Shapes and sizes

Pear shaped figures versus apple shapes are the trending terms for describing women’s various body shapes.

Pear shaped figures versus apple shapes are the trending terms for describing women’s various body shapes. Not to be left out, men prefer to be described in ‘vegetable language’ such as parsnip, beetroot and aubergine. Apparently in men, the parsnip form is the most desirable one with broad shoulders, firm chest and slim ling legs. But who cares?

Apparently, the people of the different industries, such as clothes or modelling companies, want you to dwell on these which in itself is not a bad thing as it helps you dress smart while keeping your body shape in mind. However, anything outside that is not to cause concern as too much focus on a body shape you can hardly do anything about ( how do you make long legs shorter for example, or cut down your broad shoulders) can just lead to ‘body shame’.

But the question is how do these fruits get their shapes in the first place? There are many shapes and sizes which make one wonder how and why they came about. Take for instance the red tomato. It comes in with numerous shapes and sizes, the small round one, the elongated ones and all sorts of shapes in between. According to recent research conducted by scientists, the genes determine what shape the tomatoes will take on. Can we confidently assert that this is true for other fruits as well? The answer is ‘yes’. When a fruit is growing, there are some genes that are responsible for its shape and size while other genes focus on ensuring that it grows through all the right stages into full maturity. That answers the mystery of how it is possible for so many of the same kind of fruit to have the same shape, curves, cuts consistently for so many years.

That being said, what is the purpose of the roundness (most fruits are round have you noticed?) in tomatoes, oranges, tangerines, while sugar canes are longish and so are cucumbers. One of the reasons cited is the need to be attractive and at the same time, to appeal to the insects that pollinate the flowers as well as to the consumers of the fruit. How prudent is their creator God?

Lois Nakibuuka is an educator and counsellor

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