Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sticking up for the little girls

Skinny girls have fat days too. Okay?

It had to be said.

(Quick note re my neglect of this blog: My deepest apologies to my two or three readers who have been eagerly awaiting a new post, an update, anything! I don't really have a good excuse. I'll blame some combination of stress, borderline alcoholism, and general laziness. I appreciate you -- please don't leave!)

So what brings this on is a conversation I had today with a couple of friends. Quick background: I've been a little on the chunky side in my day. I'm a late bloomer and a food lover, and I now bear my fair share of cellulite to show for it. Last year I ended up losing a good 30-35 pounds in a pretty short period of time and, magically, it never came back. Which has been awesome. Not only do I feel good about my body, but I fit into my skinny clothes!*

* Translation for those of the heterosexual male persuasion: every woman has a good portion of her closet filled with "skinny clothes." Skinny clothes fall into one of two categories: 1) clothes you wore when you were skinnier than you are now; 2) clothes you bought two sizes too small at the start of your last diet, resolving to eventually shrink into them. The interesting thing about skinny clothes is, usually by the time you fit into them, if you ever manage to, they're hopelessly out of fashion, even ugly. This doesn't matter. They are skinny clothes and are therefore a victory, worth showing off to the world. If you see a woman walking down the street, looking happy as a clam, wearing high-waisted shorts and a tie-dyed halter, don't judge her. Chances are she's been eyeing those clothes for well over a decade. Let her have her moment. Last fun fact about skinny clothes: every girl, even the retardedly skinny tall blonde who lives down the hall, has skinny clothes. Since I fit into my old skinny clothes, I now have new skinny clothes. Because what would we women do if we couldn't obsess over our bodies? Run the world or something, I guess.

Back to the story. I was talking today to two of my friends, and one of them mentioned that she has a dress she's hoping to fit into by May. Trying to be a generally empathetic person, as I think myself to be, I said, completely innocently, "I know what you mean! I have a bunch of clothes like that -- if I can ever fit into them, I'll be totally happy." My friend gave me a look that would chill the Tropic of Cancer.

"Don't you Ever. Say That."

My other friend agreed: "I stopped listening. I just toned her out."

"So did I," countered my first friend, "from the BLINDING RAGE."

Embarrassed and red, I covered my face in my hands and tried to apologize. "I didn't mean anything by it!" Honestly, I was just trying to sympathize! I'll even admit that I'm crazy to have these clothes!

So I suppose there's a lesson here for skinny girls: if your friend weighs two pounds more than you, you are The Skinny One. Deny it at your peril.

I'd like to think there's also a lesson, though, or at least a friendly admonition -- a plea, perhaps? --, to be made to girls who, for one reason or another, don't happen to be, at that moment, The Skinny One: thanks to social conditioning, and perhaps a touch of inherent obsessive perfectionism, most women will always be unhappy with their bodies, even if no one else sees the imperfections. Sometimes The Skinny One needs to complain, too. That doesn't make her evil. It makes her human.

Anyway, we can all snort derisively at Lara Flynn Boyle. Some days, that has to be enough.


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