Wednesday, May 11, 2005

apple + pears

here's your damn pie.
i was trolling around the internet last night (finishing off the last of the green buttercream icing) when i should have been in bed and came upon an article about Dr. Marie Savard's new book: Apples & Pears: The Body Shape Solution to Weight Loss and Wellness. maybe it's not so new, i don't know. certainly, the concept isn't a new one. women have been talking about their apple and pear-shapedness for years.

"oh, yes, i'm an apple. look at this gut."

"i wish i were an apple, you've got such great thin legs. i'm a pear. i'm like a heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet."

blah blah blah blah...

fruit metaphors abound when it comes to the female form, don't they?

apples, pears, melons (big breasts), blueberries (bitsy breasts), figs (ahem), cherries (ahem, ahem) ...we're a veritable fruit salad walkin' around! guys, on the other hand, have only one obvious fruit metaphor. oh, you know, tropical in nature. i won't insult your intelligence by saying it. let's just say it's my least favorite flavor of RUNTS candy, i sometimes like it with bran flakes, but it is at it's best when served at church picnics with pudding and Nilla wafers.

one way or another, people always find a way to objectify the human body, don't they? particularly us lady folks. i suppose it's a way of trying to contain the strange, beautiful, ever-changing human form that is WHOAAAAMAAAAAAN. (when i was about 8, and my mother was trying to explain to me why some feminists don't like the word woman b/c of it's derivation from the word man, i begged to differ. i presented my mother with the possibility that word woman actually came from the time when the first man, i guess that would be Adam, saw Eve, jaw agape, and bellowed, "Whoa, man!" so, to my mind, it was a compliment. why thank you, yes i am a whoa-man!)

i kinda understand. i mean, we women are pretty marvelous creatures. we have so much produce to pilfer, it can be a little overwhelming. all of our wares are foreign to men, so it's sort of like shopping at a market in marrakech - you have no idea what you're looking at and you have no idea as to whether it will pleasure you or poison you. so, what to do with a thing you cannot understand? name it something innocuous. "melons" is certainly far less threatening than the word "breasts" isn't it? "cherry" trivializes the lumbering velvet-draped majesty that is the word vaaaaaaggiiiiiiiiinnnnAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH into the innocence of a midwestern 4-H queen draped in red and white gingham ruffles.

i know dr. savard has a point, and she probably had no intention of objectifiying our miraculous complicated bodies into fruits that, with a little butter, sugar, and flour make an excellent, toothsome cobbler. her point is that women who tend to carry weight around their middle (apples) are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer, (now that i think about it - my mom was an apple), and those who carry weight around their rears (pears) are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

i'm just annoyed by her claim to yet another weight loss solution, as well as by her reference to our bodies as apples and pears - easily classifiable, containable. (just chop us up into little chunks, sprinkle us with lemon juice and toss us into a watermelon boat - pretty!) like it's that easy. that whole one-size-fits-all mentality that is a bunch of B.S. all of our bodies have different strengths, weaknesses, needs. when, i ask you, will people wrap their lovely little noggins around that fact?

even apples don't cotton to being fenced in. there are 2,500 varieties of apples available in the U.S. alone and 7,500 worldwide. you're gonna tell me that they're all the same? that they'll all make a comparably good pie? or caramel apple? or apple fritter? nope. my grandma will fight you to the death that a golden delicious makes the best pie because it's sturdy and stands up to the heat, a macintosh is a good snacking apple, and red delicious apples - those requisite nasty, grainy, brownish red, coated in pesticides, how-dare-you-call-it-a-fruit sitting on every child's school lunch tray - are just gross and should be relegated immediately to the compost heap.

so, ladies please. eat fruit. don't be it.

as annoyed as i was, i was still curious. i suspected i was une pomme, but i thought i'd give it a's what she says to do:

How do you determine your body shape?

1. Measure around the narrowest part of your waist to determine your waist circumference.
2. Measure around your hips--about three or four inches below your pelvis bone.
3. Divide your waist circumference by your hip measurement to get your waist-to-hip ratio, or WHR.

What your measurement means:

* A WHR higher than 0.80 means you are apple-shaped.
* A WHR higher of 0.80 or less means you are pear-shaped.

so, i did it.

weird...turns out i'm neither.

i'm a papaya.

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