Sunday, November 14, 2010

Of Fruit and Fat

No metaphor is more over-used than a comparison of female body parts with fruit. (Oh, and the occasional male these days, but this is rarely if ever taken very seriously). 

The latest example being some research reported under the title of "Women's derrieres have evolved from pear bums to tomatoes". The take home message seems to be: peaches are perfect, pear are okay, tomatoes are just fat and god forbid you have a fully fledged "potato bum".

It is bad enough that women are compared to food products, but now we are being named and shamed by comparison with less tasty food products.  So not only are we meant to be compared to fruit (it's a scientific fact!), we are meant to aspire to being fruit (rather than less desirable vegetables).  Wow.  And an example of this terribly unhealthy look is... Beyonce.  Um, yeah, she looks terrible.

Of course if you look more closely into this message it seems to have been fed to the media by "Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume". It is female-only version of an earlier "story" in which the exact role of Dr David Holmes, of Manchester Metropolitan University( in "bum research") is less than clear.  It sounds a lot like bullshit dressed up as science and paid for by some company who hopes to profit from the resulting media coverage proliferated by lazy journalists who don;t know the difference between science and advertising.

Oh look, this "research" was "sponsored by the drinks firm Lambrini."  It linked to the now defunct 18+ website lambrini girls ( .  The picture to the left is an actual professional advertisement for this campaign for a product that is almost synonymous with over-indulging female drinkers (Lambrini is a flavored, bubbly and very very cheap sweet wine with an alcohol level of around 7%).  Their advertising is so routinely out of compliance with the law that it has to be run by the "copy advice" team in the UK (a process that is typically voluntary).

The so-called media outlets (Courier Mail, Sydney Morning Herald and more) who carried this reanimated non-story should be ashamed of themselves.  David Holmes prostituted his scientific standing for money, and allowed it to be used to advertise a cheap brand of wine.  Kathleen Alleaume spun the message to shame women and perhaps to sell the services of her "Right Balance" consultancy.  The only tomatoes that should be involved in this whole mess should be aimed at their heads.

See also:
Erotica complaint upheld

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