Sunday, August 31, 2008

Why you should pick a fat girl

Because they actually do stuff.

I was just reading a rather fascinating post about a kind of woman I have never been; the
Amazing Girl. The sort of artsy, spiritual, "dance like no one is watching" female that men tend to go all soppy over. I bear them no malice, really; one of my best friends was one, and her un-judgmental, fond appreciation of me was an anodyne after years of minimal friendships. They serve a genuine purpose.

But it made me start thinking about the frustration I have with another large portion of the female gender - the Prettyskinny Woman. I'm not referring just to every woman who is thin and attractive; rather, the smaller percentage who figured out years ago that nothing would ever be required of them, and as a consequence, make no effort to be able to do anything useful.

Here's an example of what I don't mean. I know one thin, beautiful woman that on first glance might be considered a primary candidate for the Prettyskinny label; but she is a public school teacher who helps care for a sibling who is confined to a wheelchair, in an uncomplaining, gracious and calm manner that awes me. I doubt I could be so unflappable in the face of such a commitment.

No, the sort of woman who is a Prettyskinny is like one of the girls who I sing with occasionally - she shows up late, is inattentive, makes no effort to keep her music in order so she can move from song to song in a reasonable manner... and yet has the voice of an angel. She must continually be "brought up to speed" while making no actual effort to do so herself. She is popular and lovely, and as far as I can tell, incapable of practical application.

This is the sort of woman who has always had the admiration of others, and as such, has not needed to develop any practical talents or skills; no, someone else will always take care of it for her. She would like to do something "artistic" with her life, but rarely makes the effort necessary to actually succeed in the arts. She can't really clean, cook, handle tools, scrub, change diapers, lift heavy boxes, or sew. That all sounds like stereotypical domesticity, but really, even in this modern world, you need to know how to do most of those sorts of things to live life. We're not yet in Logan's Run.

I had a Prettyskinny roommate once who drove me up the wall - working on her 3rd BA degree, coming up with a new idea for an easy and yet glamorous occupation every other month or so (travel photography... modelling... acting in an national commercial so she could live off the proceeds for a year... getting into the chorus of an opera company...) and living in a state of such slovenliness that we were continually finding ants in the kitchen. I'm no pristine housekeeper by any means, but you couldn't see the floor of her room.

We butted heads early on, and I realized that we should have parted ways on the day we moved into a larger apartment with a third friend. I had arranged to pay 2 friends to help us move, and as we three carted loads of boxes and stuff out to the truck, she sat on a chair in the living room and watched us. I have never fought with anyone like I did with her. To this day, I believe that our mutual animosity continues unabated, although occasionally I am overcome with remorse for my unchristian behavior and judgmental spirit towards her. I haven't seen her since we all moved out 8 years ago. But for me, she became the prime example for that sort of semi-useless woman.

So let's then look at the other end of the womanly spectrum - the Highly Accomplished Fat Girl. Never worshipped like a Prettyskinny or appreciated (unless she is funny), she has learned a number of skills to make her useful, and hopefully, absolutely necessary. Amazing cooks, seamstresses, babysitters, masseuses, accountants, designers, set builders, teachers, comedians, etc. She has developed every talent, every skill she can so that she will find a place in society. She has to be twice as good just to register as acceptable.

And she has the added bonus of Depth. Years of sorrow and disappointment at being passed over or disregarded has made her stronger, more patient, more self-aware and wise than a regular woman. Particularly when fat from her youth onward, she doesn't mind growing old and losing her looks that much, because she never had the looks to lose. You don't miss what you never had.

So when torn between a slender beauty and a fat woman, after examining their general qualities of personality and skills, if all things are equal... pick the fat girl. She will be a greater benefit in the long run, be it as wife, employee, or friend. She may not inspire you to write poetry, but she will know how to squash spiders on her own without calling for help.


Beth said...

I love this, and I love you too. Well said, all of it.

Alana said...

Nice thoughts. I guess I'm in the Accomplished Fat Woman category. I even sew my own bras!

Mike Howell said...