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From Jacksonville Beach, FL

Friday, September 16, 2011

Does this make me look fat ?

                                           Definitely looking fat!

    We women are good at fooling ourselves.  We never think we look as old as we are, but we most always think we're fat.  Girls, young women, older women, all want to look thin.  Young women see being slender as more attractive and older women think it makes them look younger. 
       Recently, I overheard a conversation in the women's dressing room of a department store.  I never saw the women and they didn't see me.  Apparently, there was woman in the changing room and one outside the door.

      First Woman:  "How do you like this?"
      Second Woman:  "It makes you look dumpy."   ( With friends like this, who needs  
      First Woman:  "That's because I am dumpy." ( Greatest fear realized.)

        This eavesdropping, well not really eavesdropping, I'd been deaf if I did not hear the conversation, caused me to perk up my ears the next time I was in a dressing room. It seemed like a way to get the real truth about how women see themselves and each other. I was already thinking, "possible blog subject." 
        The next conversation I overheard was between a mother and her teenage daughter.  Once again, I did not see them and they did not see me.  

        Daughter:  "These make my legs look fat."
        Mother:  "They do not.  They're adorable."
        After some discussion, Mother leaves to get a different size.
        Mother:  "Try these.  This is a 4 and this is a 6.  ( Really!  and the daughter is worried 
                       about fat legs?!)
       Daughter:  "This one hugs in more.  It shows my you-know-what."
       (Silence.  I assume the daughter is trying on the other size.) 
       Daughter:  "I like these but they make me look big."
       Mother:  Loud sighing sound

       Similar conversations are probably heard in every dressing room in America.  I could really have gotten an earful if I were in the bathing suit section of the store.  Basically, women, even skinny women, never think they look good enough or thin enough.  How many times have I asked my poor husband, "Does this make me look fat?"  He always dutifully says, "No."
I guess I keep asking to get that "no." Even though I know he is just being agreeable, it is good to hear it. 
      Women's fashion magazines, television, movies, the culture at large have ruined women's confidence.  I see young girls in short skirts, high heels, long shiny hair swinging and I think their youth and vitality are beautiful without wearing the accoutrements of sex and the city.  I'm not sure there is a male counterpart to "Does this make me look fat?"  There are other areas of insecurity, but boys and men don't usually ask for verbal reassurance.  
      Girls and women often take drastic measures to get that fashionable look:  anorexia,
bulimia, surgery.  What strange creatures we are.  We've allowed society and the media to let loose the demons. 



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