Saturday, September 12, 2009

Un Femme Poire

What does the after 50 figure look like? Well, of course, it comes in all shapes and sizes and colors and textures. The majority of women I know fall into one of three basic shapes:

  • Full figure. These friends, work colleagues and acquaintances have been full figured all their adult lives. But in recent years, they have gotten a tad fuller, shall we say.

  • Pear shape. Although these women had the perfect (or near perfect) hourglass figures in their twenties and thirties, the sands of time, if you will, have settled around their waist, hips and thighs.

  • Rail thin. Statuesque or petite, these women will be thin till the day they die. (Don’t you hate it when they tell you how hard they work to keep the weight off? Complete fiction.)
Full disclosure: I am un femme poire—the female pear. I wasn’t always; it’s been a gradual and very sad transformation. Many years ago, while I was watching a football game with my dad, he asked me what my waist measured. At the time, I had an hourglass figure, more or less. When I told him my waist size, my dad pointed out that my waist was only two inches wider than defensive linebacker "Refrigerator" Perry’s neck. But that was a long, LONG time—and multiple pregnancies—ago. Today, I’m a perfect pear.

I’ve included a drawing of myself in a swimsuit at age 50+. It’s a bit of a fabrication for two reasons. First, due to ridiculously large thighs, I haven’t worn a bathing suit without shorts (cut-offs in my 20s, gym shorts after that) in 30 years. But I thought the swimsuit sans shorts would provide a better view of my pear shape. The other problem with the drawing is that it makes me look a lot cuter than I do in real life. It goes without saying that I’m not a trained illustrator. I made the face rectangular to illustrate my advancing jowls, but I couldn’t figure out how to show all my age spots and wrinkles without making the face look like an onion and pepperoni pizza. In the 80s, my eldest son used to watch a Saturday morning cartoon based on a blockbuster action movie. I remember watching it with him once and thinking that several of the movie stars looked much better as cartoon characters. Suffice it to say, I do, too.

You might think I’m only interested in fashions that flatter the pear shape. But it’s not true. I’m interested in all fashions for the after 50 body—regardless of the shape they flatter. And I'm determined to find them and share them in this blog.