Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why I Don't Fit In (Or Why Things Don't Fit)

My cousin recently asked the question on her blog: if you could swallow a pill that would make you just a little bit dumber, but would also ensure that for the rest of your life you would have a perfect body, would you take it? (She said she would take two, in case the first one didn't work, a sentiment which was readily shared by pretty much every woman who responded).

I don't think I ever realized until just that moment how profoundly different I am than most women. My immediate thought was, "No way!" And then my eyebrows knit together in confusion and I wondered how it is that the women asking these sorts of questions are always those who would fit into a size 2, even if they were wearing their bulkiest sweaters as underthings. You know, the ones who are forever squishing their skin between their fingers and moaning, "I'm soooo fat!" as if skin counts as excess poundage.

While I admit that it might be nice to be able to revert to my teenage metabolism, the fact remains that I do have some control over how I look, so it seems an awful exchange to give up a piece of my intelligence for a smoother fit into the new Spring Line.

It's not that I don't care how I look. I do. But it doesn't consume me on a day-to-day basis. When I look in the mirror and realize that one of my favorite outfits is no longer flattering or when my pants seem too tight or my arms are bulging out of my cap sleeves (why must all short sleeves be cap sleeves anyway?) it does cross my mind that it might be nice to take my frame down to the body shop and exchange it for thinner model.

And then I eat a brownie, because it's good to eat chocolate when you're feeling badly about yourself.

But if getting into shape was something that I lived and breathed to accomplish, I could. While I've been the recipient of genetics that will never afford me a flat stomach no matter how many thousand crunches I do (I remain bewildered by a friend who says she loves the moment when she can see a little pregnancy bump poking out of her normally flat stomach - I was never sure where the belly fat ended and the baby began), I could tone and shrink myself down to a more appealing size, if I were motivated enough. But I guess that's just it - I'm not motivated enough. At least until I'm declared a National Monument to Whales, or something similar. And regular female motivators like swimsuit season just don't have the same effect on me that they do on other women, who hyperventilate in the changing rooms as they slip their tanned bodies into the latest design only to emerge wrapped from head to toe in a flowing sarong that would hide the body flaws of Jabba the Hut.

I don't know if this relaxed attitude about my body stems from the fact that I never had a perfect figure to begin with, so gaining a few (er, okay, multiply that by 10) pounds, adding a few stretch marks, and going up a couple dress sizes since my high school days doesn't seem so traumatic, or if it's just because I'm missing the gene that most women carry which encourages them to obsess over this type of thing. But I have to say, I'm sort of relieved. Suddenly things are making so much sense. My years of inability to relate to other women have been explained in one random blog post. I can't relate to these women because they have totally different priorities.

I mean, a perfect body would be nice. But beauty without brains? What's the good in that?


MyDonkeySix said...

I know I obsess way too much over my body because I have a bad body image. But even in my insanity I would never exchange brains for looks. Old age will kill off brain cells so I need to keep what I have ! Plus, like you said, I can control my weight much better than I can brain cell lossage.

Stephanie Black said...

What??? Women would choose to be dumber if they could have a perfect body???? That is the scariest thing I've read in . . . like . . . forever. Oh my goodness, but we're a messed-up society. Thank you so much for scaring the heck out of me.

Megan B said...

Ditto MyDonkeySix.