Weighty Issue

Are you dying to be skinny? Monica, in discussing dating, mentioned white guys and weight. Which got me thinking.

It’s no big secret that women, and especially white women, are obsessed with weight. We generally inherited the obsession from our mothers (mine was thrilled by the fact that she could live on 650 calories a day, for example), and if we somehow manage to kick the obsession, we nevertheless generally carry the guilt of having walked away from our heritage/duty to be skinny.

It’s no big secret that many women, especially white women, believe if they’re very skinny, men will find them more attractive. After all, top models and top actresses are essentially sticks with tits. Usually plastic tits. They’re the role models we’re encouraged to emulate, no matter the cost to health or strength, or the relationship of skinniness to genetic makeup.

But in fact, over the years and with both personal and professional contact with a broad spectrum of men, I’ve come to the conclusion that women get skinny to impress each other. It’s a power/pecking-order thing. The skinnier you are, the more you can lord it over women less skinny than you, because this is what we as women have decided to focus on as our external proof of success. “God, she’s had six kids and you can still see her clavicles.” “Yes, I think she’s bulemic, but God, she’s into size four jeans now.”

After all, it requires no soul-searching at all to equate being skinny with being successful, everyone can see how successful you are immediately, and everyone agrees on the standard. Skinnier=better.

Whereas if you use a less outwardly physical symbol to define your worth as a human being, then first you have to decide what will make you and your life a success (this is hard), and second, you have to either get your definition of success accepted as being as good as being skinny (Culturally impossible. MAYBE possible among your own circle of aquaintences.), or you have to stop giving a shit about having people you don’t know immediately rank you on their Success-O-Meter without knowing you or anything about you (very, very difficult).

I think that the skinny thing is almost entirely fueled by women and misogynistic fashion designers, having almost nothing to do with men and what they like.

I’ve come to think that men in general prefer some padding on the women they love, but will go along with whatever program the woman decides to impose upon herself in order to be with her. At least so long as she doesn’t become impossible to live with where the dieting thing is concerned. I think that men in general, while liking curves and being immediatly attracted by the species-survival cues of visible (not enormous) breasts to small waist to large ass ratio (strongly suggestive of fertility), stick around because of shared interests and compatible personality. The pursuit of perfect hair/perfect makeup/ perfect size 4 is something they tolerate, not appreciate.

But I may be completely wrong. So.

So here’s a sadly unscientific survey:

This remains a major health issue for women. While massive obesity is deadly, being 5′ 6″ (the average height of the American woman) and 150 or even somewhat higher is healthier in the long term that being the same height and weighing 110, or starving down to 110, or ESPECIALLY yo-yo-ing up and down. Being heavier is better* because it prevents bone loss and hip fractures.
* (Site requires registration, or bypass registration here.)

So, women — if it isn’t good for you to be skinny, and men find you attractive if you aren’t skinny, why is it, again, that you’re starving yourself?

Comments are disabled on the surveys, but everyone, male and female, can discuss the issue here.

Related links:
Science Says Diets Are Bad. Baaaad.: Monica Jackson
Size Matters In Black and White: Monica Jackson

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.