Holistic integration of faces has been widely studied. More recently, investigations have explored whether similar processing is used for human bodies. Here we show that holistic processing, as measured by the composite task, does occur for bodies but is stronger for left and right halves than for top and bottom halves. We also found composite effects for left-right halves of inverted bodies. Standard composite effects were found for top halves of faces, tested as a control. We argue that our results suggest that holistic processing of faces and bodies might not exclusively occur for identification, but instead may also have evolved to aid communication and/or decisions about mate choice (through judging symmetry).