Who is SKINNY? [Updated]

Yes or No.JPG

I wrote a post this weekend which questioned certain commenters’ assertions regarding how “hot Desi girls seem to end up with White guys”. We discussed that misconception as well as…well, a few dozen other subjects, but that’s natural over the course of 1,349 comments. One sub-thread which I followed avidly involved I-bankers and their (for some) elusive prey: the skinny, hyper-maintained, hot brown girl with stick-straight hair.

Some of you compassionately responded to your banking brethren, when they plaintively admitted that they weren’t sure where to locate their loins’ fondest desire; instructions, right down to locations, days of the week and yes, auspicious times of day (yo, are we brown or are we BROWN) were offered and happily accepted. Much like the original exchange which inspired my post on interracial dating, which is where this comedy of heir-ers was going down, what I noticed was that these weren’t one-off sentiments. To me, that made them difficult to dismiss.

The one word which kept surfacing, repeatedly, insistently, was skinny.

Predictably, evolved mutineers were outraged and immediately broadcasted it; even more predictable than that, the obligatory, “I can’t help it, it’s just what ruins my boxers”- volley occurred, so that there was essentially a stalemate. Around skinny. While all of them pondered if it was okay to come out and say that “skinny” was a requirement, and whether such a requiring was nothing to be ashamed of, I was transfixed by something else which was related, but not discussed.

What did skinny mean in this context?

To some, Kate Moss defines skinny. To others, the woman who is pictured on our left qualifies.

I like to know exactly what I’m offended by, before I gift someone with a new orifice, so I couldn’t get my outrage-on– not until this question was answered. Yes, yes…we should all eschew superficial everything and it’s terrible that we’re judging female books by their covers, but it’s also a gross reality. And I wanted to know how realistic these I(yer) bankers were.

There was another snag—we were discussing Manhattan.

It’s a rarified world and understandably, the benchmarks are different. Everything is relative (and apparently, if you are an Iyengar reading SM, YOU are all relatives…oy, how I wish that I could actually link to relevant comments from MY OWN POST, which would make my attempts at wit successful vs. inscrutable).

In most cities, D.C. included, my 450 sq ft studio is tiny. In Manhattan, my friend is thrilled to have that much space for her ONE-BEDROOM. In most cities, making six figures is awesome. In Manhattan, it barely affords the afore-mentioned shoe-box, rent-wise and that’s if you limit your methods for self-intoxicating to PBR (note: life is too short for PBR, my darlinks). Anyway, if everything is tougher, better, more competitive, more expensive and more EVERYTHING in Manhattan, then…do brown guys expect brown girls to be skinnier, too? And does skinny mean fit? Or just skinny?

My guy friends (the unManhattanites, if you will…I’m not counting the Murray Hill dwellers et al for the purposes of this fluffy post) would line up giddily for a shot at the gorgeous girl above. Would our I(yengar) bankers? I think we have a bit of a vested interest in all this; the majority of the Desi vomen whom I am privileged to know are curvaceous, if they’re out of their teens. For most men, that’s a good thing. My male buddies don’t like straight lines—on the roads they’re about to break laws on or…uh…you know.

Curves are good. Right? Left? Those are definitely curves, on the left.

So, as I said memorably (and almost 1,700 comments ago!), out with it then. Let’s have the truth. What do you want? Is the woman I’ve wrapped this post around zaftig or is she just right? Err, left? You know what I mean. And this ain’t no heteronormative joint. I’ll be the first to tell you that she could inspire me to discover a love that dare not speak its naam. ;) What about you?

::

isin’t that a picture of you ANNA?? or may be your sister?

While it easily could be, because my sister and I both have huge, bubble-like Malayalee kundis which resemble two coconuts attached to our lower back, and yes, apparently we also both have “thunder-thighs” like our helpful model above, no, it’s neither me nor my little sister.

I look exactly like that in jeans.

I am dismayed that some of you think that her thighs are ugly, but to each their own; we are attracted to what we are attracted to and that’s that. I bring this up not to call you out (S, you know you and labbie singh are my peeps), but to speak to the women who are lurking, who have body image issues. Because believe me, they are here and they are reading this. They inspired this.

I have no problems in NYC or SF or DC…guess my hatred-since-infancy of LA has protected me from an eating disorder, since I am a size 8, not a size 4, and that is too big for La-La land.

I like my body. I like it so much, I don’t give a shit about telling you the truth– I am 5’6″ and I weigh a whopping 148 lbs. I’ve gained weight, since hurting my leg, because I no longer get to walk the three miles home from work. To go from walking more than 20 miles a week to not being mobile at all…well, it takes a toll. I’ve gained eight pounds, which I can’t be fucked to cry over, because I’m more upset over losing lean mass and the ability to walk comfortably, without pain or this huge, heavy, unwieldy cast on my leg.

To the young woman whose email to me on Facebook inspired this entire post:

Please stop calling yourself “fat” and “ugly”. You look exactly like this picture, I know, because I went through your albums and found one taken at a similar angle. You don’t have luck with desi guys in NYC because of timing, circumstance or that nakshatram with the tree or whatever– NOT BECAUSE YOU ARE OBESE. When you kept reading about how guys like Puli et al want “skinny” desi girls, in the mega-thread, they were talking about you, my darling girl.

I proved this. I proved my point.

The majority of men on this thread think that the woman pictured above isn’t just beautiful but hot, gorgeous, attractive, ideal.

Please eat your lunch today. And your dinner. And work-out, but do so because your heart and lungs and future grandchildren deserve to be taken care of– you’re too precious to starve, especially at your own hands.

To quote you, “Shocker. Indian girls have eating disorders, too.”

Well, they shouldn’t have to– no human should. Eat. Be healthy. Fall in love with yourself. Life is too short for bullshit, and that goes for all of you.

Thunder thighed-Anna, over and out.

785 thoughts on “Who is SKINNY? [Updated]

  1. First, I am concerned why the author of the original post only seems to care about what the Iyer banker thinks and not about guys in the rest of the world? Is it because for whatever reason, her ideal guy is the one who lives on Manhattan, earns a gazillion $$s and an Iyer boy(here I assume you mean the intelligent desi boy and nothing references to which part of India he’s from. If not, well then the rest of the debate is even more pointless)

    Dude, this is a ‘light hearted’ post. You’re looking too far into it. Humor anyone?

  2. KJ, in lieu of you reading through the comments here and elsewhere, you should know that it was an i-banker who professed his attraction for skinny girls, and who thought he would have a better chance with them precisely because of his i-banker position. ANNA likes yengineers, not i(yer/yengar)- bankers…

  3. In the past, a man was expected to pay on a date. This was a societal expectation, since the man would naturally be the one with a career and would indubitably earn more than the woman. Likewise, the same society would expect the woman, once married, to abandon her job and tend to house and children.

    We no longer live in such a society, and it is clear that a woman may continue to work and pursue a career once married. However, the question of who pays on a date has not been settled quite as well. So, what’s the best way to address this situation in a practical way?

    I think that although it may be unromantic, stating the ground rules up front makes the most sense. Each person should be clear on who is expected to pay what and why. After all, doesn’t this topic touch on a number of important values, such as how to manage money, ideas on gender roles, etc.?

    When I had my first date with the woman who was to become my wife, she insisted that on the first date that we each pay our own way. That way, neither of us would have felt indebted to the other. After the first date, she initially insisted on each paying our own way since she only allowed people who were family and older than her to pay for her–and I was neither. In the end, we decided on alternating who pays, unless it was pricey, such as theatre tickets.

  4. First, I am concerned why the author of the original post only seems to care about what the Iyer banker thinks and not about guys in the rest of the world?

    Ah, here is where your failure to read fornicated you. You see, if you had read, you’d know the “Iyer” thing was a joke. That kind of destroys the rest of your comment, but I’ll play along.

    Is it because for whatever reason, her ideal guy is the one who lives on Manhattan, earns a gazillion $$s and an Iyer boy(here I assume you mean the intelligent desi boy and nothing references to which part of India he’s from. If not, well then the rest of the debate is even more pointless)

    See above, thank you. :)

    If Anna is entitled to like a specific set of people based on some superficial (to some) qualities (viz money etc), why can’t those I-banker boys have their own set of superficial qualities that they like?

    I haven’t stated anything about what I like or am entitled to, except for how I would like it if

    a) people READ first, then commented

    b) people weren’t unfair.

    If you’re new here, consider doing what thousands have done before you– get a sense of things before you get the wrong idea, make horribly incorrect assumptions and then write an extensive comment predicated on those inaccurate ideas.

    Having typed all that, welcome to Sepia Mutiny. We’re glad to have you. Commenters are quite loved, caste no bar.

  5. My body clenched just reading that. I’m sorry, but Rahul and I don’t know each other well enoughto engage in highly risky sexual activity :)

    that could all change in the next tailblazing meetup. a lot of biblical give and take, and lots of fun group activities. y’know, we model minorities play well with others.

  6. My body clenched just reading that. I’m sorry, but Rahul and I don’t know each other well enoughto engage in highly risky sexual activity :)

    Thanks, Camille. If it makes you feel better, I felt the same way. Although I might go as far as to say any sexual activity. Not until I buy your dinner at least twice…

  7. First, I am concerned why the author of the original post only seems to care about what the Iyer banker thinks and not about guys in the rest of the world? Is it because for whatever reason, her ideal guy is the one who lives on Manhattan, earns a gazillion $$s and an Iyer boy(here I assume you mean the intelligent desi boy and nothing references to which part of India he’s from. If not, well then the rest of the debate is even more pointless)

    two things – 1)you missed the 1500 previous posts, so you don’t know the context 2) Its all in fun don’t get your panties in a bunch.

  8. ANNA likes yengineers, not i(yer/yengar)- bankers…

    Not that there’s anything wrong with i(yer/yengar) – bankers. PindaUSA, I got your back, man!

  9. KJ, welcome. I do think, in the future, it would help to gain a sense of context before criticizing ANNA, just because it will make all the commentary that followed make more sense. That said, I’m glad you’ve decided to read/write :)

    Thanks, Camille. If it makes you feel better, I felt the same way. Although I might go as far as to say any sexual activity. Not until I buy your dinner at least twice…

    But who’s paying, Rahul? Also, I prefer my tips at 20%. ;)

  10. My body clenched just reading that.

    What imagery :)

    I’m sorry, but Rahul and I don’t know each other well enoughto engage in highly risky sexual activity :)

    See this is the kind of prejudice against anal coitus that I had hoped to dispel with my survey. I have to say though it is an acquired taste.

    why are you tailblazing? is this some new word, related to the subject of your survey?

    Thanks for catching the pun. Yes indeed it’s a pioneering effort.

  11. Pondatti – lol.

    ak and others – I was hardly putting forward a code of social responsibility. I was stating MY preference for men who pay (the ones who can, mind) for first drinks/dates. What is so galling about this for you? I got pilloried for a personal preference, while Al Chutiya got off scot-free for saying he’d pay gladly in exchange for sex. The men who degraded the girl in the picture all got off scot-free. I, on the other hand, got called passive-agressive, a mind-game player etc. These comments reflect a deep malaise the men here have with being judged by a woman. Tough. It happens, it will continue to happen, and I am unapologetic about what I like in a man.

  12. I have been to some dates with feminists who demand equality of the sexes except for when it’s time to pay the restaurant bill, when suddenly they have to run to the bathroom. It’s not that I mind their running to the bathroom…… it’s just that they never come back.

  13. that could all change in the next tailblazing meetup. a lot of biblical give and take, and lots of fun group activities. y’know, we model minorities play well with others.

    I think Rahul’s too old for me, dear port :)

    See this is the kind of prejudice against anal coitus that I had hoped to dispel with my survey. I have to say though it is an acquired taste.

    How is this a prejudice? It is a fact that anal is a “higher risk” sexual activity than vaginal, which is higher risk than oral, etc., etc.

  14. I gave up trying to keep up with this thread a long time ago (every time I check back there’s another 200 comments) but in case no one’s mentioned it yet….looks like we might break 1000 again….I’m in disbelief.

  15. It’s not that I mind their running to the bathroom…… it’s just that they never come back.

    Posterity, maybe they were waiting there for you. Apparently, in futility.

  16. was stating MY preference for men who pay (the ones who can, mind) for first drinks/dates.

    That isn’t the crux of the issue.

    You offering to pay, but really not being sincere about it from an emotional honesty standpoint, is.

    People should do and like whomever they please. Lets be upfront about it though.

  17. DQ said

    ak and others – I was hardly putting forward a code of social responsibility. I was stating MY preference for men who pay (the ones who can, mind) for first drinks/dates. What is so galling about this for you? I got pilloried for a personal preference…these comments reflect a deep malaise the men here have with being judged by a woman. Tough. It happens, it will continue to happen, and I am unapologetic about what I like in a man.

    I guess ignoring the specific points in my response in order to once again paint “the men” on this forum in broad brushstrokes is one way to discuss an issue. At least play fair and respond to posts (see #736, 744). ;)

    PS: I will discuss Al Chitya’s response in a separate post.

  18. Rahul, no worries. However – I don’t think offering to pay (when on a date with a man who is wealthier/equal) is disingenuous if you are willing to follow up and pay. That’s all it is – an offer to pay. It is not a promise that whatever you do in response to that offer is something I will think wonderfully of.

  19. VMN Rao – you seem to be repeating points brought up by Rahul and Guju Dude, so there’s no need for individual attention here.

  20. DQ, my responses were more on shalu’s post, not yours. but to paraphrase from others, just as you’re judging men for not paying (and your preference for the ones who do), men are judging you for not paying (and stating a preference, or appreciation of, women who do). furthermore, i was also just objecting (not to you, in particular) to generalisations – it’s not clear that the same individuals who were objecting to your statements were also not objecting to certain other statements.

  21. VMN Rao – sorry, you did make a couple of distinct points. Here goes:

    I would be only too happy as a female if I were judged on my behaviour. However – as a woman, I’m judged far more harshly on my weight, my hair, my age, my features etc. It is ridiculously naive to think that women judge men as harshly on physical appearance as men do women. There are hundreds more Michael Douglas/Catherine Zeta-Jones pairings compared to Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher pairings precisely because women are judged so harshly on age. There are plenty of beauty-beast pairings where the man is the beast, but extremely few where the woman is. Napoleon’s height is a mere footnote to his career, but in the year 2007, Hillary Clinton has to dye her hair blond, wear contacts, colour coordinate just to stem the tide of abuse about her appearance.

    That said: is my personal preference for a man who pays on the first date something that extends to things that REALLY MATTER? No. Would I expect a man to pay for my personal expenses, or pay for more than his half of a mortgage? Emphatically no. Would I expect to be taken care of in any way whatsoever? No, never have. What I like is, as I said before, the courtesy, the form. A man who behaves toward me with little attentions – and paying for a first date is so little as to be laughable – is bound to make a better impression than one petty enough to expect me to pay.

  22. Joining in a little late… but overall I have this to say about the DQ debate:

    There are three things goin on here:

    1) She is expecting the guy to pay for their date. (Going by social norms, this is a common occurence) 2) She is offering to pay, out of courtesy. ( It would be pretty rude not to, at least if I was the guy here ) 3) She does not like it when her offer is accepted and she does end up paying

    Now, the only thing in the about 3 that I feel is worth criticizing is the point (1) where she is expecting the guy to pay in the first place. Given (1), I really don’t think the ‘offering’ and ‘not liking it/judging’ are strong points for arguing as is strongly advocated in #768.

    A similar situation to this would be: You and a bunch of your friends are out partying, and it is person A’s birthday and his treat. When the bill turns up, you find out the bill is pretty high. You 1) Expected the birthday boy/girl to pay cuz it was his/her treat anyway 2) But you offered to help, out of courteousy 3) If your offer is accepted, you did what was right and displayed good manners – but that does not mean you will not feel a little bad about shelling out money when it was supposed to be someone else’s treat, right?

    In this case again, offering and not liking the consequence are really ok, especially since it was supposed to be the birthday guy’s treat. But in DQ’s case, it needn’t be a treat at all… and so if at all her views need to be criticized it should be about her expectations, and not her ‘offering and judging’.

  23. Randomizer,

    If a guy asks a girl out, arranges the date etc., is it fairly reasonable to assume that it is his ‘treat’?

  24. DQ, thanks. also #776 is a fair point itself. though we’ve had this conversation before, and HMF has a good alternative perspective on this.

  25. Dude, this is a ‘light hearted’ post. You’re looking too far into it. Humor anyone?”

    Yes, yes.. I suppose it is. In light of the ‘light-hearted’ bashing I received within 5 mins of my posting, I see that there a few references that I missed… And thanks ak for the reference. I did see the humor in the post, but I was inclined to ask since Anna seemed to be asking a sincere question too.. Its hard to ask ‘with just the right amount of seriousness’, in a post, a first post especially.

    two things – 1)you missed the 1500 previous posts, so you don’t know the context 2) Its all in fun don’t get your panties in a bunch.

    Yes, I will keep them all separate in the future.

    a) people READ first, then commented b) people weren’t unfair. If you’re new here, consider doing what thousands have done before you– get a sense of things before you get the wrong idea, make horribly incorrect assumptions and then write an extensive comment predicated on those inaccurate ideas. Having typed all that, welcome to Sepia Mutiny. We’re glad to have you. Commenters are quite loved, caste no bar.

    Ouch.. ouch.. Yes, maybe some incorrect assumptions lurked somewhere in my post, but I did read the article and quite a lot of blogs as I mentioned, but apparently not enough. :) And Thanks for the welcome.. This is a nice blog and I quite like it already.

    Anna, if you ignore my assumptions on iyers and iyengars, not that’s there anything wrong with them, my question still stands I feel but since the blog seems to have moved on asking who should pay on a first date, I am not too inclined to pursue it.

    On that, I do agree that guys should have the courtesy to pay or atleast offer, except for gals who treat him like a wallet. I did have an experience as such, where the gal pushed the bill over to my side of the table (on a first date), inspite of having bought the tickets to a show after. Yes, I never saw her again.

  26. @DQ #776: “If a guy asks a girl out, arranges the date etc., is it fairly reasonable to assume that it is his ‘treat’? “

    It is two people who make the date happen – by your acceptance of his offer for a date, you are expressing interest in him as well. So this initial ‘one-way’ pursuit becomes ‘two-way’ the minute you said ‘ok, its a date’. In any two-way interaction such as this, I would think it is unreasonable to expect only one party to pay.

  27. I always offer to pay on a date. Always. I’m not impressed when the guy accepts. Exceptions for men who don’t make as much/students/artists/etc. I’ll pay. I’ll be nice. I won’t make an issue out of it. He’ll get a nice warm hug. I most likely won’t go out on a second date. Is it fair? NO. Personal preference. There’s a lot of men to choose from and this is an easy test for crossing you off my list. I honestly don’t mean to come off as harsh.

  28. Is Sepamutiny now officially the nexus of the Desi-American Tam Bram Mafia? Palakkad(Kerala) Iyer checking in. gimme some sweet morrikuttan. Sandhyavandanam is coming up. I’m a borderline Atheist but whatever.

  29. Randomizer,

    Like Bitchy Bernie above (my kinda gal) I don’t expect, but I prefer. A man who earns as much as me or more who won’t pay for a first date? No second date. At the very most, if he’s fun, he’ll be parked in the friend zone. Because he’s acted like friend material, not boyfriend material.

  30. I always offer to pay on a date. Always. I’m not impressed when the guy accepts. Exceptions for men who don’t make as much/students/artists/etc. I’ll pay. I’ll be nice. I won’t make an issue out of it. He’ll get a nice warm hug. I most likely won’t go out on a second date. Is it fair? NO. Personal preference. There’s a lot of men to choose from and this is an easy test for crossing you off my list. I honestly don’t mean to come off as harsh.
    Like Bitchy Bernie above (my kinda gal) I don’t expect, but I prefer. A man who earns as much as me or more who won’t pay for a first date? No second date. At the very most, if he’s fun, he’ll be parked in the friend zone. Because he’s acted like friend material, not boyfriend material.

    Well, bitchie and DQ, what you guys don’t realize is that, unless the a majority of the entire female population adopts your same viewpoint, you as a minority, are the ones who stand out to be the losers. Because if a majority of the females accepted your opposing viewpoint, most guys would then go against your expectations and then you will find it increasingly difficult to find mates from your self narrowed pool.

  31. Also– in case you didn’t read about this on the “ho” thread:

    There’s been a call for less of these “types of posts” despite their popularity. I’ve been advised that they would be more suitable for my personal blog and I respect that reaction.

    I love the conversations we have had these past few days and I want you to know how amazing and valuable they are– and how proud I am that they needed so little moderating. I plan to put up a similar discussion-friendly post daily, but not here.

    It’s like when you suddenly take up drums…even if it sounds good, your roomies might be all, “SHUT UP”. ;)

    Well, we can practice all we want chez moi– the question is, are we still a garage band if we aren’t in the garage? :D

    http://www.suitablegirl.com

    http://anna.typepad.com/herstory/2007/08/who-is-skinny-u.html#comments

    etc.

    Got that? We’re not being censored, we’re just moving to a different location. See you there!