Friday, October 1, 2010

Does My Brain Look Fat In These Jeans?

There’s a scene in Gone With the Wind where Scarlett encourages her Mammy to  cinch up her corset tighter and tighter so she can be skinny for  the men who will be at that afternoon’s party.  The Mammy scolds Scarlett and her friends for even letting the men see them eat.

We modern women no longer wear corsets or pretend to not eat.  Instead we want to be valued and admired for our intellect, creativity and judgment.  Of course as long as we still look good while we’re being so smart!

A friend of mine today was told she was “not a big girl, just curvy.”  She texted me at 6:45am to ask me if that was a compliment or a put down.  I told her it was a compliment. Even if a backhanded one.

The same guy who told her she was curvy said “Like Jennifer, she’s a little thick. But I saw her in jeans one day, and wow those were some jeans.” Again, compliment or put down?

Now my friend and I both work in the fitness field. We’re both in the gym 5-6 days a week either working out or teaching.  We’re both healthy eaters who enjoy a vegetarian meal followed by a double chocolate brownie. We’re both highly educated women with multiple degrees and certifications.  We both stay up to date on the latest health and nutrition news.

And we both spent a good portion of our morning today discussing what those comments really meant, if we were too curvy or too thick, admitting to perhaps having gotten a little curvy and thick and encouraging each other that no we don’t look like we’ve put on weight.

We decided in the end it was just a stupid comment from an inappropriate old man. But the word “thick” has been running through my head all day. And I guarantee my friend hasn’t let go of “big, curvy girl.”

I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of money spent on our combined educations. Yet it all went out the window when a guy made a comment about our body type.

We’ve come a long way baby? I’m not so sure.


  1. When I lived in Jackson, I got told quite often I was "thick". The guys assured me it was a compliment. I never appreciated it. I know I'm pear shaped, do I love it, no. But I'm healthy and that makes me happy enough. Post baby body is difficult to adjust to try. Although I'm only an extra 5 lbs there's just places that aren't like they use to be. I look at my new pooched out tummy sometimes and am a little sad it will probably never be as flat and tight as it use to. Then I think about how for 9 months that pooch housed and helped keep my baby healthy. My thick body and womanly curves made it so these "child berthing hips" were put to good use. I pushed a watermelon through a bagel. What has that man done? (And you did it 6 times, so that guy can go screw himself.)

  2. Duh---it's a compliment! Who really wants to be a skinny stick girl? And to top it off a stupid, skinny girl? I know this is coming from a girl who has curves in all the wrong places, but I see weak with skinny.

  3. from someone who has been both curvy and stick skinny, no one is ever satisfied with how your body looks. When I weighed 70 pounds, I was told skinny jokes like stand sideways stick out your tongue, you're a zipper and when I'm chunky I got
    backhanded "compliments". Comments come from men and women, I am of the mindset, if you can't say something nice, keep your mouth shut!