Following our last article on body types, we wanted to give you a little more information to clear up any question you may have.
There are so many fruit metaphors
If you read the last article to work out which body type you are, you might be left wondering why we kept describing women’s bodies with fruit metaphors.
We completely get it, not only might it be slightly frustrating to keep being described as a piece of fruit. But it also could give off and negative impression.
So, we wanted to explain why the fruit metaphor has been used over time, and why we continue to do so. To help you understand that it doesn’t really matter what type of fruit your body was described to resemble.
Why we use fruits to describe your body type
‘Using fruit to describe body types has long been seen by some as a visual shorthand; a way to describe the shape in a less technical or scientific way.’
Simon Scully gives the example that “pear shape’ is a lot easier to imagine than “gynoid”. Though they both mean the same thing.’
That being said, we know that many people really don’t enjoy having their bodies referred to as pieces of fruit. ‘Many feel that using these terms contributes to objectification by turning one’s body into an object for other’s to value.’
Referring to body types in such a way can have a further damaging effect. As it ‘may help perpetuate the false idea that here’s an “ideal” body type’.
This study on objectification theory, researchers Barbara Fredrickson and Tomi-Ann Roberts write:
“This perspective on self can lead to habitual body monitoring, which, in turn, can increase women’s opportunities for shame and anxiety, reduce opportunities for peak motivational states, and diminish awareness of internal bodily states.’
‘Accumulations of such experiences may help account for an array of mental health risks that disproportionately affect women: unipolar depression, sexual dysfunction, and eating disorders.”
This is especially true when magazines encourage people with certain body types to hide or “correct” their bodies. Instead of celebrating them for their differences.
So if being referred to as a particular type of fruit isn’t for you, know you are not alone.
How you describe your body is up to you and you alone. No one else can label it for you.
How to measure yourself to find your body type
We know that some people find it hard to identify your body type by just looking at the list.
If this is you an easier way of working out ‘what body type am I?’ Is a bit more old school.
Measuring your body will give you an accurate representation as to your proportions. It can help make this whole process easier.
Don’t worry too much about what the tape measures says. It’s only an exercise to help you work out your body type.
If you already know what your body type is, we think that knowing your measurement can also be very useful. Especially when it comes to buying clothes, especially for online shopping!
Here are some ways to take your own measurements:
Bust: Put the tape measure on your nipple line then pull the other end around you, under your armpits. Make sure that it is taut but not too tight.
Waist: your waistline is the smallest part of your waist, about a half-inch above your belly button. Circle your waist with the tape measure like it is a belt.
‘If you want an easy way to make sure you’re measuring the right spot, bend slightly to the side. You’ll likely see a small crease form — that’s your natural waistline.’
Hips: Place the tape measure around the largest part of your hips.
Shoulders: for this one, you will need a little assistance. Ask someone to measure across your back from the edge of one shoulder to the other.
Using your measurements to find your body type
You have an hourglass figure if: ‘You are an hourglass if your waist is at least 25% smaller than your shoulder or bust (waist measurement divided by shoulders and bust). Your waist is at least 25% smaller than your hips (waist measurement divided by hips). The measurements of your shoulder and hip are within 5% of each other.’
You have a pear or triangle body type if: ‘if your hips are more than 5% bigger than your shoulders or bust (hip measurement divided by shoulders or bust). For example, you are a triangle if your shoulders are 36 inches and your hips are 37.75 inches or larger.’
You have a rectangle body type if: ‘your waist is less than 25% smaller than your shoulder or bust (waist measurement divided by shoulders or bust) and your shoulder, bust and hip measurements are within 5% of each other.’
Your body is an inverted triangle body type if: ‘your shoulder or bust measurement is more than 5% bigger than your hip measurement (shoulders or bust divided by hip measurement’.