I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that I’ve been shoveling down Lemonade Girl Scout cookies (with milk) for the last hour while I struggled to maintain my motivation to power through my homework, or the fact that I feel bad about shoveling cookies in to my mouth for the last hour.
I’m almost positive both are equally terrible but i can’t figure out why it is that I even have to feel bad about eating cookies at 2AM.
A girl I work with (a friend I suppose) once scrunched her face in disgust at the taste of girls of the boys we work with.
“I can’t believe you think she’s pretty,” she’d said. “If I was a guy, or a lesbian, I would have a lot higher standards than that. I would be really picky.” (This is where I will comment that her boyfriend of six years is not exactly all that and a bag of chips (and I am not just being bitter because this is a popular opinion.))
“Oh really (insert name here)?” (We will call her Jane Doe) I rolled my eyes because it seemed like we were always getting some sort of preachy monologue out of her. “Like what?”
“Number one, she’d have to have a nice body. Like you know how guys are either an ass guy or a boobs guy⎯”
I’m going to stop her right here for several reasons.
1.) No I did not know that.
2.) Why do guys have to be an ass guy or boobs guy anyway? Is it so wrong for a girl to be born flat as a board on all sides? The only curves I have are the lovehandles that have formed on either side of my waist as a result of too many cookies late at night. My pants sag on my butt and I didn’t upgrade to a B-Cup until I turned 16 (and i am still here 3 years later). If I don’t have a butt or boobs does that mean a boy will never like me? Is there such a thing as a lovehandles guy? Can he like my lovehandles? Because so far that is the only lump I have (unless you’re including the three rolls i get when I sit down (also a result of late night food scavenges)). I understand the initial physical attraction (unfortunately that comes before learning of beautiful personalities which I happen to have, so if there is a boy who prefers that over boobs and butts, then I am definitely alive and well) but really I have never known anything to be more shallow and to be said by a girl no less.
3.) To be honest, I said several and two wasn’t several, so i added a third number.
“⎯well my girl would have to have both. She’d have to have nice boobs, a big ass, and a small waist , like an hourglass, it has to go down and curve like this”⎯and she mimes it⎯”and her legs can’t be too big like too wide right here, they have to be like nice and tone. I think that would be a really pretty girl, not that girl.”
It was at this point where I looked down at my oversized work t-shirt (it used to fit me but I stretched it out the first week I had it when a load of heavy boxes i was carrying got caught on the hem and yanked it down when I dropped them) and my pants that fit my kinda mushy/kinda firm thighs kinda nice, but kinda sagged on my butt and squeezed my waist a little too close for comfort. It was then that I replayed what Jane Doe said about what a pretty girl would look like and realized that I was not a pretty girl in her eyes. So if I could not be pretty in a girls eyes, whose eyes could I be pretty in? I certainly didn’t look like that 5′ foot blonde with a firm stomach (belly ring included) and giant eyes that the boys had just commented on before the girl burst into her monologue. And I didn’t fit the description that Jane Doe had just listed. Was I pretty?
I’ll get it out there right now that I’m an insecure person, and I’m slightly sensitive, so I’ll just go ahead and admit that they’d all just hurt my feelings ever so slightly. And they didn’t even know it.
I know body image has always been around, but I have no idea when it became such an issue. I didn’t know boys had to choose what kind of guy they were, boobs or butt. And I certainly didn’t know that there was a certain standard for pretty (except for the part where I knew that I didn’t meet it). Is it my fault that I like cookies? (Okay, yes, of course it is.)
My grandfather, who was such an amazing man all the years he lived, managed to find the beauty in everyone (even if it was just the hat they were wearing), and I really wish there were more people like him out there. More people who could be neither an ass guy or a boob guy (or girl being that Jane Doe was the sayer of this), people who could appreciate the girl with the pancake body (flat and a little doughy).
This is not a post where I think really hard about what Jane Doe said and realize that I am beautiful the way I am because I will confess that I’m a victim of the body image doom that haunts the world. It’s not a post where I complain about why people are obsessed with being skinny and why can’t they just like us people who are not skinny, but not obese. It’s not a post about why society is terrible for making us believe we have to be skinny to be pretty (though I know I almost got to that point a few times) because the truth is that I have yet to make body peace. And I’m not sure when I will. And I’m not sure if I ever will.
The only thing I know for sure is that now it’s 3AM and my homework is finished and so is this package of cookies (except the milk is now warm) and I kinda like pancakes (except without syrup).