Speaking of naked, aren’t you glad she isn’t?
Actually, aren’t you glad neither of these women are?
I keep explaining to my daughters that extremes – either way – are, well, downright icky.
Who wants to cuddle up to a pile of bones, held together somewhat loosely by thinly-stretched skin? Who wants to kiss an ashen, skeletal face that’s about ten minutes away from cadaverhood?
Not me. Even if I liked the ladies.
On the other hand, the thought of being smothered doesn’t appeal to me greatly, either.
Neither does the thought of finding those panties – or that bra – in my laundry, either.
I can, however, imagine repurposing that bra as an awning on an outdoor gazebo in the backyard. Couple of wind chimes – you’re in business.
That, however, triggers a rather nasty image in my fetid imagination of those bulbous girls swinging freely, with their usual support instead shading several square yards of my property.
Think it hurts when they do? Flop around, I mean. Yikes.
Ordinarily, the excruciatingly perfect etiquette my Scarsdale, NY grandmother drilled into my head forbids me from commenting on anyone’s personal appearance, outside of “You look wonderful, darling.” That’s it, by the way. That’s all that’s allowed.
Even should someone show up to your wedding with an overturned flowerpot on their head, peat moss streaming down their face, one bare foot, a potato sack dress and accessorizing the ensemble with a tightly clenched pitchfork, all you are allowed to say – if you’re looking to be strictly polite is: “You look wonderful.”
Of course, one can say vastly more than that with tone of voice, one raised eyebrow, and a very slow inspection from head to toe as one tells the pitchfork bearer how wonderful they look. If you’re my Scarsdale grandmother. That’s the whole trick.
Etiquette, Grandma always reminded me, is to keep YOU from being embarrassed. It can work wonders, she advised, when wielded properly as a weapon.
But, like Ninja warriors, it takes years of training and practice to learn how to humiliate others with grace and aplomb. It helps a lot if you have a natural mean streak, or a talent for quick hurtfulness under pressure.
Take the famous Dorothy Parker, known for many things, but probably best of all for her ability to humiliate on cue. A young starlet tried to embarrass Parker at a Hollywood premiere when they nearly collided at the entrance. “Oh, Miss Parker,” chirped the starlet, heading, as young starlets do, boldly into territory she had no business being, “please do go in – after all, as they say: ‘age before beauty.’”
“Thank you, I will,” said Parker, tossing back over her shoulder, “after all, as they say: ‘pearls before swine.’”
Gotcha. Grandma was a dedicated sensei, but I never quite had the mean streak necessary to pull off snobbery. I ended up WAY too egalitarian, in the end.
Being a starving artist, too, makes it tough. When you’re paying for coffee in rolled-up pennies, insulting people is usually the last thing on your mind.
However, I digress.
The reason I feel at liberty to make any sort of comment on these women’s appearance at all is that they not only deliberately POSED for these pictures, but allowed them to be posted on the Internet, where I found them – to my everlasting shame, I don’t remember where, and so cannot give appropriate credit – and can thus bring them to your attention.
I myself am about a size 4, maybe a 6 on my fat days. I am lucky enough to be a sort of tiny person – annoyingly, so little that complete strangers find it okay to actually lift me in the air, as I may have mentioned earlier.
Still, in my own life, I have struggled with both weight gain – after a bout of postpartum depression with my first daughter, I must have, in my haze, thought that PopTarts were the answer – and also with anorexia. Real, honest-to-goodness, let’s see if we can survive on Altoids and cigarettes anorexia. So I have, in my past, resembled the skeleton in the red dress.
Looking back at a couple of pictures, I see now why so many people that I thought were annoying at the time were actually alarmed when they tried to casually suggest I perhaps indulge in a sandwich or three.
I didn’t used to think there was such a thing as too thin.
We all know there’s such a thing as too fat – and yeah, we’re all pretty mean-spirited about it. It’s the one thing nobody minds being right up-front about, either: if someone’s fat, we’re grossed-out.
Even fat guys don’t want fat girlfriends. (The nerve, really, because who really wants a fat boyfriend, even if he is rich? Okay, well how rich? Nice car rich, nice house rich, or nice portfolio rich?)
But the other day, driving along Main Street (yes, it really was Main Street, if you can believe the perfection of coincidence) I saw this enormously (excuse the pun) happy couple waddling (sorry, HAD to use that verb) along, holding hands. They were both extremely huge, but they were obviously extremely into each other, and I was missing Peter, who won’t be home until June, and I thought to myself: how terribly sweet that these two people found each other – and while many people wouldn’t find them all that attractive, perhaps, they probably see each other as the most beautiful people in the world.
And maybe they’ll have a lifetime of happiness – until their enlarged hearts give out and they drop dead at around forty.
In each other’s big arms.