Apples, bananas and pears are all healthy fruits – until they’re being compared to a woman’s body type.
A woman who is tall and slender like a banana is told to minimize her height and enhance her curves. A woman who is short and curvy like an apple is told to minimize her curves and enhance her height. For a woman who is neither, her body type doesn’t exist. For years, women have been scrutinized about the shape of their body and how to dress according to it. Society has successfully managed to convince us that our beautifully unique silhouettes fall into four predetermined categories. You’re either a flawed fruit or the perfect hourglass patiently waiting for someone to flip you over to start the new cycle of a body-appreciating movement.
Open any women’s fashion magazine, and you will expose a world full of contradicting categories. Face shapes, eye sizes, hair types and body figures are among the many determinants that decide the categories that women feel obligated to place themselves in, all while attempting to express their individuality. Based on these individuality suppressors, it seems that in today’s world, individuality means complying to a fixed set of rules and regulations that spark the insecurities in us all. Categorizing women into groups based on specific body types produces the ongoing problem of body image issues. The unspoken awareness that one group is the prototype for perfection is highly evident in what society perceives as beautiful. Women with almond eyes, heart-shaped faces, long, thick hair and hourglass shapes are preferred compared to other physiques according to the images that have been portrayed immensely throughout history in movies, magazines and other forms of media. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Sofia Vergara are highly praised for their hourglass figures, while others like Melissa McCarthy, Lena Dunham and Adele are criticized for their full apple figures. Why is one shape better than the other, and more importantly, who is determining these standards?
Body image insecurities affect women in the most detrimental ways. Beginning at an early age, young girls are expected to look a certain way based off of what they see in the media. Instead of being taught to embrace their natural-born bodies, they’re taught to compare themselves to an unrealistic idea perfection. This idea promotes eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, as well as mental health issues such as body dysmorphic disorder. Society has created the idea that women’s bodies exist solely for physical beauty, completely ignoring the mysticism that comes along with the true intentions of the female anatomy. The shape, size and height of a woman’s body has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to give birth, so our body shapes should be the least of this growing society’s concerns.
Whether it’s the size of our waists, the curve of our hips or the bountifulness of our busts, we’re constantly being told that whatever we have is not good enough. When society understands the true meaning of a women’s body and is able to accept our individuality as a form of beauty rather than stigma to be ashamed of, then it will understand the true meaning of flawlessness. We are not apples, we are appealing. We are not bananas, we are beautiful. Most importantly, we are not pears, we are perfect.