Archive for Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Social stew: Fat is in, so go ahead and indulge

October 17, 2007

It's official. I'm beautiful. I know this to be true because every other commercial on television, every other page in the mainstream women's publications, and every overweight talk show host tells me so. Wow -- who knew? Suddenly, it seems that even fifty-somethings have been given free rein to model in their plus-sized underpants, and in shades of pink and blue, no less. Cool.

If I had been privy to the fact that chubby was "in," I would have chucked the carrot sticks and exercise regimen a long time ago, along with the hours of trying in angst in front of a mirror to find just the right clothes to mask my figure flaws.

In fact, if I had known that chubby was "in," there is a long list of things I would have done differently over the years:

  • Continued to eat those processed, cream-filled cakes that have a shelf life of 30 years.
  • Ignored my mother's cardinal rule that two is the polite number to take and hoarded all the petit fours on the silver tray at my sister's wedding reception.
  • Indulged in all things sugar, especially the real sugary stuff; candy corn at Halloween and homemade divinity fudge at Christmas-time.
  • Super-sized my burger and fries on one, or all, of the thousands of trips I have made to the drive-through in the past 25 years.
  • Licked the spoon more often.
  • Ordered a funnel cake at the State Fair.
  • Put cheese on my sandwich.
  • Told my doctor to take a hike when she used words like insulin resistance and fish oil tablets.
  • Let it all hang out on the sandy beaches of Playa Del Carmen.
  • Worn skirts short enough to reveal those big blocks of flesh some people refer to as knees.
  • Used my belly as a snack tray.
  • Discarded the goal of power walking four times a week and embraced the notion of sauntering, meandering, strolling, and, OK, waddling.
  • Posed in full frontal view for family pictures, rather than sideways, head cocked "just so," in an effort to eliminate at least one chin.
  • Those tags that tell what size your clothes are? I would have left them in. How bold is that?

Sure, this is all tongue-in-cheek. But it does speak to the issue.

Over the last 25 years or so, while women's health professionals have tried in vain to warn us of the perils of obesity, the one thing they could rely on was our inherent vanity to keep us somewhat in check. And now the multibillion-dollar cosmetic industry has come along and told us that not only is it OK to be fat, it's actually beautiful.

The next thing you know, it will be in vogue to pose nude, 14th-century style, languidly draped across a chaise lounge, featuring our pot bellies and other squishy parts. That is where I will draw the line.

For now, though, I plan to strike a balance. You won't see me dancing around in my underwear. But I might try a shade of pink or blue. I might pick some up the next time I go out to buy fish oil tablets.

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