Is my body normal?

Is your body average?
From hair loss to heartbeats, we consulted a variety of sources for answers to that age-old question: “Am I normal?”

Every woman’s body has quirks and traits that are unlike anyone else’s. But while it’s true the genetic recipe that created you is a one-time-only deal, there is well-documented research that sets the bar of averages. See how you compare!


Hair today

Your brush tells all. On average, we lose 50–100 strands of hair each day. Blondes can afford to lose the most. They generally have the most strands on their head, while redheads, on average, have the least. Spot a grey hair? Women tend to notice those silver locks at around 35.

Sleepy time

Women get an average of eight hours of sleep per night. Ideally, hitting the snooze button for another hour of shut-eye would be best. Being sleep deprived can up your stress level and put you at greater risk for heart disease. Menstruation throws a wrench into snooze time, too. Thirty-six percent reported being the sleepiest during the first few days of their period.


Seventy percent of Canadians value their sight more than the ability to walk, hear or have natural teeth. Yet, only 38 percent get their eyes checked every 1–2 years, as recommended by The Canadian Association of Optometrists.

Have a heart

Your heart likely beats 60–80 times per minute at rest. Treat it kindly with regular exercise and a healthy diet. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death of Canadian women.

Breast-dressed list

You’ll have to get to that bra sale quickly if you’re looking for a 36C; that’s the predominant bra size these days. A 2003 survey found 70 percent of women weren’t happy with their breasts, yet 56 percent of the guys surveyed said they liked those belonging to their wives/girlfriends as is. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 291,000 women didn’t hear that message and underwent breast augmentation in 2005 (stats for Canadians are not currently gathered).

Breathe easy

Each day, you’ll take about 12,000–20,000 breaths. They may feel more laborious if you’ve got a cold—2–4 times a year, typically—or the flu, which will afflict up to one in 10 Canadians annually. According to Statistics Canada, 36 percent of us were wise enough to get a flu shot in 2005.

On life

Canadian women have a life expectancy of 81.4 years. That’s plenty of time to figure out what’s really normal and what’s not.

The stats

When the average five-foot, four-inch Canadian woman steps on the scale, she’ll weigh 65.8 kilograms (145 pounds), have a body mass index (BMI) of 26.7 (which is considered to be in the overweight range) and, according to Christina McDowell, image consultant and national spokesperson for Holt Renfrew, generally wear a size 10–12. Sixty-four percent of us want to change our weight. According to the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre, models typically tip the scales at 23 percent less weight than regular gals. Reality check: likely about one in every 200 women could fit into the size 0–2 clothes Daria types usually wear.

Thigh high

If your thighs could talk, they’d complain about not getting any respect. In 2004, nearly 10,000 North American women surgically altered them in some way. Cellulite may be what’s driving this since 95 percent of the gentler sex have it.

Talking ’bout sex

On average, Canadian gals lose their virginity just before turning 19. The majority of us look after our reproductive health: 73 percent of Canadian women reported having a Pap test in the past three years. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, you should have your first Pap test at age 18 or as soon as you’re having sex. Then, head for a second test a year later. After that, if you’ve had two tests with no abnormality, you can expect those cold stirrups to be a part of your life every three years until you’re 69.

Period of time

Over our lifetime, we’ll have 400 menstrual cycles (lucky us). During a period, which typically lasts 2–6 days, there’s one-half to two tablespoons of blood released. Those of us who get PMS (researchers say it’s rare among women aged 20–35) enjoy the roller coaster of emotions every 21–36 days. Take heart: most Canadian women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.

Skin game

No wonder we’re exhausted. On average, a woman has 18 square feet of skin to wash and moisturize. You’re likely to have moles; and the more you have, the greater your risk for skin cancer. Is your skin too dry, too ruddy, too uneven, too oily? Eighteen percent of women would like to change their skin complexion.

Figure out your Body Mass Index at