The Difference between Dreariness and Appeal

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. -Kate Moss

In a Core 350 lecture, Mike Engram (I think) dropped the quick fact that our society’s ideal beauty is a woman 15 pounds under weight.

I went to a training appointment at the Y yesterday. Bjorn, the best trainer at the Valley Y and maybe in the world, had me do a body-mass index test and a cardio test. He talked about how a healthy body-fat percentage for 23-year-old women is 21-33%. Women with less than 20% body fat can stop menstruating and are at risk for osteoporosis.

I would love it, of course, if society’s ideal woman... er beauty was at a healthy weight, in a healthy body fat percentage, but she’s not, and it doesn’t look like she’s headed that way. And every little girl knows by the age of seven when mom says it’s more important to be beautiful on the inside, mom’s bullshitting her.

And besides, what are a few missed periods? Functioning reproductive organs—who needs ‘em? And Kate Moss has that eating dilemma worked out for us. I’ve only got this one life, and I want to be important, noticed. I want to be that girl that turns heads and has guys buying her drinks and talking about her. What good is bone density? I’d rather be stooped at 35 and be able to look at pictures of my hot 23-year-old bod at the beach than be what? Healthy? I’ll have enough other stuff to worry about when I’m old—like wrinkles—than to worry about silly bones.

Why not me? Why shouldn’t I be the girl on the magazine, on the TV, the hotty I hear my friends talking about? It’s not even like I have to do something. I just have to not eat.

Or, of course, I could exercise. My friend explained drunkenly to me that the reason I have a boyfriend was I ran 30 minutes on the treadmill per day. She only ran 15 minutes so didn’t have a boyfriend. The really popular girls were the ones who ran 45 minutes.

And for what weight loss can’t do there are always the wonders of modern medicine. Tom Wolfe weighs in:
Well, why should any woman wait—wait for what?—when the difference between dreariness and appeal is just a few centimeters of solid tissue here, a line stretched out there, a little body packing in the old thigh, under the wattles there—or perfect breasts? The philosophy of ‘You only have one life to live, why not live it as a blonde?’—that is merely the given. [...] And why stop short of the perfect bosom? Why do people talk about ‘the natural order’? Such an old European idea—one means, well, the wheel violated the natural order, for God’s sake, holt and cold running water violated it, wall ovens, spice bars, Reddi-Tap keg beer and Diz-Poz-Alls fracture the natural order—what are a few cubic centimeters of silicone?

There’s no time to wait! My wedding’s on July 31st and if I’m not going to be beautiful then, well, I might as well never be. I’ll have to ask the photographer to try to catch my rib definition through my dress.

Die young, leave a beautiful corpse, right?

1 comment:

  1. Amy you are so wonderfully witty and morbid.
    I do have to say that I think the only thing different among my decision to start running this summer and the thousands of other times I've decided to "get healthy." Is the fact that this time I am doing it for myself. There is no boy back at school that I want to impress, I don't feel like my friends will shun me if I'm not thin. I just woke up one day and thought "I should run" so I did.
    Isn't it ironic that the minute you stop caring is the minute that things start to click?