Apples and Oranges and Pears...Oh My!
It’s autumn, so naturally I’m thinking about fruit, like images of ripe apples made for dipping in caramel, Thanksgiving cornucopias that represent abundance and gratefulness, and the oranges placed in Christmas stockings per some family traditions. However, I suddenly also started thinking about something else…
Body types and conspiracies.
Okay, so you may not see the connection right away, but there is one. It all started when I got an ad in the mail like I’ve gotten so many times before. It was advertising cute outfits for plus size ladies, of which I am one. I’ve always sort of liked the company that sent the ad, because they do cater to women of my size and they have cute outfits. This time, for some reason, I noticed something different.
Instead of apples and oranges, they only had pears in their fruit basket of models. I’m sure you’ve heard of the fruit analogy for body types—apples and oranges carry their weight around their abdomens while pears carry their weight around their hips. Pear body types are supposed to be considerably healthier because of where the weight is carried, while apples, and I would add to that oranges (which are basically the same), struggle with diabetes and other weight-related issues, including finding clothing that fits, more often.
This is where the sudden epiphany happened. I’m an apple. No matter what I do, my stomach is where I carry my weight and I have a terrible time finding clothes that look like I'm not trying to hide my shape, even from companies that cater to plus-size women. Now I know why.
As I looked at the advertisement, I suddenly realized that the models they used, though plus-sized, were all pear shapes. They all had big hips and ample bosoms, but their tummies were not large like an apple’s. Then it struck me that all the plus-size catalogs and ads I’ve seen show the same types of models—larger than the average female, but definitely with an hour-glass shape.
I’ve never seen a model with a large belly like mine anywhere, now that I think of it, and I’m kind of offended by it. Have you ever seen a plus-size model with a large belly? Think about it. Where? When?
So, that’s the other reason I’ve been thinking about fruit. It’s not really about the bitterness of discovering a conspiracy among clothing stores to trick me into buying clothes I’ll never be able to wear as much as it is about really wanting to find a place that sells clothes that fit my shape. I struggle constantly with this. I see something I think will fit me in one of these catalogs, then get it and realize the waist is too small. It’s infuriating and frustrating. That clothing item, even though advertised as a plus-sized, is built for a pear, not an apple, and I’m not a happy about it.
What about you? Are you a pear? An apple? An eggplant? Where do you shop for clothes that might fit? Please do share. Suggestions are welcome. I need a new pair of jeans soon. :)