June 4, 2007 at 9:35 am
1) My front pooch no longer passes the pencil test. When I say “pooch” I’m referring to that front potbelly that in medical circles is called the panniculus. Panniculus would be a great name for a morbidly obese vampire. Or a band. When I say “pencil test I’m referring to that silly little game girls play to see if their boobs are big enough to require a bra. You stick a pencil horizontally under your breast and it doesn’t fall then you need to grab your mom and head to the lingerie section. I don’t typically stick pencils under my pannus (it’s easier to write with my hands), but I was pretty certain my pooch was no longer rubbing against my lower body. To confirm my hypothesis I grabbed the closest number two pencil, stuck it under my belly and indeed it clattered to the bathroom floor. Same thing happened when I stuck it under my boobs.
2) I no longer have any napkins. I used to grab handfuls of napkins at fast food restaurants to stuff in my car’s map pouch. I used them to clean up soda spills or wipe fog off of the windshield. I kept some in the office too to clean up the condensation that forms when I set my hot microwaved lunch onto my desk top. I almost never go out to eat anymore so I no longer have any napkins! What if I have to blow my nose in the middle of morning traffic? Shall I be reduced to picking boogers out of my nostrils with my pinkie while I hope the woman in the car next to me doesn’t notice? I think I might have to actually go to the store and buy napkins. Maybe I’ll just go to the restroom and steal some handfuls of paper towels instead.
3) Big Fat Deal recently reported that Beth Ditto, lead singer of the band “The Gossip” and also a fat acceptance advocate, posed on the cover of NME fat and naked (not safe for work, obviously, because of the naked and hopefully not because of the fat). Erin asked “Do you think it’s an empowering stand for size acceptance, or is this just objectification masquerading as empowerment?” I ask, why choose only one? Those are two great tastes that taste great together, but leave a nasty film on your tounge. An image of an unashamed, naked, fat girl can be empowering, but NME is still objectifying her and probably hoping to sell issues on the shock value alone. It’s like eating a chocolate covered ant. Mmmm, chocolate! Ew, ant!
The funny thing about Beth Ditto is that I had no idea she was fat. I heard her band’s single “Standing in the Way of Control” over a year ago, but never saw any images of the group. I’m a web developer, so I spend a lot of time at my computer at work listening to Internet radio, mostly WOXY. I have no idea what most of the musicians I listen to look like. They could be fat, skinny, ugly, gorgeous, or part of a singing duet of conjoined twins. It’s cool to be judging these musicians not on their looks but on whether I like their music or not. I certainly strive not to be prejudiced by how people look, but I’m human and I still judge whether I mean to or not.
The odd thing is that when I do finally see one of these musicians it’s like seeing a character I’ve only imagined in a book being played in a movie. Or it’s like meeting someone in real life that I’ve only known online. The image in my head is never going to quite match the real person. For instance, when I heard the deep voice of Patrick Wolf I assumed he’d have a stereotypically masculine body, but it turns out he looks like a 12-year-old glam rocker. Go figure. I don’t think I ever bothered to wonder what Beth Ditto looked like, but there sure isn’t any mystery around that question now. Is it weird that I don’t think she looks all that fat? Fat yes, but not scary fat. I mean, I was way fatter than she was. Perhaps my perception of what is fat will always be skewed by my own experience.