We define a new "contour person" model of the human body that has the expressive power of a detailed 3D model and the computational benefits of a simple 2D part-based model. The contour person (CP) model is learned from a 3D SCAPE model of the human body that captures natural shape and pose variations; the projected contours of this model, along with their segmentation into parts forms the training set. The CP model factors deformations of the body into three components: shape variation, viewpoint change and part rotation. This latter model also incorporates a learned non-rigid deformation model. The result is a 2D articulated model that is compact to represent, simple to compute with and more expressive than previous models. We demonstrate the value of such a model in 2D pose estimation and segmentation. Given an initial pose from a standard pictorial-structures method, we refine the pose and shape using an objective function that segments the scene into foreground and background regions. The result is a parametric, human-specific, image segmentation.