January 31, 2015

My Life In Being Apple Shaped

When I was in high school, one of the plus size clothing stores that I frequented came up with a new system of creating jeans for plus size women. First of all, there were three categories: Triangle (yellow), Square (red), and Circle (blue). Once you determined your 'shape' then you had to figure out your size, which went from 1 to 12. The best thing about the system is that you could tell someone honestly that you wore a size 8 jeans with a straight face.

I remember when the jeans first appeared in store, I went in with my mom as usual, and the salesperson told us about the new system, which was created to give all women of varying shapes a better fitting pair of jeans. She asked if I'd like to try them and I agreed. Before we could get to the jeans she said "Oh I can already tell you're a circle". I started to imagine myself as a big blue circle waddling around the store. Was it that obvious that I was a circle? As she helped me figure out my size she said that the triangles were for pear-shaped women, the squares were for block shaped women, and the circles were for apples---like me. Again, there I was imagining myself as an apple, like the fruit of the loom character above.

I was always self conscious about my weight but my shape never fully crossed my mind. Of course I knew everyone had a shape, I just never examined my own. I went home that night and looked in the mirror, I was round, my boobs were relatively small, my hips didn't really protrude outward in an obvious way like my stomach did...Oh God, I'm an....apple!

From then on I started to look at and realize shapes.  I noticed a lot of the girls I went to school with were shapely, they had the curves along with flat stomachs, an apple amongst pears. I almost wanted to pray to the fruit gods, "please oh please make me a pear!" But I knew that wouldn't work. Great, not only am I fat but I'm a fat apple. There's always a silver lining I guess...At least I wasn't block shaped.

Over the past few years plus size women seem to be more accepted and celebrated but in reality that's not true. Plus sized PEAR shaped women are more accepted and celebrated, I would even argue that pear shaped women have never really been frowned upon. As you probably know, pear shaped women usually have a smaller stomach and waist especially in comparison to their hips , butt, and thighs. A lot of the Renaissance artwork depicts pear shaped women, Sir-Mix-Alots "Baby Got Back" wasn't about us apples, and the term BBW is a colloquial term for all the pears. Rapper Drake said in one of his songs that he likes his women "BBW". Malarkey! He likes his women "BBP" (Big, Beautiful, and Pear).There's also the argument that pears are curvy/thick (positive connotation) and apples are fat/large (negative connotation). It's ridiculous that someone is seen as more attractive because of the way their fat cells are proportioned...To each person's own, I suppose.

So where does that leave us apples (besides sitting on the shelf waiting to be selected for someone's pie)?  Even though fat acceptance has made waves, I believe us apple girls are still quite low on the totem pole. There are several social media sites that claim to show the beauty of plus size women, but they only showcase a certain type of woman. You guessed it, the coveted pears. I'm not saying all this to be divisive, but I want people to understand that apples are beautiful!I also want us apple girls to be not just the funny girls with the good personality, but the girl who's the love interest, the confident, sexy girl, and the girl that gets the guy in the end, but that's another blog for another day. I would consider the beautiful and talented Melissa McCartney and Pitch Perfect's Rebel Wilson to be apple girls. On the other hand Beyoncè and Iggy Azalea are pear girls.

Quick trivia question: In what movie does Melissa McCarthy play anyone's primary love interest?.....When you think of one, let me know. Back to the topic at hand...

Instead of praying to the fruit gods like I wanted to, women are paying to have their bodies contoured JUST to be a pear. A little nip, tuck, move some fat around, add a touch of silicone and viola! Pear girl! Apple girls can't do this. If you're an apple, adding some fat to your hips and butt will only make you look like a pear-apple and I don't think they make jeans for hybrids.

I think the plus size acceptance should be more inclusive as we are all curvy, we are all heavy, we're all fluffy, and most of all we're all beautiful no matter what fruit we look like.


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