On my way out of my apartment to exercise on the trail the other week, I ran into a pack of thin girls. Given the choice between running into a pack of thin girls and a pack of wolves, I hesitate a little bit longer than any rational human being should. Do I want a physical battle or a mental one? How big are these wolves exactly and have they eaten recently? How about the thin girls?
Lately I’ve been very self-confident, nay I say “full of myself,” and there’s a lot of myself to be full of. I’ve been feeling superfly enough that I should have my own groovy theme song that plays while I stride confidently down the street, kind of like Shaft. I think it should be sung to the melody of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” only subbing the title with “Pasta Queen” of course. I’ve just ruined that song for you forever, haven’t I?
If I walk past one thinner or prettier girl, I’m fine. However, when I run into a pack of thinner, prettier girls, I can feel that uber-confidence take a hit. I have to chant to myself “Don’t be intimidated. They are not better than you because they have 15% body fat and skin as smooth as goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is totally overrated. It’s all about yak milk these days.” There is something about being outnumbered that makes the self-doubt creep out from whatever dark well I’ve shoved it down.
The most ridiculous thing is that this pack of thin girls consisted of friends of the one neighbor who has been the nicest to me. She’s said hello every time I’ve seen her and even offered to help me carry my empty boxes to the dumpster when I moved in. The only person she’s really competing with in the Nice Neighbor Pageant is Chuck from downstairs who I don’t see very often and could have killed if he’d been walking out his door at the wrong time when my 2 liter of Sprite Zero rolled off the balcony last week. (Damn you, plastic bags!)
I shouldn’t fear this girl or her friends. So they like to lie around the pool and tan, displaying their gorgeous bodies for the whole apartment complex. So what?! I guess female rivalry must be hard-coded into our genes as a way for us to try to get the best mates. Even though I tell myself not to fear the thin girls or be intimidated by them, I still am. It’s like the early Darwin alert system, “Warning! Rival, rival! Endangering chances of procreation!” Personally I hope it is just genetics because I’d hate to think I’m a shallow, jealous person. Let’s just blame the inescapable forces of nature instead, shall we? Character flaws, shmaracter flaws.
I feel especially bad about it because I have a friend who is on the other end of this spectrum than me. She’s the thin, hot girl who can post a pic of herself on her blog and get thirty “OMG, u r so hot!” comments. She’s also intelligent and thoughtful, but she gets a lot of hate from other women because she attracts the attention of men. She can’t control that and she’s had some trouble making female friends because of it. It’s like you can’t win if you’re fat or thin, pretty or homely. Why do women do this to each other? Where is the sisterhood?
There seems to be a common myth that losing weight will solve all your problems. Once I’m thin I’ll get the guy, wear the cute clothes, and no one will be hateful to me because of what I look like. Maybe even a little part of myself still believes this on some level, though more and more I see it as the big lie it really is. Everyone gets some baggage because of what they look like, it just varies as to what baggage you get.