I’m sure by now, most women have heard of different classifications for body shapes. There’s the “hourglass” (think Marilyn Monroe and every pin up girl ever) and the “rectangle” (as in you don’t have a natural waist) and sometimes even varieties of triangle (standard and inverse, apparently). But all of this is weird. No one actually looks like a triangle or a rectangle. Hourglass, sure, I can see that. Then there’s the stupid food comparisons: apple, pear, and (this one was new to me) banana. I’m sorry but I definitely don’t look like a piece of fruit. This comparison is just weird and nonsensical.
I’m sorry, but none of these shapes make any sense to my brain. I just don’t get it. Supposedly, because I’m small-chested and big-bootied (is that even a term?) I’m a “pear” shape. But I’m also supposed to have tiny, wimpy shoulders (which I don’t) and thick ankles (also don’t). I get the impetus for classifying body shapes–supposedly helping women dress to flatter their most “alluring” features–but it really needs to be rethought. On top of only being able to represent these so-called universal shapes that are supposed to fit all women on the planet in odd drawings without faces or with creepy identical faces, when someone does try to represent these shapes in the real world, you wind up with ridiculously inaccurate representations. See, for example, figure three. All of these women, despite the fact that they’ve been classified as “different” shapes, all look the same to me. They all have chests of roughly the same size, they’re all fairly lean (though red bathing suit and black bathing suit have weirdly thin thighs that don’t touch), and they all have pretty defined waists. I’m also increasingly convinced that “inv” triangle and triangle are the same woman with a bit of photoshopping on the booty/thighs area. Alternative to the “models come in all shapes and varieties of anorexic!!!” photo above is the “all women look like worn out slobs and stand with their arms awkwardly lifted and suffering from an inexplicable case of bowleggedness” picture below. Kudos to the creator for using real women, but at the same time, it seems somewhat unfair to try to accurately represent body types when you’re using women whose ages vary from the fairly young (maybe 24, “lollipop”) to the fairly old (65? “column”), and whose relative body weight fluctuates from the very skinny to the verging on obese. And forgive me for asking, but what idiot came up with these horrible names. There’s the classic food items, but wtf is a cello body shape? Lollipop? Goblet? And can we all agree that “brick” is a terrible term for a woman’s body shape? As if you could be any less interested in making a woman feel beautiful–“Yes, dear, I believe you’d be classified as a ‘brick.'” C’mon!
This is not to say that using women of a variety of ages and weights is a bad thing, but it’s hard to get a sense of your body shape if you’re at the right weight but don’t look like Ms. Lollipop, Pear, or Cornet. What about women of average weight who are hourglass-shaped? Or heavy women who are column or goblet shaped? This system just sucks, to be honest.
Additionally, in my evening internet cruising, I keep seeing advice for pear and apple shaped women that encourages them to “hide” their big hips or busts, respectively, while telling hourglass ladies to just let it all hang out cause they have nothing to hide. What kind of message does that send? The only worthwhile, sexy shape is an hourglass one, I assume. Everyone else better try to wear dark colors or use ruffles to give the impression they actually have the hourglass shape instead of just embracing the great assets they do have, regardless of whether their top and bottom halves match.
I say, eff that. Whether you look like Barbie or you don’t, stop dressing to cover up what some people like to call “problem areas” (i.e. anything that’s not an hourglass), and just start wearing what you think looks good and gives you confidence.