Thursday, January 6, 2011

What I wore INDOORS Jan 4th: ectomorph, c'est moi


That's a fuzzy hat, down coat with faux-fur lined hood, and who knows how many layers underneath.


I thought about this today because despite having Zappos box in room, I cannot bear to try on shoes until I'm warm enough. Still wearing fuzzy slippers, 11 a.m.

Anyhow, recently I reviewed the wikipedia definition of ectomorph (and endomorph and mesomorph). Apparently these 3 body types were described by a psychologist named William Herbert Sheldon (circa 1940s, now not such a popular idea) and he claimed they were associated with 3 different temperaments.

THIS was news to me, the link to temperaments.

And then I read this:
"Sheldon proposed that the human physique be classed according to the relative contribution of three fundamental elements, somatotypes, named after the three germ layers of embryonic development: the endoderm, (develops into the digestive tract), the mesoderm, (becomes muscle, heart and blood vessels), and the ectoderm (forms the skin and nervous system)."

Holy back-to-college-developmental-physiology time. Wow. I'd forgotten about all that.

Then read the description of ectomorph:  "characterized by long and thin muscles/limbs and low fat storage; receding chin, usually referred to as slim."

Yes, that's me generally, save for the receding chin. The "receding chin" gave me a first whiff that I was possibly going to be called a geek...

Then the personality zone?

"Roughly the three corresponding personality types proposed by Sheldon are somewhat akin to Jung's categorization of thinking, feeling and sensing types. As such they correspond quite closely to popular stereotypes of the skinny nerd, the jolly fat man, the slow-witted tough guy."

Oh, not a geek, a NERD. Ah. Thanks. SO much better. =)

But wait, there's more.

"There is evidence that different physiques carry cultural stereotypes. For example, one study found that endomorphs are likely to be perceived as slow, sloppy, and lazy. Mesomorphs, in contrast, are typically stereotyped as popular and hardworking, whereas ectomorphs are often viewed as intelligent but fearful.[2] Stereotypes of mesomorphs are generally much more favorable than those of endomorphs. Stereotypes of ectomorphs are somewhat mixed." [bb bolded]

I must admit, if any one in a room is, in response to an unexpected loud noise, going to leap a la Warner Brothers cats and land claws-in-the-ceiling, it's me.

A trifle jumpy, sometimes.

ANYhow, SOMEwhere on line (cannot find it now) I read that ectomorphs are supposed to be poor thermoregulators (my words). Apparently they get too hot AND too cold easily. That's TOTALLY me. I get heat rash before anyone I know (at the gym when running, etc.) and my fingers turn yellow from cold if I'm in normal clothes and it's less that 74 in a room.

Anyhow, I just thought those descriptions and links to supposed temperament were interesting. I'm sure they're WAY off in many instances, and I'm not 100% ectomorph-y (can be outgoing, known to gesticulate wildly while talking, have broad shoulders, and WISH I had delicate ankles), but it's fun to think about.

And reminds me of the doshas. Just took an on-line quiz 'cause I forgot what I am: I'm vata, almost 100%, per this "what's your dosha" quiz. Once I'd first learned of this way of looking at people and their trends, I told a friend I thought I was vata. He actually knows something about Ayurvedic stuff (I don't) and without hesitation he replied "I can't believe how vata you are." Alrighty, then. Take your whirrd for it.

"Because of this [bb'ed: general thin-ness], Vatas have very little energy reserve and can tire easily and get themselves out of balance. Vatas need to get sufficient rest and not overdo things, stay warm, and keep a regular lifestyle routine."


Repeated point of advice for vata: stay warm in winter. Ah, we get back to my inability to try on these shoes, despite enthusiasm.


I totally married a mesomorph: muscular, quiet, calm, hard working. And as if being hyper muscular wasn't enough, he got his ankle MRI'd a few years back, turns out he has an "accessory muscle." Yeah, an extra that most people don't have. I've never HEARD of this.

LITERALLY muscles on muscles. Good Lord.

At least I'm married to someone like that. =)

And can watch him toss logs as I stand outside, in a sunny patch, in my parka and gloves, clutching my giant mug of hot coffee.



P.S. Any comments on your type (endo-meso-ecto or doshas) are more than welcome. It's fun to think about. And I won't be the least bit hurt if you think any or all of it's bunk.


  1. You and your guy sound like me and Mr Wood Rat to a T, except I may have a bit of mesomorph in me as I have good endurance. But I get the yellow fingers, hot/cold intolerance etc. Plus I love poetry, how stereotypical is that of the etherial ecto? He feels no pain! I feel pain mucho! I think it's probably bogus but it seems to have some validity. Then again people thought bumps on your head said something about who you are, too - maybe that didn't seem bogus either at the time. Fun post!

  2. Your hair matches the fur lined hood exactly...when I first saw the pic, I thought you had some really wild hair! lol

    Don't know anything about 'morphs', sorry, but it was fun to read about in your post :D

  3. @ Country Mouse: Yes, poetry affinity is a great addition to the ectomorph's suite of traits. =)

  4. Hmm. intriguing. I would say ecto for me but uh minus the chin thing. All I know is that I get colder than anyone I know . Yeah, 74 sounds about right. I wear gloves and thick layers of capeline indoors on a regular basis, and it's not like we don't have the heat on. I can handle the heat like a freaking champ. I can run in 100 degrees midday and not be bothered.

    I lose feelings in my fingers and hands (and ears) way too easily. Sometimes in the field I can't write cause it's too damn cold. Anyway...enough about me, heh, fun post :)

  5. I really liked this post, bb... although, I found it difficult to follow in some places. I have no idea what Zappos are and why you'd need to be warm enough to try on shoes. Like you, my hubby is a definite mesomorph. I'm still unsure if I fit into one of the other two definitions.


Cool people write inside rectangles....