are you an apple or a pear?

My butt, back when jeans fit like jeans instead of like hell.

THERE’S A NEW TREND IN JEAN SIZING that has women running, not walking, away from the stores. I believe the fashion concept started with a brand that shall remain respectfully unnamed, but it if you re-arrange the letters, it spells EVIL.

A number of clothing companies recently started offering jeans based on body type. Now, we girls know how different our shapes are from each other, so this concept sounds promising. Before you buy body-type jeans, you can take a Curve Quiz or get measured by a teenage girl who almost seems to care. The names of the styles, such as Ultra Curvy, are sweet and innocent. The photographs on store websites show flattering, slimming fits on smiling young models. But the mirror in the dressing room reveals that the true nature of these denim confines is to humiliate the average woman.

I imagine a group of stylish New York City elite sitting around a board room table at a major advertising company. They are wearing power suits, not waist-pinching jeans, and snickering while they poo-poo potential lost revenue for the company due to negative customer reaction to body-conforming jeans. Tears of laughter roll down their faces as they hold their stomachs and shout out sugar-coated names for torturous jean styles – Hint of Hips! Vivacious Hourglass! Kinda Tiny!

We all know the real true names for the three women’s body shapes: Apples, Pears, and Bananas. For centuries, these three fruits have bravely represented our mother’s shapes and their mothers before them. A little honesty in the jean names could quell confusion and offer a sense of relief: who would try to squish an Apple into a pair of Bananas?

If the fruit comparison is too blunt, then the jean companies could at least get more accurate and re-name Ultra Curvy to Big Butt. They also could develop a much-needed style called Reduced Muffin Top, and dub the tiny straight-legged demons You Need To Eat Some Pasta, Kid. Then we would all be saved the angst of trying on yet another pair of jeans that we can’t button or pull up past our knees. A sign should also be placed on all ultra low-rise and skinny jeans racks that reads, Danger: Do Not Wear These If You Are Over Age 40, including an arrow pointing This Way to Long Frumpy Skirts.

Men are lucky. They don’t have to deal with the ever-changing availability of frequently ill-fitting jeans. They can always pull on a pair of reliable Levis 501 Blues, around since – no fooling – the year 1890. I can’t imagine men being sucked into buying styles named to reflect their body shapes: Prosperous Midriff (Beer Belly), Spacious Finale (Saggy Behind), or Manly Low-Rise (Plumber Butt).

I don’t want to get sucked in either. But I wore the only good pair of jeans I own on a blackberry picking excursion earlier this summer, and now they look like I took a tumble with a stressed-out porcupine. So it’s off to the mall, preferably with a girlfriend so we can go out for a martini afterwards to soothe our dressing room anxiety.

And as long as I can avoid elastic-waist jeans (Midlife Comfort) for one more year, we’ll call it a success.

-Amelia Sauter