By the letter of the law I could be an apple or a pear

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An apple or a pear? I couldn’t decide...

I recant not some dithering deliberation over the fruit bowl, but an attempt, mid-way though a dog-eared old magazine in the dentists’ waiting room, to assess my body shape,

The article I was speed-reading before I got called in for my filling insisted that women - all women - fall into one of four categories.

You may be young or old, Asian, Caucasian or black; tall or short. But you WILL be either the shape of an egg-timer or a rectangle. Or one of the aforementioned English orchard staples. Not only should you dress accordingly, but eat accordingly. Foods a rectangle can stuff herself with will make an apple even more appley. Or send Ms Pear’s bottom straight to the cider press. Apparently. A load of tosh, I scoffed, then spent the next day trying to work out which one I was. I would have loved to be able to proclaim myself an hour-glass, with Monroe-esque curves going in and out in all the right places. I have got the hips. Childbearing is the common parlance.

Though alas, never, not even in my thinnest era (anything pre putting them hips to use in 1989) did I possess a waist. Which, realistically, meant I could be a rectangle. Though I loathed the thought. A bulky box like your new washing machine came in? A female version of Spongebob Squarepants?

So that left the fruits. Did my baby belly denote I was going Granny Smith’s, or did my lardy arse cancel it out and qualify me as a ripening Conference? A tough call, me old fruit.

To be frank, I seemed like an amalgam of all four. Aren’t most of us? So I positively devoured an article that popped up in my inbox the other day. One purporting to have done years of extensive research on the female form and re-categorised women’s body shapes into five distinct types. Online designer boutique say women can no longer be pigeon-holed (honestly, it used that phrase) as apple, pear or hourglass. Because there are in fact five different body types. You’re either an A, H, O, V of X (note there is not a pigeon amongst them).

They sound like blood groups. But it’s much less scientific; you look like the letter. Thus, a V is bigger up top and an A is her pear-shaped reverse. An O has slim legs and a big round body (in other words, she’s an apple), an X is the modern-day hourglass and a H is your standard washerbox.

Apart from the pneumatic new girl on the block (surely an homage to the upsurge in boob jobs) what’s new about that?