(I just want to note that this is not a "hatin' on the skinny chicks" post. I think women are wonderful, no matter what their size.)
I do like summer - summer comes with butterflies, fun animals, evenings outside, and wildflowers. Even the weather has been particularly good so far this summer (I'm usually hugging the air conditioner like a drowning rat on a life raft by June). There's just the sticky issue of summer weight-loss ads. Every summer, like clockwork, I get bombarded by the information that I'm definitely not skinny enough, especially since women much thinner than me in the ads are worrying about how they look.
(The fact that I've lost 60-70 lbs and kept it off for 14 years now is of no relevance. I am still way too fat, say the ads, because my stomach is not flat.)
Actually, there are two times of year these evil ads come out like avenging angels here to judge you for your adiposity (and find it completely unacceptable) - just after Christmas (with all that holiday feasting weighing heavily on one's mind and hips - and if it isn't, it should be!, they scream), and as summer begins (coming soon to a theater near you: The Horror of the Body Not Fit to Wear a Swimsuit! It had cellulite! It didn't shave enough! It sagged, it pooched, and it was bigger than a size two! It made grown men faint with disgust! And it's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!!). It's definitely not limited to weight loss companies, either - it's also all the foods and "herbal remedies" and supplements and OTC diet "aids" that supposedly make one's disgusting, human shaped body disappear and replace it with the body of a mannequin with perpetually smooth and toned thighs.
(Oh, and one of the SK ads has a woman thinking "I really want dessert tonight", like she normally won't put anything but a salad past her lips, and one dessert is going to doom her to eternal hippo-dom. I hate that ad. Dessert is something that should not engender guilt, dammit!)
You know what? I hate skinny jeans.
(Okay, I hate all jeans, but skinny jeans are the worst.)
I'm told that jeans are the comfiest trousers one can wear, but I've never experienced that, and I've tried on lots of jeans. Even the two pairs that I will deign to wear (one pair is black, the other green) are uncomfortable at best. Why on earth would I want to shove myself into tight jeans that don't stretch, cut me in the crotch, gap at the back, slice me in the front (all jeans do this to me; either I or the jeans were built backwards), and make me look dumpy, when I can wear linen pants that fit and make me look sexy and awesome? If they're loose enough to be marginally comfortable, they make my butt look saggy and my legs look short. If they're tight enough to show off my legs, they cause my internal organs to significantly shift, and I look like a grape with two toothpicks stuck in it.
With jeans, I can't win. But I can't use myself as an example, because I am from another continent, if not another planet. My friends in high school hated the feel of their designer jeans (yes, I was in school during that fashion craze), but were convinced that there was some magical property to skinny jeans that would make everything in their lives better - if only they could fit into the tightest, most camel-toe inducing, painted on jeans that were tinier than everyone else's. Designer jeans meant nothing unless they were on the skinniest of bodies, and fat girls were not allowed! Being skinny in your (designer) skinny jeans stood for success, achievement, and made you a member of the elite. It was perfectly normal for girls to throw up their meals until they fit into the damn things, because being skinny in your skinny jeans was all that mattered.
Many of the girls I knew would wet their jeans and stick them in the dryer on the highest setting so that they'd shrink to skin-tight level, and lie down to get them zipped up (sometimes with the help of a friend). Why have we gone back to this obsession with skinny jeans? Anything that mimicks the restrictions of a corset without providing amazing cleavage (and requires starving) seems counterintuitive to the idea of health and well-being.
But no, I'm told - jeans are awesome. They're comfortable. They're the garment of choice for relaxing. They look good, they feel good, and they work for almost any occasion (wear a sport coat and a tie for your wedding, and you're set!).
This still doesn't explain those damned skinny jeans.
I have come to the conclusion, after literally minutes of research, that skinny jeans are a conspiracy to keep us buying Special K and other diet foods, by making sure that we never, ever feel thin enough. However small you get, there's always a skinnier pair of jeans out there, mocking you. So, the companies tell us that we want skinny jeans, that skinny jeans are something to aspire to, that skinny jeans make other women jealous and guys our adoring pets. Buy our miracle product, and you'll fit into those size two skinny jeans! You'll be loved! Your life will be perfect!
Never mind that yeast infection, you will look pretty!
Uh... until you take those jeans off, and your entire body is covered with criss-crossed red lines detailing every compressing seam of those bastard pants. Not to mention that there's no way to smoothly take off something that rivals a wet suit in clinginess the minute you sweat, or that you can't even dry-hump satisfactorily in skinny jeans, because the lower half of your body went numb three hours ago from the lack of blood flow.
Honestly, I'd rather wear leggings - and I haven't worn those since the early '90s.
Do guys really like skinny jeans in particular? Or is any attractive outfit that shows off ones legs and butt pleasing (uh, not that I really care what you think of my body, but I'm conducting research here)? Guys, would you like skinny jeans as much if you knew how much they hurt women, how uncomfortable they are? Would you dress in something likely to give you a urinary tract infection just to impress a girl? Would you really demand that a woman do that for you?
See, I don't think it's men demanding that we dress in miserable uncomfortable clothes that cause varicose veins, it's the fashion industry and their lap dogs, the diet industry. They claim that looking good is important, but they're not saying it's healthy, and this is key. Once upon a time, Special K was touted as a healthy breakfast cereal, but now, the ads say fuck-all about health - they just emphasize weight loss. They don't say that having a good breakfast is good for your bones, or your mental health, or your digestive system, they say it helps you lose weight. I don't think I've ever seen as many ads that have simply used "lose weight!" as a selling point as I do today.
And I think "skinny jeans" are the apotheosis of this stupid (and untrue) association between weight loss and health. In pretty much every way, skinny jeans are bad for you - they hurt, they give opportunistic infections a chance to breed, they cut off circulation, they encourage hip and back problems, they even help cause varicose veins - yet they're held up as something to strive for. Not health, not strong bones, not the opportunity to fight off disease, or live longer - just being thin and fitting into those "skinny jeans" (and the accompanying high heels that cause shortened tendons and foot problems, of course).
It's actually refreshingly honest of them - being pretty on the outside is all that counts to the diet industry. Average-sized healthy people don't need diet pills that cause heart failure, so you have to make them insecure about not fitting into a size zero. Fuck health - after all, high self-esteem doesn't help anyone rake in the greenbacks.
Don't help the diet industry make more money. Declare your independence! Burn your skinny jeans that don't fit unless you starve yourself! Wear sweats!
They're versatile. They're comfy. Men seem to find them attractive.
And they're a lot healthier to excercise in.