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Old 09-27-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default Apples, pears, and other sundry items

So, ladies, I'm wondering how does everyone feel about being referred to as fruit? Do you own, reject, or feel neutral about that label? I for one feel kind of neutral about it, tho there are days where it irks me, and makes me feel a bit objectified. I have to wonder who started that whole comparing fat women's bodies to fruit thing and why has it stuck? I don't think thin women are referred to as fruit, but they do have to deal with the idea of a perfect 10, which is IMO, rather ridiculous. But then I wonder where on that number scale does the fruit fit in? Would a pear shape be a 10? Would an hourglass be a 7? An apple a 3? I guess the system of comparison doesn't matter much regardless as there would be women who would inevitably feel bad about not being the coveted ideal....sigh.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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I guess the system of comparison doesn't matter much regardless as there would be women who would inevitably feel bad about not being the coveted ideal....sigh.
Got it in one.

As far as the fruit labels... I'm not a fan. I suppose it's more polite imagery than categorizing women by "fat ass" and "big tits," so it's not all bad, but in true feminist reading-into-things-WAY-too-much fashion, I don't like being labeled as an object, much less something that is consumable. And yes, I suppose you could put a positive spin on it, and be all "But you're sweet and natural and nourishing!" but... dammit, I'm a girl. That's all.

Moreover, I've found that the "apple" label can be a little vague. Some people have the image of, say, an Empire apple in mind and use it to mean a woman who carries most of her weight in her belly, but some are more of the mind that it means a woman with big breasts, more of a Red delicious shape. (Again, yes, reading into it too much.)
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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OMG, I'm actually allergic to raw apples so I never paid that much attention to the types. I wouldn't know a red delicious from a fugi by sight, and I've never thought of it like that....apples within apples. Eek.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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Thin women are referred to as fruit frequently enough (plus the unflattering "ruler"), even though our shapes might not be that obvious.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #5
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Thin women are referred to as "fruits". Any mainstream fashion mag bears this out. It's just about where one carries most weight.

I'm neither apple, nor pear. I'm an hourglass and while I don't particularly care to be described as an object...I guess the word only has as much power as I give it. Whether I want it to be a positive or negative connotation is up to me entirely. I don't buy into this idea of having a number scale either; maybe that's because I'm naive or vain enough to think I'm off the charts. But in all seriousness, I think this whole body shape/fruits thing is just...silly.

I've heard people say time and again, most men want pear shaped women, blah blah blah. I've also heard people say most men want lighter skinned women with straight hair. I don't believe the hype/lies. I know apple shaped women who are married/partnered. Someone found them desirable, so I think it's sort of short sighted to base my opinions about what happens in real life on Dims or any other online forum.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
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Maybe I should point out that the "apple" and "pear" labels apply as much to men as they do to women. I believe they were originally developed to point out the differences in the way people gain weight. Some people tend to put on fat inside the body cavity, surrounding the internal organs: this produces the characteristic big-bellied "apple" shape, and I have read that people who gain weight in this way have a higher mortality rate than thin people. Those who add fat under the skin tend to gain weight around the hips and thighs -- the "pear" shape -- and I believe their mortality rate is pretty much the same as that for thin people. If there are any medical professionals out there who can clarify or correct this impression, please do! But my understanding is that the "fruity" labels rose out of a metaphor to explain genuine medical differences, not an attempt to objectify people.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:02 PM   #7
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Maybe I should point out that the "apple" and "pear" labels apply as much to men as they do to women. I believe they were originally developed to point out the differences in the way people gain weight. Some people tend to put on fat inside the body cavity, surrounding the internal organs: this produces the characteristic big-bellied "apple" shape, and I have read that people who gain weight in this way have a higher mortality rate than thin people. Those who add fat under the skin tend to gain weight around the hips and thighs -- the "pear" shape -- and I believe their mortality rate is pretty much the same as that for thin people. If there are any medical professionals out there who can clarify or correct this impression, please do! But my understanding is that the "fruity" labels rose out of a metaphor to explain genuine medical differences, not an attempt to objectify people.
Dr. Feelgood:

I think the bodytypes for men generally fall under classification developed by Dr. Sheldon (ectomorph- endomorph- mesomorph) though the only fruit reference I've heard for guys have been "pear" - and other geometric shaped "Inverted Triangle" (bodybuilder) - "Boxy" and then there's "Portly"

I agree on the medical explanations;but, perhaps over time and in the SA community such labels for women can also have other meanings
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:10 PM   #8
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Wait, thin women are referred to fruit? Really? I've honestly never heard that, but then I don't read fashion mags. This is honestly news to me. My guy friends have never referred to the women they are attracted to as fruit. They use numbers or just say, "she's hot."

I'd like very much for the fruit labels to not matter at all, but you know, being a fat means going to where the appropriate suitor are, and for all intents and purposes, that means the bbw world, i.e. sites like Dims. Sure one could just avoid the internet and try to meet people in random places in real life, but I would those labels be unknown to people who aren't part of this world really? If Ash and Cors are right about thin women also being referred to as fruit then in a way it's unavoidable.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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i don't mind the shape descriptors, because they're fairly universal and serve as practical shorthand. Throw "pear" into a frank discussion about jeans, theatre armrests, or the old Indy ride vehicle seats and everybody immediately understands you.

It just takes longer to say "people with big butts, lower guts, and/or hips." And since not every fat person is comfortable with the more "honest" terminology, the fruit et al. are good polite euphemisms, too.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
Maybe I should point out that the "apple" and "pear" labels apply as much to men as they do to women. I believe they were originally developed to point out the differences in the way people gain weight. Some people tend to put on fat inside the body cavity, surrounding the internal organs: this produces the characteristic big-bellied "apple" shape, and I have read that people who gain weight in this way have a higher mortality rate than thin people. Those who add fat under the skin tend to gain weight around the hips and thighs -- the "pear" shape -- and I believe their mortality rate is pretty much the same as that for thin people. If there are any medical professionals out there who can clarify or correct this impression, please do! But my understanding is that the "fruity" labels rose out of a metaphor to explain genuine medical differences, not an attempt to objectify people.
Fat women were asked the question about how we feel about it. Does not matter the other reasons it is used. We...fat women...hear this stuff way too often. And, I am glad we can hear, once again, how my shape makes me more at risk for bad things. I just wanted to come in and talk about my feelings about the labels, and see what other fat women had to say about it. The other is a great topic for the health board.
--

I have called myself an ' apple '. Almost seemed like just a Dims kind of thing to do, as I would never refer to myself that way in the real world. I need to stop using the term, as I have really started to hate it. When I am in chat, and a man asks what kind of fruit I am...I just ask what he is. You know what they say?...they say..." huh? "....cuz they don't have the experience of being looked up and down and slapped with a label. It does not make me see red...it is more of an eyeroll and a yawn, over how flipping boring some people can be.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:49 PM   #11
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Fat women were asked the question about how we feel about it. Does not matter the other reasons it is used. We...fat women...hear this stuff way too often. And, I am glad we can hear, once again, how my shape makes me more at risk for bad things. I just wanted to come in and talk about my feelings about the labels, and see what other fat women had to say about it. The other is a great topic for the health board.
--

I have called myself an ' apple '. Almost seemed like just a Dims kind of thing to do, as I would never refer to myself that way in the real world. I need to stop using the term, as I have really started to hate it. When I am in chat, and a man asks what kind of fruit I am...I just ask what he is. You know what they say?...they say..." huh? "....cuz they don't have the experience of being looked up and down and slapped with a label. It does not make me see red...it is more of an eyeroll and a yawn, over how flipping boring some people can be.
For what it's worth I assumed he was referring to fat men, which I'm sure they have to deal with something similar. I did ask where the term might have originated, and it's as good an explanation as any. Tho I am asking women how they feel about it, if men have something constructive to add, they are welcome to do so.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
Maybe I should point out that the "apple" and "pear" labels apply as much to men as they do to women. I believe they were originally developed to point out the differences in the way people gain weight. Some people tend to put on fat inside the body cavity, surrounding the internal organs: this produces the characteristic big-bellied "apple" shape, and I have read that people who gain weight in this way have a higher mortality rate than thin people. Those who add fat under the skin tend to gain weight around the hips and thighs -- the "pear" shape -- and I believe their mortality rate is pretty much the same as that for thin people. If there are any medical professionals out there who can clarify or correct this impression, please do! But my understanding is that the "fruity" labels rose out of a metaphor to explain genuine medical differences, not an attempt to objectify people.
Is this really necessary? I hate hearing the whole IF U GET FAT DIS WAY UR GONNA DIE.


Anyway. I dislike the fruit comparisons for the same reason mossy stated.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:33 PM   #13
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For what it's worth I assumed he was referring to fat men, which I'm sure they have to deal with something similar. I did ask where the term might have originated, and it's as good an explanation as any. Tho I am asking women how they feel about it, if men have something constructive to add, they are welcome to do so.
So you did ask. I skimmed your post. The rest of what I had to say was valid, as it does not really matter...when it comes to personal feelings...where something originates.
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I can be told, " oh, but you see, this is why...so don't be bothered "... but it does not feel ' scientific ' so to speak, when individuals, like so many at Dims, use terms because they are lazy and don't care enough to see women as anything other than parts. I think an easier way to create images in heads, in order to have people understand ...is one thing...the practical shorthand. It's the other laziness that bothers me.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:47 PM   #14
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Dr. Feelgood:

I think the bodytypes for men generally fall under classification developed by Dr. Sheldon (ectomorph- endomorph- mesomorph) though the only fruit reference I've heard for guys have been "pear" - and other geometric shaped "Inverted Triangle" (bodybuilder) - "Boxy" and then there's "Portly"
Okay, kind of off-topic, but why the HELL do people still use Sheldon's classification? He was a crazy man! He was trying to say that your body type determined your personality! I guess I can see why "ease/difficulty in gaining muscle/fat" is a useful categorization for bodybuilding, but it really really irks me that we keep using Mr. Crazy's labels, and it ESPECIALLY irks me when people say that's the ONLY way to classify your body structure.

Okay, done with that. I feel better now.

As to the fruit thing - yes, thin women's magazines use the pear/apple/hourglass terminology as well, but most straight non-FA males probably have never heard it. I think FAs are so in tune with it because shapes are exaggerated as people gain weight.

Another thing I've thought many times is that "I am an apple" has FAR different implications than "I am apple-shaped". This is true of many labels; "I am blonde" vs. "I am a blonde", "he's gay" vs. "he's a gay", etc. It's all about describing an aspect of a person rather than categorizing them as an object. The apple/pear/hourglass terminology is great shorthand - it's easy to visualize "I am shaped like a pear", and I don't know that I feel any better about breaking women down into component parts for description than I do about comparing them with an object. I am uncomfortable with "I am a _" because that implies that you are a thing, but having a widely-recognized way of describing an aspect of yourself can be quite useful and not inherently objectifying.

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Old 09-27-2009, 01:53 PM   #15
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i don't mind the shape descriptors, because they're fairly universal and serve as practical shorthand. Throw "pear" into a frank discussion about jeans, theatre armrests, or the old Indy ride vehicle seats and everybody immediately understands you.

It just takes longer to say "people with big butts, lower guts, and/or hips." And since not every fat person is comfortable with the more "honest" terminology, the fruit et al. are good polite euphemisms, too.
This is basically how I feel about it. It doesn't bother me, and most people understand the terms. Other than here and the diet/exercise forum I belong to, the only other place I really hear the terms are in fashion/health magazines.

I think I'm more hourglass/to slightly pear shaped
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:46 PM   #16
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When I am in chat, and a man asks what kind of fruit I am...I just ask what he is. You know what they say?...they say..." huh? "....cuz they don't have the experience of being looked up and down and slapped with a label.
I've gotten equally confounded "huh?"s when I've suggested some guy start a paysite who was telling a woman she should. It's like it's unheard of for a man to be on the receiving end, and when some have the tables turned, they immediately grasp the idiocy of their assumptions (though often the irony of it remains obscured for them.) To be fair, I've had just as many women act like I'm crazy for suggesting that turnabout on guys is fair play.

To get back to topic: I don't answer to "apple" or "pear" or "watermelon" or "starfruit" or "chocolate mama" or "brown sugar" or "fatso" any other reductive, euphemistic or pejorative terminology from the lips of anyone but my closest and dearest, who wouldn't call me anything in anything but the kindest sense, anyway.

When we talk about public discourse, it's important to remember what's at stake: In this case, it's just more of the same--comparing and weighing out and assessing women's bodies, and making sure women know that at any moment, their worth can be reduced to a mere one- or two-syllable word. Talk about destructive.

(And that's taking into account a medical industry which is not very kind to fat people, or to women, for that matter. Medical discourses have been applied to keep women and other "minorities" in check since medicine was born.)
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #17
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Far as someone on the internet that you don't know asking you what shape your body is......is that appropriate?
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:20 PM   #18
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GEF, No one has asked - lately. These words get thrown around so often, I thought I'd ask how everyone feels about it. But you are right, it isn't appropriate to me either, and I have been asked that in the past...
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:27 PM   #19
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Yeah, the asking strangers on the internet what fruit they are is completely inappropriate. "I'm looking for a pear" is entirely disrespectful. I still think the terms are useful, however, especially in discussions of clothing and such.
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:30 PM   #20
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So, ladies, I'm wondering how does everyone feel about being referred to as fruit? Do you own, reject, or feel neutral about that label? I for one feel kind of neutral about it, tho there are days where it irks me, and makes me feel a bit objectified. I have to wonder who started that whole comparing fat women's bodies to fruit thing and why has it stuck? I don't think thin women are referred to as fruit, but they do have to deal with the idea of a perfect 10, which is IMO, rather ridiculous. But then I wonder where on that number scale does the fruit fit in? Would a pear shape be a 10? Would an hourglass be a 7? An apple a 3? I guess the system of comparison doesn't matter much regardless as there would be women who would inevitably feel bad about not being the coveted ideal....sigh.
I would be in this area. Of late though I am more bothered by it. I am a pear (so what), but I am a human being first and having this shape that is coveted can definitely make me feel objectified.
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:31 PM   #21
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Yeah, the asking strangers on the internet what fruit they are is completely inappropriate. "I'm looking for a pear" is entirely disrespectful. I still think the terms are useful, however, especially in discussions of clothing and such.

Yeah, I had some creep on a dating site send me a PM saying he was looking for a XYZ body type woman. That was it....just a certain shape. I thought he should just buy a blow up doll.........

One thing to say you like a certain shape but to say you are looking for something that you don't seem to hold a higher regard for than you do a piece of fruit is different. I think that is what Teleute was trying to convey on the matter.
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:42 PM   #22
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Yeah, I had some creep on a dating site send me a PM saying he was looking for a XYZ body type woman. That was it....just a certain shape. I thought he should just buy a blow up doll.........

One thing to say you like a certain shape but to say you are looking for something that you don't seem to hold a higher regard for than you do a piece of fruit is different. I think that is what Teleute was trying to convey on the matter.
Yeah, I just have a hard time with the words Thank you for putting it more eloquently

Also, that guy... UGH.
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:57 PM   #23
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Yes, my sugary little starfruit!

But seriously, I think Ash made a good point: terms like these only have as much negative power as you're willing to assign to them. Any jerkbob can turn the most innocuous of words, questions, or general statements into something pejorative because he's an idiot; the terms themselves are merely neutral vehicles. Certainly, there are some terms that have serious, settled, and permanent derogatory connotations. But the fruit terms are still useful and disconnectable enough to save them. It's kinda like the debate over generic, hotbutton "fat terms" - if we embrace them and attempt to neutralize them via positive usage, they lose their negative power. Even in objectification, fruit terminology has - in my mind at least - the zany, subversive effect of completely desexualizing the comparison in a positive way. Unless you have a fruit objectification kink, there's nothing inherently prurient, powerless, or powerful in apples and pears. There's also no real value in comparing them, because comparing fruit is, according to the oft-quoted axiom about apples and oranges, fruitless. Ha!

This may sound lame, but I actually feel kind of removed from the line of prurient/sexualization fire by the fruit terms. Kinda like Daphne transforming into the laurel tree, it removes the figurative and literal "penetrable parts" and replaces them with something unfuckwithable.

As far as the "I resemble/I am" differentiations, I'm not too concerned. Most people - the women especially - use the formats interchangeably and without significance. I think that even the most boneheaded fapper realizes on a basic level that women are not fruit, nor mindless fleshshapes. Even if he doesn't, I don't see how arguing over the subtleties of terminology are going to accomplish anything save restricting us from the freedom of using good words with communicative value - even the terms "woman" or "human female" as he understands them are going to be pejorative to us.

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Old 09-27-2009, 04:04 PM   #24
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Yes, my sugary little starfruit!

But seriously, I think Ash made a good point: terms like these only have as much negative power as you're willing to assign to them. Any jerkbob can turn the most innocuous of words, questions, or general statements into something pejorative because he's an idiot; the terms themselves are merely neutral vehicles. Certainly, there are some terms that have serious, settled, and permanent derogatory connotations. But the fruit terms are still useful and disconnectable enough to save them. It's kinda like the debate over generic, hotbutton "fat terms" - if we embrace them and attempt to neutralize them via positive usage, they lose their negative power. Even in objectification, fruit terminology has - in my mind at least - the zany, subversive effect of completely desexualizing the comparison in a positive way. Unless you have a fruit objectification kink, there's nothing inherently prurient, powerless, or powerful in apples and pears. There's also no real value in comparing them, because comparing fruit is, according to the oft-quoted axiom about apples and oranges, fruitless. Ha!

This may sound lame, but I actually feel kind of removed from the line of prurient/sexualization fire by the fruit terms. Kinda like Daphne transforming into the laurel tree, it removes the figurative and literal "penetrable parts" and replaces them with something unfuckwithable.

As far as the "I resemble/I am" differentiations, I'm not too concerned. Most people - the women especially - use the formats interchangeably and without significance. I think that even the most boneheaded fapper realizes on a basic level that women are not fruit, nor mindless fleshshapes. Even if he doesn't, I don't see how arguing over the subtleties of terminology are going to accomplish anything save restricting us from the freedom of using good words with communicative value - even the terms "woman" or "human female" as he understands them are going to be pejorative to us.

These words have strange powers I think. Of all the fat terms, I've never really thought to reclaim the fruit. LOL

I'm reminded of how black folks tend to refer to women as "females" as in, "I saw my man conversing with some females." While I've always found the usage a bit weird I've never given it too much thought. My mother on the other hand hates it. I guess it's just another double standard in our culture...even the words used to describe less than nice guys can have positive connotations somehow, but not the words used to describe women....
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:22 PM   #25
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These words have strange powers I think. Of all the fat terms, I've never really thought to reclaim the fruit. LOL

I'm reminded of how black folks tend to refer to women as "females" as in, "I saw my man conversing with some females." While I've always found the usage a bit weird I've never given it too much thought. My mother on the other hand hates it. I guess it's just another double standard in our culture...even the words used to describe less than nice guys can have positive connotations somehow, but not the words used to describe women....
I freaking HATE being called "female". It's reminiscent of sexing farm animals. "That's a nice female you've got in that pasture. You breed her?" Ugh.

I really don't mind the fruit thing. I think mostly because I have heard it used more by women than by men, and less in a sexualized manner than one describing clothing fit and whatnot.
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