caro thinks

Shape, Size, and Measurements, 2001/05/15:14:42

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now in bloom on my patio
Oh. My god. Fuchsia "Blue Satin" is outrageously gorgeous. I'd never seen it bloom before. It's a tough one, taking full sun all day without complaint, wanting only a nice morning drenching. From tip to tip, the white, triangular sepals span 3 inches; the double corolla is such a dark purple that it was hard to see against today's gray brightness. The plant is prostrate but the whole thing, including the blossoms, is very stiff and sturdy. It's covered with buds, three of which are open.
  • 585lbs on the leg press today (up 90 since Wednesday)
  • made it up the last hill home
  • concocted hypoallergenic moisturizer, mixed large batch
  • made another new friend
  • realized I'm in too big a hurry
  • debunking
    New topic: debunking. Sub-series in topic: How Men are Duped.

    It's freaky that men think that the models they see in pictures are ideal, or even real. It's freaky because there are so many real women swarming all around. When I was in grade school, I remember learning about airbrushing. There were boys in my class--weren't they listening? Or was it just my grade-school class that was taught this? Airbrushing is just one technique, but starving is the favorite (it's easy to get models to starve; women are already in the habit of seeing food as their enemy because it causes them to not look like teenage boys). Liposuction is also widely used. But today I'll focus on posing as the introductory topic.

    I decided to write about this while I was at the gym today. I'm a pretty sensible, rational person by comparison to most people, but I was raised in this female-hating world too, so when my guard is down I'm susceptible to vicious cultural messages. I'm periodical this week, which probably accounts for why I was able to lift as much as I did after such a long hiatus (see accomplishments section). Being periodical, I arrived at the gym looking more like a woman than usual. I felt bad about this for a moment as I looked in the mirror, my guard being down and my body having changed quite a bit since Wednesday. Then I silently informed society that it could bite me. I'm a woman, damn it, not a teenage boy! Where are the evolutionary psychologists, when it comes time to explain how we've managed to twist our own minds so badly that heterosexual men dream of boys with big breasts and long hair?

    I have a rather nutty theory to explain how this has come to pass. I will tell it, once I've laid some preliminary ground. Right now I'll talk about hips, and where they go when women have their pictures taken for magazines. I don't have any pictures handy, but I should get some and stick them in here. Then I'll take some pictures of myself while performing the magic that dupes men and makes women miserable. It's actually pretty funny, if you can bring yourself to stop crying.

    When I've shown men this trick, they've been stunned. I do realize that it isn't entirely their fault for being so gullible; but it is their responsibility to look into the issue a bit more before telling a woman that she is fat.

    Come, debunk with me! First, get a magazine that has pictures of women in it. There are many secrets hidden in those pictures that you won't believe if I tell you. Nevermind those for now--those are advanced topics. Just ask yourself this one question as you leaf through your magazine:

    How are the women standing?

    I don't need to see the magazine. I'll tell you how they are standing. Their hips are facing away from the camera at an angle. Their upper bodies are rotated at the waist, toward the camera. This makes their waists look small in comparison to their hips--so far, so good, as far as achieving the Point Seven ratio. (If you don't know what 'Point Seven' means, you are a woman.)

    But there are those horrible, non-teenage-male hips, even on a starving model. How shall we get rid of those and make this sexually mature woman look like a boy? For it would be unthinkable to allow the woman to look like a woman. Easy. Cross her legs. Arch her back and thrust out her her butt. And if there is any chance that a bit of femininity is showing still, the human arm is conveniently just the right length for her to lay her hand over her last remaining four ounces of body fat. Voila! Would you look at that! The little pads of fat that are the only thing keeping her alive have completely disappeared!

    Feel stupid? You should! It's right there in every single picture!

    If the models in your magazine aren't standing, they are kneeling with their feet tucked into their butts. That stretches the pad of fat on the upper thigh so that you can't see it.

    You always thought that the reason that they are all in these same positions in every shot is because they are sexy, didn't you. Nope. If sexy were the aim, they'd be in all kinds of positions, because every normal woman is just plain sexy no matter how you pose her. They are in these positions so that you can fantasize about the kind of woman that you'll never have. It's not your fault that you won't have her--it's not because you're not tall enough, rich enough, cute enough, or speed-seducing enough. It is because she doesn't exist. If she does, she's on life support.

    If you are a woman, try this in front of a mirror. If you are a man, get a woman to do it in front of you--you'll feel like a complete idiot when you see it demonstrated after all these years of lusting after two-dimensional images, but it will be worth it to finally know the truth. Make sure the woman that you experiment on is not one that you've already informed that she needs to lose some weight, or you might be in physical danger when she sees the outcome of the experiment.

    First, the woman should stand like any normal human being would stand in line at the grocery store. Little pads of fat will be clearly visible on her upper thighs. That's because she is female. (Similarly, there are little pads of fat on her chest. You could put her through some contortions that would make those disappear too.)

    Next, she should cross her feet and straighten her legs--note how the pads have smoothed out.

    Now, rotating at the waist, she should turn away from the mirror (or from the man watching). More fat has melted into her legs, while her waist has lost several pounds.

    Finally, she should place one hand seductively (i.e., concealingly) over her outer thigh. Well, hello Cindy Crawford.

    Take heart. This was a small mistake to make. There are much bigger ones you'll have to face, and you'll feel like an even bigger idiot for having rejected all those "fat" women, or for having made them cry and hate themselves despite your deigning to go out with them anyway.

    Heard the expression "The camera adds ten pounds"? It means that a person looks ten pounds heavier in a picture than in real life. Now consider: Most female models are over six feet. They look thin, to be sure. But the camera adds 10 lbs. How thin is she, then, in real life, to look that thin on the page? The truth is that most models over 6 feet weigh less than 110 pounds! Now consider: I am 5'8", and I weigh an exceedingly healthy 145 lean muscular pounds. If I were to try to meet the standard set by models, I would need to lose about 60 pounds, and weigh in the same as I did as a 10-year-old! To hold those models as the standard to which real women are compared is, as we say in the objecti-biz, hatred of the good for being good. Does it really seem likely that this standard is the product of evolution, which always lets the fittest survive, and weeds out the weak, undernourished, frail?

    I think my next entry in this topic will deal with the human interest in curvaciousness.
    I am 5'8". I weighed 145 lbs last I checked. Weight means almost nothing.

    That's not quite true. If we lived in a sane world, that wouldn't be a surprising combination of numbers. Yes, it's heavy for an unhealthy person, and it means she's carrying a lot of fat.

    The reason that I check my weight at all is that I'm interested to see how much muscle I'm putting on over the course of months. Other than that, the scale is just irrelevant. I determine whether I am the right weight by two things: how I look, and how I feel. In fact, I think it's irrelevant for all people except those who are trying to lose on the order of 50 to 100 pounds of fat.

    My weight fluctuates throughout the day by a pound or two, and through the month by several pounds. If I see that my weight is up by two more pounds than I thought it would be, you know what I do to solve the problem? Nothing.

    I have clothing in sizes ranging from 6 to 10. These sizes used to mean something--the circumference of the waist, for example. They don't anymore, and haven't for years. I have several pairs of Lee jeans. I always buy these now, because no one seems to know how to make a pair of jeans that fits a woman's body; the Eased Fit jeans take care of this problem by being, essentially, "hip-hangers," a style that is finally back after a 20 year absense. (The Gap is apparently now making "hip-huggers." Although I'm sure I won't be able to afford them, I'm glad they're back. That will set a trend.)

    One of my pairs of Lee jeans is a 6 petite, another is an 8 medium, and they fit me the same--on the same day. At first I thought it was the fluctuations in my weight and water retention that made me able to wear different sizes. But the clothing industry uses the expression "runs big," as in "These jeans run big." Sometimes this means that a particular brand is larger; sometimes it means a particular batch of jeans of that brand are larger.

    I think there are so many pieces of clothing that run big now because women have come to believe that they are supposed to wear a size five or six. When clothing comes in that size, most women can't fit into it. So they don't buy it. It's not just that they don't buy it in a size 6; it's that they don't buy it in that brand, prefering to move on to a brand that tells them they wear a size 6. So the clothing industry finally decided that in order to sell more clothing, they'd better start messing with the numbers.

    So, despite the fact that when I weighed 120 pounds (not a good scene--I was 'way stressed out, running too much, and not able to eat enough), I was wearing a size 9, I am now wearing a size SIX PETITE at a whopping 145 pounds. There are also some brands of clothing that, even though they say they are a size 9, I can't squeeze into them.

    Therefore, clothing sizes also mean very little. And shopping is really difficult, because every time I try on jeans I have to take one of each size in each brand into the dressing room with me! But worse than that is the fact that there are women who torture and starve themselves over clothing sizes as though they were constant and real, and because they have been made to believe that they ought to fit in the clothing that only a teenage boy could wear.
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