Jewish Journal


June 14, 2011

Date Down or Slim Down



Yes, I Still Think You Should Get Skinny
So as you may know, a while back, I posted a blog about why I think you should get skinny.  You can read it here.  It was reposted as the “this” on Jezebel which you can find here.  And since then, I’ve been taking in what has been a surprisingly vitriolic response.  Much of it has been interesting, amusing, and sometimes painful.  Although all has been informative so thanks to those of you who shared (minus the racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic slurs of course).

I’d like to clarify a few things.  Firstly, I think some of us have different ideas about what the term skinny and thin mean.  I use them broadly.  Skinny to me doesn’t just mean someone rail thin.  I have a good friend who probably weighs 30 maybe 40 pounds more than me at the same height and I still think of her as thin for her body type.  She keeps in shape, eats pretty healthfully and just has a body type with a larger frame than mine, who looks athletic and curvy and yet I still think of her as thin.  So when say I think you should get skinny, I really mean, get toned, in shape, and thin for the type of body you have.  The truth is, women are much harder on other women’s bodies than men are.  I don’t know if a boyfriend would even notice five pounds difference on most women.  Men just know what they are attracted to or not.  The fact is, for whatever primordial reason leftover as a vestige of survival instincts, aesthetic beauty has a huge impact on men’s sex drive.  And for a relationship to survive, a man needs to be attracted to his mate.  And to most men in Western society that means being fit and thin for your bodytype.  You might not like this, but I don’t see how railing against it is going to do anything about it.  It’s the world we live in.  Arguing that it’s wrong, doesn’t mean that suddenly men will be attracted to you despite your physical appearance because you have the more equitable argument.

It’s not easy for anyone.  When I wrote my last blog and included the details of my own weight fluctuations, that was especially difficult (and by the way my yoga teacher commented to me that he’s definitely seen me gain more like ten as opposed to five pounds in the past which I thought might make you all feel better.)  And so much of the actual numbers has to do with your genes anyway that focusing on your weight at all is completely beside the point.  My point is do what you need to do to feel like you are taking care of the body you have.  If you’re truly taking care of your body, then you’ve probably achieved what I mean by saying feel thin for your body type. 

But there’s no way to ignore the plain truth that if you want to find yourself a good catch, you’re going to have to make yourself into a good catch.  You’re going to have to look like the kind of woman that a man wants to show off.  For most men, that means a woman who looks in shape.

Let me give you a typical anecdote.  My friend Ted a few months back met this girl Lianna at the Other Room on a Friday night (aka Westside singles central) and was smitten immediately.  She was unusually beautiful and a bit exotic looking so she stood out among all the bleached blonde smoky-eyed wannabe actresses in this town.  Within minutes of their flirtatious banter, he was calling her FW for Future Wife; he put her in his phone under Future Wife!  Not that he is looking for a wife of course, but in his mind, this was the kind of girl that might change his opinion about marriage one day -  in other words the crème de la crème of the girls he meets.  I saw him the next morning and he was going on and on to me about how he’s never been more taken with a girl so quickly.  He had a brunch date with her for Sunday morning and was looking forward to it more than he’s looked forward to any date in a long while. 

I talked to him Sunday night to get the follow-up.  It was fine he said, but I’m not gonna call her again.  After a little prodding, I finally got him to admit it the reason why.  When he met her at the Other Room, she was sitting down at a table the entire time and it was very dark.  Even though she was still beautiful to him during the day in the bright Santa Monica sunshine, she apparently had an extra 30 to 40 pounds on her in the wrong places he emphasized.  Now this surprised me coming from Ted.  He actually doesn’t like girls who are too skinny.  He once showed me a picture of a girl he was dating in a bathing suit to show me how hot she was and I was shocked at how voluptuous she was.  He really does like a girl to look at least healthy and I’ve heard him complained in the past about girls being too skinny.  So to hear him say that he was not gonna ask her out again, meant that she legitimately had some extra poundage.  He couldn’t help feeling less attracted to her he admitted.  And let’s face it, if a man is simply not attracted to a woman, it seems pretty unlikely that his brain will convince him otherwise as would be necessary to pursue a relationship.

Ted is a great attractive guy and there are just so many pretty smart accomplished girls for him to choose from, especially in LA so he knows he has the luxury of not settling for someone he’s not attracted to.  And after this day-date why should he give her another chance when there are other pretty girls that he is attracted to?  So poor Lianna will wonder why he never called her and console herself and tell her that one day the right guy will come along and that’s probably true, it just in all likelihood won’t be Ted or a guy like Ted.  And I feel for bad her.  But I can’t make him call her.  And she needs to get real.  She needs to date down or slim down or she’ll constantly be disappointed. 

But maybe you know a girl like Lianna who actually did end up with a top-tier guy and this proves to you that love is blind and conquers all and one day prince charming will come for all the zaftig good-hearted accomplished women out there.  The fact is those couples are the outliers.  Those men are the exception and by and large, you’re statistically very unlikely to meet them.  Dating requires casting a large net.  The more people you meet and interact, the more likely it is that you will meet that special someone.  So if you’re really serious about looking for someone, you want to be as attractive as possible to as many men as possible.  If you have completely let yourself go and are totally out of shape, you’ve just cut out a huge swath of men.  If you wanna do something about it, you can try to change the aesthetic image of beauty that hundreds of millions of people have been conditioned to respond to and which giant industries spend billions of dollars to promote.  Or you can lower your expectations and accept that you’re not going to end up with the hot educated smart successful man of your dreams.  Or you can eat healthy and work out.  Doesn’t eating salads and going to yoga seem so easy compared to all that?

Tamara Shayne Kagel is a writer living in Santa Monica, CA. To find out more about her, visit www.tamarashaynekagel.com and follow her on twitter @tamaraskagel. © Copyright 2011.


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