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Nov 7

Fat athletes, skinny models and sexism

Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 in Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Self image, Women

It’s really odd for me to be inside the house on a beautiful sunny fall day, like yesterday. It’s even weirder for me to be watching TV inside the house on a beautiful sunny fall day. But the 49ers were playing, and if you know what’s been going on with the Niners, you’ll understand.  

Plus, I was snuggled up next to Sean so even if you don’t know about the Niners, if you’re a woman, you’ll totally understand.

“Wow, those guys are friggin’ huge!” I said to him, noticing the size of the defense.

“They want them big.”

“But, that’s so unhealthy! Why are they so big?”

“Because no one’s going to get past them.”

“So, the teams are OK with that?”

“There’s a controversy around it, but yes, there’s pressure to supersize.”

Supersize? Guys who are 300 pounds are beyond supersize!

It’s amazing what people will do to their body for their career.

Like models. Despite some rumblings of rejecting the use of emaciated models on the runway awhile back, most models still are ridiculously skinny.

We hear a lot from women about the insanity of super-skinny models and how that affects girls — do men feel the same pressure about their body?

There seems to be some sexism going on.

OK, most men don’t need to pack 300 pounds to do their job well. But look at the covers of some men’s magazines and you’ll see what a man “should” like — broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, totally ripped. Evidently, these images are now causing guys as much body image problems as women have. You just don’t hear too much about it.

Why do we, men and women, freak out about how female models have to starve to make it, women who are just “doing their job,” and not male athletes, who also have to put their bodies through intense modification to be successful?

If you’re packing 300 pounds you’re stressing your heart as much as a heroin-addict-like super-skinny model — either way, it’s just not healthy. But, as they say, it’s a living.

  • Should we be as upset about what males have to do to their body to succeed as we are about women?
  • Do guys feel pressured to be perfect from the impossibly perfect images on men’s magazine covers?

 

 

Dec 27

He’s fit, she’s fat

Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 in Happiness, Men, Relationships, Self image, Sex/sexuality, Women

Sara and I were savoring our lattes, taking a break from post-holiday returns and bargains, when we ran into a guy we knew from the gym. He was with a woman, a fat woman.

“Wonder who that is,” Sara said, gesturing in her direction.

“Maybe it’s his girlfriend. Wait, he once told us he’s married, right?”

Sure enough, it was his wife.

“She’s packing a little more than the holiday 5 pounds, isn’t she?” Sara snarked.

“They’re married; people gain weight when they’re in a relationship. And, who knows — maybe he’s into BBWs.”

“But he’s so fit!”

Yes, he is. And that always makes me wonder what’s going in a relationship when there clearly is a difference of opinion about such an essential thing as caring for your body.

Men often feel pimped when their women gain a lot of weight. That’s when they often lose an interest in sex, too. Nothing gets you out of the
mood for sex than hating your body.

Of course, maybe many women gain weight so they can get out of having sex in the first place.
I’m sure that doesn’t fly well with their hubbies, either!

Sure, I weighed more when I was married
— so did almost all my girlfriends, about 8 to 10 pounds more each. Not really fat, just “juicy.” I
think when you have young kids and you’re so exhausted at night that pounding a bag of chips and salsa on the couch in front of reruns sounds like fun, it’s easy to gain weight.

No way that I’d live like that anymore. And, I’m
not interested in being with a fat man, either, and no, that doesn’t make me shallow. But if my sweetie started to get heavy, I would say something — because I love him, and that’s what loving couples do. They talk honestly and lovingly about things that matter, and they hear that with love, too.

Now that we’re closing in on New Year’s and resolutions, many will vow to get in shape
this year — and many won’t.

Still, I wonder — why do so many women
pack on the pounds after they fall in love?

Is it a way to avoid intimacy?

Or is it just love and accept me the way I am?

Photo © Dan Race – Fotolia.com

Dec 6

What went wrong in your marriage?

Posted on Monday, December 6, 2010 in Divorce, Happiness, Honesty, love, Marriage, Men, Relationships, Women

“Mom?” Trent calls from the bathroom, a habit he’s had since he was a toddler.

“Yeah?” I shout back from the living room, where I’m sorting through the Christmas decorations.

“Why did you and dad murgfht?”

“Huh?” I said, coming closer to the bathroom so I decipher the muffled words.

“Why did you and dad divorce?”   

What is it about kids who all of a sudden need to have a talk — a serious talk — while they’re sitting on the bowl?

“Honey, you already know why.”

“No, not dad’s affair. I mean, what went wrong?”

Wow, good question, one he hadn’t asked before. Because it wasn’t really the affair that made my marriage implode; affairs are just symptoms of other
crap going on.

And I wasn’t sure that I could answer that fully for him. Well, I know what I did wrong and what Rob did wrong; I’m not really sure what Rob thinks.

I can tell The Kid what you should do to make a good marriage — be a present, loving partner; communicate well; have a lot of sex (not sure he’d want to hear that from me) …

I certainly wouldn’t advise him to settle.

But how do you tell a teenager what marriage is really like and expect him or her to understand it?

Because marriage is, well, complicated.

And as much as studies say hubbies benefit from marriage more that the lil’ missus, a lot of men feel like this, courtesy of MGTOW, Men Going Their Own Way:

Marriage is like serving time in prison with a big fat cellmate who DOESN’T want to have sex with you.

Don’t want The Kid to feel like that!

Another gem:

The bottom line is this: Women don’t know what the f— they really want.
Guys are so f–king simple. We know EXACTLY what we want: Sex or blow jobs about 3 or 4 times a week, a good pizza or burger every now and then, and about one day a week that we can go do stuff that we like, whether it’s poker or golf or what have you. How hard is that to understand? Women, on the other hand, have NO CLUE what they want. They’ve been told they can have it all, that they need to be this or that, that they need to do this or that. I don’t think may of them honestly know what it is they want. They only know what it is they don’t have.

I’m have no idea how many guys feel like that, but I guess enough do. Yet to read the latest Pew study that announces the decline of marriage, more men than women think marriage brings happiness, and more widowers/divorced guys say they’d get hitched again. (Oddly, more think it brings a more fulfilling sex life, too; those guys really should talk to the MGTOW guys!)

If guys are so miserable in marriage, why would they want do it again and again?

But, back to the question Trent asked me — what went wrong?

My version of the story —  two people got so caught up in parenting that they forgot to put as much energy into their relationship. We were conflict-avoidant, so although we didn’t argue, we still had a lot of stuff we kept under the surface. And, I didn’t speak up and address things, important things, when I should have. But it wasn’t until after the affair was unearthed that I did the soul-searching to understand all that, plus know the issues I brought to the relationship.

It’s important to know what went wrong so you don’t repeat your bad stuff again with someone new.

  • So, I ask you — what went wrong?

Photo © starush – Fotolia.com