OK, this post may be a bit inflammatory, so be warned. I had a really bizarre revelation yet again today in the lunch room at work, and I had to tell you guys about it.
So there I am, 3 minutes from the lunch bell ringing, clutching my leftover tortellini from last night in one hand, and gripping the counter top for fear of passing out from hunger/low blood sugar with the other. All of the microwaves were in use, people would occasionally taunt me by retrieving a dish from their machine, stirring it, and then putting it back in for another 3, 4, even 5 minutes. Now, I normally wait a good long time after noon before venturing into the lunch room jungle to forage for a place to heat my foods, but today I was too busy to eat my mid-morning snack so the Hyena of the Microwaves mantle was all mine. Anyway, forgetting I am not, in fact, invisible, I finally gave up and flounced away towards my desk in a huff (I keep a jar of peanut butter in there for just such a hypoglycemic occasion). Seconds later, a guy I know from another department comes tearing out into the hallway to offer me his microwave. Apparently he saw how upset I got over the convoluted microwave line and hierarchy of temperature-controlled lunches and thought I was annoyed with him. Oh dear, Josh*. It’s quite the logical conclusion to draw, I’m well aware. However, let it be known that my unstoppable, uncontrollable, searing rays of castrating bitchitude are not always directed at men. Sometimes I turn on myself, too.
Legitimately red-faced, I tried to explain my sitch: That I sometimes have low blood sugar, which means that by the time I actually feel hunger it means I’m mere minutes from faceplanting on the linoleum. I’m so not mad at him or anyone really, just annoyed that I let myself get to the point of the Peanut Butter Rescue Spoon. And, rather gratuitously (because I always have to make a stupid joke and because I am in all ways an asshole), I inserted some crack about being a girl and thus being socially obligated to underfeed myself.
Pressure drop.He looked utterly surprised, maybe a twinge shocked, that I talked about eating issues as if it were a real thing. A thing that existed in the real world that real people actually dealt with. He was all, “what do you mean, women aren’t allowed to eat?” Sincerely, he had no idea. This, coming from a guy who used to frequent Hooters and actually legitimately try to pick up the orange shorts-clad waitresses. So, obviously this guy buys the conventional model of female attractiveness hook, line, and sinker. His Barbie programming is fully installed. So, how can he be so naive about how conventional attractiveness is typically achieved?
Do guys not know that most real women dabble-diet or restrict their eating in some ways? Even if it’s just the “no simple carbs” or “all whole grains” or “chocolatey cereal instead of a Twix bar (a classic trade-off)”, or the “not making a habit of eating dessert” thing or the errant “cleanse” or “The Zone Diet for health and pant size reduction” or on the more extreme side there’s what I like to call “Fiona Apple Vegetarianism” (this is where women either become veggie b/c of the inherent caloric reduction OR they use the veggie label to hide a more serious condition. Fiona Apple famously did both). Really though, when guys see those annoying KFC sauceless hot wing commercials, do they think that those whisper thin actresses actually ate fried chicken wings under the hot lights, take after take, for the entire day it took to film that commercial? Of course they didn’t, but if they did, they sure as hell met up at Crunch gym the next day and took as many step classes and sweated MSG onto as many ellipticals as they could before passing out.
Seriously. Try to imagine this woman going to town on a bucket of Original Recipe. You can’t, because it’s not possible. Rumor has it that Paris Hilton nearly tore a hole in her esophagus trying to eliminate the remnants of that Carl’s Jr burger she famously shilled for. Actually, that’s not a rumor at all. I totally made that up. But it’s probably true.
I’m not saying all women starve themselves. I’m not saying everyone has an eating disorder. I’m saying that the facts are this (and don’t we all know it): That the ideal female body is not possible for most women. That the ideal female body is certainly not possible on a junk-food diet. That the ideal female body typically is the product of some kind of thought or effort. Really, looking the accepted definition of “good” these days is no accident. Example: anyone who has seen a red carpet picture from this season’s awards ceremonies can tell you that we are indeed currently living under the tyranny of the Perfectly Toned Arm. A few years ago it was the Bare-able Abs. Before that, the Skeksis Clavicle (see also: Flockhart, Calista). And earlier still: the Circumference-of-a-Jar-of-Peanut-Butter-Thighs (no really, Kate Moss, thank you).
So, how is it possible that guys aren’t aware of this? Do they not ever sit through those annoying Yoplait commercials? Are guys really this naive about the monster that they themselves have created?
Ladies, please tell me I’m not losing my mind and that I’m not the only one who has met some kind of recently-unfrozen Encino Man that needs me to teach him about the modern world. Have any of you ever met a guy that was surprised that women have to diet, or at least taken aback when you had to refuse entering a Krispy Creme eating competition with him?
I’ll be over here. Wheezing the Ju-uice. Noshing on some grindage.