebrities are sometimes lowered so that the general public is more likely to aspire to look like a certain person.

This isn’t to say, of course, that celebrity waist measurements are outright wrong. Indeed, many celebs work hard in the gym and have an incredible amount of dietary discipline; this helps them to stay slim and trim, which can often result in them having a 27 inch waistline.

In addition to being one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, Scarlett Johansson is reported to have a 27 inch waist size [5] (which isn’t surprising considering her workouts).

Social media influencer Alicja Brzostowska is also reported by the UK media to have a tiny 27 inch waist. [6]

Another example of a celebrity with a 27″ waist is Indian actress Deepika Padukone. [7]

As you can see, there aren’t loads of celebrities with a waist that’s as small as 27 inches (which should tell you something).

The verdict: Is it good to have a 27 inch waistline?

Close up of a woman's 27 inch waist

Having a 27 inch waist is good in the sense that it likely means that you’re healthy. However, having a slim waist isn’t always a good thing if it causes you to be underweight or to be obsessive about your body.

Considering that some professional actresses and models don’t even have a 27 inch waist, you shouldn’t feel that you need to make your waist extremely slim in order to look great.

Of course, if you’re currently overweight and want to get in shape and improve your health, then aiming to get a 27 inch waistline could motivate you to exercise regularly and eat healthy on a consistent basis.

References

  1. Zeratsky, K. (2020, August 26). Waist size may be a predictor of life expectancy. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/waist-size-and-life-expectancy/faq-20348574?reDate=12022022
  2. McCarthy, H. D., & Ashwell, M. (2006). A study of central fatness using waist-to-height ratios in UK children and adolescents over two decades supports the simple message – ‘keep your waist circumference to less than half your height’. International Journal of Obesity, 30(6), 988–992. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0803226
  3. Beauty. (2022). [Slides]. Unl.Edu. https://www.unl.edu/rhames/courses/ppoint/beauty-212.pdf
  4. Kościński, K. (2013). Assessment of Waist-to-Hip Ratio Attractiveness in Women: An Anthropometric Analysis of Digital Silhouettes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43(5), 989–997. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-013-0166-1
  5. Reyes, M. (2009, January 22). Celebs Reveal Their Teeny Tiny Waist Measurements! Glamour. https://www.glamour.com/story/celebs-reveal-their-teeny-tiny
  6. Summers, J. (2021, August 6). Influencer with 27-inch waist reveals she used a waist trainer to aid her. Mail Online. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9868437/Influencer-27-inch-waist-reveals-used-waist-trainer-aid-her.html
  7. Agrawal, R. (2013, October 10). Hot Celebrities with Teeny Tiny Waists. iDiva. https://www.idiva.com/entertainment/celebrity-news/hot-celebrities-with-teeny-tiny-waists/photogallery/24912?picid=220788
Brianna Martin
Brianna Martin has worked in health and wellness media for more than 8 years. She uses her organisational skills and passion for fitness to organise our team of content creators. As a former track and field athlete, Bri still hits the gym hard 5 times a week to maintain her flexibility and athleticism.
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