There is a small group of posters across MMO-Champ, WoW US, and a few other forums who are confused as to how exactly bone structures work, and the actual extent of sexual dimorphism in Warcraft races. I am writing and scribbling this huge post to try and explain it, and clear up confusion that I see erupt regularly into venomous insults from both sides of the spectrum, chubby or thin.
Also to save me from posting the same argument in various threads again, and again, and again.
This is a male Pandaren, Blizzard's official model. I am dubbing him Lung Bai.
I want you to look closely at the length and breadth of his limbs and torso and hips here. Pandaren, though they are 5-6 feet tall, are not built like humans, Draenei, or Blood Elves, races that share that height range. Their limbs are short, and their torsos and hips thick, like, for example, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Goblins.
Females in Warcraft have always been curvier/more slightly built than the males. Female bodies are rounded in different ways than men, this is par the course. The key here is the extent of the dimorphism, and the fact that limb and torso length do not vary EXTREMELY between the sexes, and the skeleton has only slight difference between them.
Let's look at the Dwarves.
Artists measure body proportions by "heads", literally, the size of the head. Notice the similarities between the two sexes, here. Also, for all races, notice that the head size does not drastically differ by sex. See how they all roughly share the exact same proportions and build, if not weight? That is because they are the same race. I would not expect to see pudge in a static female racial model when the male is lean, or vice versa. Warcraft does not allow for body customization, and so, by necessity, the body types between the sexes are very similar as to be recognizable as that race in a glance. Warcraft has always done this. There is no race where the body type is vastly different by sex. I am speaking of proportions and tone. I am not speaking of the size of the muscles, I am referring to their type.
For shoots and geeglez, let us look at one of the "tall" and slender races, in this case, Blood Elves.
See how the length of the limbs and torso line up? Again, because they are the same species.
Now, back to Lung Bai.
Most posters seem very passionate at the idea they should look similar to the males, and I am one of them. But now, let me explain why. This is not even a matter of whether the males are chubby or not, though in all honesty, they are. Watch when "New Class: Monk" hits at 1:44 in the trailer, for example. Yes. That is a belly with fat, and it is a racial baseline. But, back to the explanation!
And back to Lung Bai, and his proportions. Here is where things get interesting. For those that insist they must be thin, here is a thin body built on Pandaren proportions.
If you think pandas are too "kiddy" for Warcraft, how about that Rescue Rangers build she's working there?
Women have wider hips than men in our world. That is usually the case in Warcraft, or slightly smaller than the men with Orcs, or actually a bit thicker than females for Gnomes. Look at the hips on Lung. That is your goal. Can you stretch what is considered thin by human standards across that? Yep! But it will still be wide as their skeletal structure. Fat may go, but bones do not shrink. And that is still much wider than human standards.
But that brings us to the finishing argument I have in this debate.
In keeping in line with the racial similarities between sexes of the races of Azeroth....
....how does that even remotely resemble the male Pandaren past the black and white colors?
However, same proportions, does this one?
It is a tradition I believe Blizzard will not deviate from so drastically. I believe that, as talented as the artists are on the slender end of the spectrum, this is not the place for a Wakfu Pandawa. This is a place for Rubens, not Royo. Yes, those pics look great, in their own proportions. Squashing them down to try making a Pandaren fit them makes them look just a wee bit differently than you may think.
Thanks for listening!