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. HMF, you really need to read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” (seriously!). It explains very nicely that one of the elements involved in attracting women is to make them feel special. This can be accomplished in subtle, yet direct ways–buying her drinks, taking her out to dinner (and paying for it), or opening the car door. It’s sincerely not about the money, but rather it’s the act of going out of your way to provide for the woman and make her feel special. It’s a subtle way of letting a girl know not only that he’s interested in her, but that he wants to go out of his way to make her feel good.

    This is why when I’m on a date and offer to pay for my share (I always do this), I’m always a little let down that the guy takes me up on the offer. It’s not the money, I have no problem spending money to eat out–it’s the act of making me feel special. If a guy can’t buy me a drink or dinner while he’s trying to court me, it raises a tiny little red flag.

  2. Ive heard organic is better for the environment, not necessarily the person.

    You definitely need organic for living persons. Without carbon, you’d be a robot or a replicant. (sorry HMF, it will be funny when you get home. I promise.)

  3. ive heard its worse for both. what do i know though….

    the main issue is the use of manure and other pathogen rich fertilizers. e.g., e. coli break outs and what not. biologicals are chemicals too at the end of the day, so qualitatively it shouldn’t be that diff. nutritionally (unless non-organics are genetically modified).

  4. HMF, you really need to read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” (seriously!). It explains very nicely that one of the elements involved in attracting women is to make them feel special. This can be accomplished in subtle, yet direct ways–buying her drinks, taking her out to dinner (and paying for it), or opening the car door. It’s sincerely not about the money, but rather it’s the act of going out of your way to provide for the woman and make her feel special. It’s a subtle way of letting a girl know not only that he’s interested in her, but that he wants to go out of his way to make her feel good. This is why when I’m on a date and offer to pay for my share (I always do this), I’m always a little let down that the guy takes me up on the offer. It’s not the money, I have no problem spending money to eat out–it’s the act of making me feel special. If a guy can’t buy me a drink or dinner while he’s trying to court me, it raises a tiny little red flag.

    sooo…..buy the drink…..AAARRRGHHH!

  5. Being fat is contagious…blame your friends and peers.

    my own exp. is what i get “hungry” it lasts for about and hour. then i fades and i generally don’t get hungry ’till before my next meal. i don’t drink juices or snack anymore, which i would do to sate little hunger. but people differ in terms of how much they can control their hunger or ignore it. it isn’t hard for me, but i know people who just can’t focus. so they have to eat, if they don’t want to enter into fatitude they better work out.

    I drink water or eat something with more protien or complex carbs. My natural tendency is to balloon like a blimp, so to keep the fat off, I lift more and do functional fitness type exercises (box, push ups, pull ups, etc). An easy way to fight non-trivial hunger is to drink water and get busy doing something, distracting yourself.

    One can be skinny and unhealthy, skinny and healthy, fat and healthy, fat and unhealthy.

    People need to focus on being fit, not skinny or fat. Fitness implies good nutrition and exercise.

    A link to my comment on the lady who was doing bodyweight overhead squats at 15 reps. Awesome and motivational. Lift more weights and heavy at that too, stay away from just ‘cardio’ exercises, and stupid weight machines!

  6. since i started weight training with a personal trainor, the guy told me to EAT MORE, EAT A LOT….

  7. although i am a second gen wise ass kid.

    I love wise ass kids, Puliogre. I was one myself.

    And once you start cooking on a regular basis, it can become deeply meditative and takes almost the same amount of time as ordering out. Of course, I don’t cook for a family or for fussy kids, so what do I know?

    We are a very busy family, Portmanteau. Still, we cook from scratch everyday, and eat out as a treat, say once in 10 days. Cooking/baking is one way I relax (recently I even discovered the joys of canning fruit), and I get my slightly older kids to join in or stay in the kitchen with me doing other things (if they are not temporarily interested).Ie find it hard to understand families who say they have no time to cook. Since we don’t pray together, we at least have to cook, eat together, to stay together, is how I rationalize the tiem we spend in the kitchen.

  8. Puliogre in da USA wrote:

    sooo…..buy the drink…..AAARRRGHHH!

    LOL…awww..poor guy.

    My vote definitely goes towards buying the drink…it certainly will not hurt, and for all intents and purposes it will impress (if not the girl…then her friends). ;-)

  9. the main issue is the use of manure and other pathogen rich fertilizers. e.g., e. coli break outs and what not. biologicals are chemicals too at the end of the day, so qualitatively it shouldn’t be that diff. nutritionally (unless non-organics are genetically modified).

    Don’t artificial additives, food coloring and all those unsaturated oils count against regular grocery stores?

    It cannot be good for the eggs you eat or the chicken if you expect it to perform like you just dropped a supercharged hemi in it.

  10. Malathi,

    Is there another 1st generation parent here? Can you hear me when I think is this what I have to worry about in 10, 15, 20 years from now?

    I hear you. I cannot comment at all on this thread because it scares me. My whole life I grew up thinking that its what is inside that matters- not the external.Some of the comments here ( and on the thread that spawned this one) made me think that :to be fat in this society is what it is to be gay in the des.- lots of ignorance and lots of unnecessary hate based on what is assumed to be the norm

    These are different times, we are in a different place so yes, our kids will have to deal with this. My husband and I have realized this to some extent with our teenager and do not demur when he needs to spend more than we ever dreamt of doing did on clothes , shoes and other teenage trappings.

  11. 393 · malathi on August 2, 2007 12:59 PM · Direct link Took me a few weeks on SM to figure out what ‘Tambram’ meant. I kept thinking why are they talking about Tambaram.

    393 – Holy crap. Don’t tell me you are aware of a place called Tambaram??!!

  12. Haley’s comet will zip around earth 200 times before it actually happens to the same extent though

    loved the way you put it….

  13. razib, I can’t believe I forgot $$ :) But seriously, food politics drive me CRAZY.

    Camille, food blogs is a great idea. I like this one: Mahanandi’s blog. She’s got some cookbook reviews too.

    Shankar, thanks! This is great! One of the hardest things I find to modify are vegetarian recipes (I’m allergic to dairy), because they often load up on cheese/milk (instead of focusing on veggies, which I think is the best part about being veg), and vegan options often load up on fat/processed sugar. I just got this fantastic vegan mediterranean cookbook, though, and I’m so excited to use it.

    it isn’t “normal” to feel sated all day. anyway, that is my “biggest insight” over the years of swinging in weight.

    razib, I disagree. I used to think this was the way to approach food, so I only ate like 1-2x/day (I seriously was not hungry the rest of the day). I’ve found that regular, small, meals do a lot better for my energy level, and I don’t feel famished or “hungry.” I also drink a lot of water, though. Sometimes I think people confuse dehydration for hunger.

    And once you start cooking on a regular basis, it can become deeply meditative and takes almost the same amount of time as ordering out. Of course, I don’t cook for a family or for fussy kids, so what do I know?

    portmanteau, I agree, but sometimes I would just really love coming home and having food ready to go for me. For myself, a lot of “shaving down” the prep time has been about making sure I get home before I become hungry so that I’m not famished by the time I finish cooking. The other part is prepping stuff I use often 1-2 days in advance. The downside is I basically have to have a broad idea of what I’m cooking meals in advance.

    Ive heard organic is better for the environment, not necessarily the person.

    I have no idea what the science is on this, but I do feel guilty buying strawberries shipped from CA when I can get mixed berries at the local farmer’s market. (I know this has a totally skewed class privilege element, though, since I’m located in an area that HAS farmer’s markets).

  14. my own exp. is what i get “hungry” it lasts for about and hour. then i fades and i generally don’t get hungry ’till before my next meal. i don’t drink juices or snack anymore, which i would do to sate little hunger. but people differ in terms of how much they can control their hunger or ignore it. it isn’t hard for me, but i know people who just can’t focus. so they have to eat, if they don’t want to enter into fatitude they better work out.

    It’s a tough thing to keep on top of. I find myself drinking a lot of water and eating foods high in protein in order to curb the cravings. I also find that drinking a mug of tea is another way to curb those hunger pangs.

    It’s not easy though..you kind of have to keep at it.

  15. 552Shalu This is why when I’m on a date and offer to pay for my share (I always do this), I’m always a little let down that the guy takes me up on the offer. It’s not the money, I have no problem spending money to eat out–it’s the act of making me feel special. If a guy can’t buy me a drink or dinner while he’s trying to court me, it raises a tiny little red flag.


    Shalu–I’m the shallow one… ;-)

  16. It’s sincerely not about the money, but rather it’s the act of going out of your way to provide for the woman and make her feel special. It’s a subtle way of letting a girl know not only that he’s interested in her, but that he wants to go out of his way to make her feel good.

    I have read this, and do agree with your general point of view. BUT. the problem is, in the beginning, using money to make one feel special rarely works, because it’s been done so many times, especially for a hottie. How many times has an attractive woman been bought drinks, or offered to be bought dinner? It’s not exactly a novel idea, when it’s been done so many times, it no longer triggers the ‘special’ sensors. When it has in your case, I guarantee you, it was in conjunction with something else.

    Also, the ‘provide for the woman’ is a clear pathway to traditional roles. Many oppositeland members here will string you from the gallows for that. (if they’re being true to their OL roots)

    My vote definitely goes towards buying the drink…it certainly will not hurt, and for all intents and purposes it will impress (if not the girl…then her friends). ;-)

    Total BS. It won’t impress a lick. Especially if it’s the 1043324th time she’s been offered.

  17. It’s sincerely not about the money, but rather it’s the act of going out of your way to provide for the woman and make her feel special. It’s a subtle way of letting a girl know not only that he’s interested in her, but that he wants to go out of his way to make her feel good.

    shalu, why don’t men need to know that they are special? perhaps it need not be conveyed in the same ways (i.e. opening car doors etc) but isn’t buying a man a drink or dinner, planning the date itself, planning activities etc a good way to show him that you are also interested? i just do not know why the onus is on men to show their interest, or to make the woman feel like she is worth it, since as HMF has said, this implies in many ways that he needs to compensate for his lack of equal worth. i can only imagine how frustrating it is for men to always have to be the one to plan things, even initially, to show how much they are into women. i think if we want to be treated equally, we need to start behaving equally.

  18. Malathi, I hear you. The politics and long list of prerequisites seem like a new version of gharana / x grams of gold / gotra etc. from the (deservedly) much-maligned arranged marriage system. Who stole the soul?

  19. Amita said

    Women definitely don’t obsess about men’s bodies the way men (and women) obsess about women’s bodies. VMN Rao, men may get scrutinized too but being called short (which happens to women too) is on a completely different plane. My short friends can’t do much but buy heels, while I have too many (intelligent, rational) female friends who control their eating because that girl is ANNA’s post is “fat.”

    I agree with the previous poster who said that women get scrutinized more on things they can change, such as weight (though it is debatable how much control one has over weight), but women often do not consider the hypocrisy in saying that men are not scrutinized for the way they look in similar ways. In the age of the metrosexual, I know of many (intelligent, rational) men who workout and diet to extremes to meet the perceived male beauty standard, but they just don’t talk about it because it is not socially acceptable to do so, lest they appear “vain”, “insecure”, or “gay”. Body image problems for men are often ridiculed, but it is an increasing problem, see: http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070730/NEWS/707300446/1001 http://www.keepthedoctoraway.co.uk/Articles/MaleEatingDisorders:OntheRise_547.html

    Short, fat, and bald Indian men have a hell of a time with Indian women, who often reject them with nothing more than a glance. Very similar to how the larger women feel they are treated by men. The difference being that, for large women, the weight and shape of their body is somewhat under their control (and, yes, some people tend to abuse their bodies because they have such control over this). And yes, some Indian women are also short and are called on it. But the height issue is on a totally different plane for men vs. women. Short women rarely get rejected due to this (since few desi men expect most desi women to be tall) whereas men are very often rejected due to height, and women can often wear heels, etc. to compensate for lack of height. On the other hand, short and bald desi men just get rejected with no options.

    I wouldn’t blame men or gays or anyone else for an unrealistic beauty standard, I would take responsibility for taking care of one’s own body to be the healthiest possible version of one’s self. At that point, some people will like it and some people won’t. This applies to men and women both.

    BTW I’m not debating the point that that women are objectified more than men, this is definitely true. However, especially these days, similar pressures are being put upon men without being acknowledged.

  20. no takers for fruit? (although I’m munching baked snacks right now) I’m amused that ‘thin’ and even ‘skinny’ is a compliment here (da US). Back in desland, ‘slim’ was the term (remember the matrimonial ads in ToI and Hindu?)if you wanted to say nice things about a grl. Someone said it upthread that skinny for Indian aunty would be “Somalia-return.” My family was all for “… lagna chahiyee ke khate-peete ghar ki ladki hai” (it should be apparent that the girl is from a family that has enough to eat-drink)

  21. i think if we want to be treated equally, we need to start behaving equally.

    Bingo Yahtzee and Jenga.

  22. hmm….to all the short desi guys out there…i say….join the gym. do the best u can with what youve got!

  23. It’s a tough thing to keep on top of. I find myself drinking a lot of water and eating foods high in protein in order to curb the cravings. I also find that drinking a mug of tea is another way to curb those hunger pangs.

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but if you are feeling hungry and water does not sate you, then you should eat something. Preferably something low-cal and high fiber/energy. I used to have tons of girlfriends who would drink coffee (black) and tea to stave off hunger — that’s not normal!

    VMN Rao, I don’t think anyone is arguing that men aren’t objectified/judged for their image. I just think the argument is that the judgment around women, their attractiveness, and their bodies is ubiquitous.

    Oh, sorry, to add to the “I get tired of cooking” rant above, the worst is trying to cook when the weather is like 90-100 degrees (+ humidity) and your apt doesn’t have air conditioning. It’s times like that that I wish I could make bomb ass cerviche. Mmmmm.

  24. Don’t tell me you are aware of a place called Tambaram??!!

    yeah, I grew up in Madras. Tambaram: MCC, electric train…although it is no longer as far away as it used to be.

  25. are body image issues going to be my children’s concerns?

    From this thread my understanding is that they shouldn’t if they are fit or healthy, but might if they are fat. Except if they embrace it.

    Although, maybe if they’re fat, they have a better chance of staying grounded. Who knows?

  26. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but if you are feeling hungry and water does not sate you, then you should eat something. Preferably something low-cal and high fiber/energy. I used to have tons of girlfriends who would drink coffee (black) and tea to stave off hunger — that’s not normal!

    no, it’s not, esp. when most people go 6 or 7 years between their lunch and dinner. my latest snacks have been plain yoghurt + fruit, or nuts :)

    hmm….to all the short desi guys out there…i say….join the gym. do the best u can with what youve got

    way true. my cousin is relatively short, and has a slim build, so he just starting lifting weights and doing stretches to tone and make his muscls appear longer. but he also did this ridiculous forced stretching routine to become taller – very painful-looking

  27. HMF, I’m with Shalu. Sometimes a drink is just a drink. Also – last year I went out on a date with a 23 year old student (I do not know what I was thinking) and, naturally, I picked up the check (I’m 35). He got all flustered and embarrassed, wanted to pay, but there was no way I was going to have a student pay for an expensive meal for me. His reaction made me rethink things though; it’s happened to me before, with older men too. Men take on the burden of these things themselves, and for the sake of their egos, many women let them do so.

  28. Don’t tell me you are aware of a place called Tambaram??!!
    yeah, I grew up in Madras. Tambaram: MCC, electric train…although it is no longer as far away as it used to be.

    Ye Gods. I was born there and most of my family lives there now. We must be related or something.

  29. once you start cooking on a regular basis, it can become deeply meditative and takes almost the same amount of time as ordering out.

    Absolutely. When I started my cooking blog, I started cooking at least 3-4 times a week, and I’m amazed at how much I look forward to it now. It’s become my way to relax and unwind at the end of the day. And if you plan ahead and do some advance prep work, you really can have things ready to go fairly quickly on a work night.

    Ive heard organic is better for the environment, not necessarily the person.

    Michael Pollan spent 1/4 of his amazing book The Omnivore’s Dilemma on this question. He found that it was better for both, but that buying local food made more difference (and was more affordable) than going by the ‘organic’ label. I really recommend the book, which goes into mass production, large-scale organic production, small/local farming, and hunting/gathering to answer the question ‘what should we eat?’. Brilliant stuff.

    I am becoming WAY too addicted to this blog…

  30. Don’t tell me you are aware of a place called Tambaram??!!
    yeah, I grew up in Madras. Tambaram: MCC, electric train…although it is no longer as far away as it used to be.
    Ye Gods. I was born there and most of my family lives there now. We must be related or something.

    Oh get a room you two! Well, maybe not if you’re related.

  31. Also – last year I went out on a date with a 23 year old student (I do not know what I was thinking) and, naturally, I picked up the check (I’m 35).

    Capital! Please more details. I’m fascinated.

  32. HMF, I’m with Shalu. Sometimes a drink is just a drink

    That’s not what she was saying, she was saying a drink is indicative of “offering to provide” or “making her feel special”. To which I respond with two main points:

    1. Any offer to provide too early in the meeting/process is a sign of supplication (‘I’m not worth it so I have to pay to show you I am’)
    2. from a practical point, useless, as it categorizes you with the 1439 other guys that just tried to pay for her drink.

    As for men taking on the burden themselves, they do so because of misguided attitudes like Shalu’s. And I agree, they shouldn’t, which is why I don’t.

  33. I am becoming WAY too addicted to this blog…

    Eggggggggsellent.

    Smithers, bring me my HGH.

  34. From this thread my understanding is that they shouldn’t if they are fit or healthy, but might if they are fat. Except if they embrace it.

    I don’t know a single woman, fit or fat, who doesn’t have body image issues. Even the most confident.

  35. I just got this fantastic vegan mediterranean cookbook, though, and I’m so excited to use it.

    Camille, the two cookbooks from Millenium (SF’s veg restaurant) have some fantastic recipes, including vegan desserts. Some of them are quite time consuming, though.

  36. no, it’s not, esp. when most people go 6 or 7 years between their lunch and dinner. my latest snacks have been plain yoghurt + fruit, or nuts :)

    Haha, I think going years between eating would definitely be hard to do! I’m teasing a little. My fave snacks are veggies/fruit with a little bit of protein on the side.

    way true. my cousin is relatively short, and has a slim build, so he just starting lifting weights and doing stretches to tone and make his muscls appear longer. but he also did this ridiculous forced stretching routine to become taller – very painful-looking

    I totally agree (minus the stretching routine). I have two “petite” desi guy friends, and when they both hit the gym they started looking amazing (not because they weren’t cute before, but they weren’t necessarily fit). They’re not like huge muscle-y guys, just trim, in shape, brilliant, funny, under 5’5″, and cute.

    Michael Pollan spent 1/4 of his amazing book The Omnivore’s Dilemma on this question.

    I loooooove Michael Pollan. There is some great work being done on local agriculture and food politics at Berkeley, esp in their Geography Department, Dept. of Ag Econ, Journo Dept (thanks Michael Pollan!), and Anthro Dept.

  37. I don’t know a single woman, fit or fat, who doesn’t have body image issues. Even the most confident.

    Are you saying that married women are more comfortable with their bodies than single women, or that no woman you know is free of body image issues?

  38. SARAH wrote:Michael Pollan spent 1/4 of his amazing book The Omnivore’s Dilemma on this question. He found that it was better for both, but that buying local food made more difference (and was more affordable) than going by the ‘organic’ label. I really recommend the book, which goes into mass production, large-scale organic production, small/local farming, and hunting/gathering to answer the question ‘what should we eat?’. Brilliant stuff.

    Thanks that’s a good find and it approaches the topic in terms of my eating patterns. It’s frustrating to have the conversation with non-meat eaters or eco people because they’re always preaching their choices as being the best and only solution. Will pick up a copy.

  39. Human Growth Hormone? For doing what, praytell?

    Well, the “egggggsellent” I used in my last comment reminded me of Montgomery Burns.

    Tthat made me think of Waylon Smithers.

    And that made me want to have Smithers fetch something…and it was the first thing which came to mind since Monty is so old. :)

  40. I don’t know a single woman, fit or fat, who doesn’t have body image issues. Even the most confident. Are you saying that married women are more comfortable with their bodies than single women, or that no woman you know is free of body image issues?

    D’oh! Damn you, ambiguous phrasing! I meant the latter– I don’t know one woman who doesn’t have body issues.

    Eggggggggsellent.

    pictures ANNA in a vest made from real gorilla chest

  41. Rahul #533 said:

    sarah, I completely agree with the food supply problems, but the very recent study seems to have the fundamentally troubling (to us non judgmental liberal PC folks) implication that social engineering plays a big part. Now this absolutely does not mean mocking or demeaning fat people, but it also means that fighting obesity might require a greater emphasis on personal will and, let’s face it, a little bit of “judgment” about fatness.

    **Anyone who has more than passing interest in that study (which many in the popular media have interpreted as “hanging out with fat people will make you fat”) should take some time in checking out the science and methodology of it. One source I found is http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2007/07/oh-what-tangled-web-we-weave-sir-walter.html, but there are many others out there by now. The Slate “voice” tends toward the snarky and contrarian, and is quick to pick up the “look how not PC we are” aspect. Which is fine, for an editorial style, but can lead to kneejerk reactions, and making them look like, well, jerks. The writer of the slate piece on this study (my browser keeps crashing on the slate site, but you can google it) leads off his piece by suggesting, among other things, that maybe more stigma on fat is called for, not less.

    Hmmm. In my experience, stigma and judgment is not only NOT a good foundation for any public-health policy, but it also hasn’t “worked” on fat up to this point. What it does do is make people of all sizes feel more sh!tty about themselves, and feed a multi-BILLION dollar weight-loss industry that has an atrocious “success” rate (most surveys of diets, both commercial and self-conducted, show around a 95% failure rate, for long-term maintenance of any weight loss).

    Gujudude said it:

    One can be skinny and unhealthy, skinny and healthy, fat and healthy, fat and unhealthy.

    Yep. I like to focus on FUNCTIONALITY of the body–flexibility, stamina, height of leaps, etc. (I’m a dancer/choreographer who is fat) OR things like blood sugar levels, blood pressure–and work on improving those measures directly, as I am, through enjoyable movement, conscious training, and eating more veggies, rather than use a measurement that is not to the point.

    Less shame, more dance and more good food. As one of my organization’s new buttons says:

    sw(eat)

    (google Big Moves if you like for more info)

  42. Cupid’s sweetly poisonous dart Has deftly pierced my dhadking heart

    Who is this Cupid guy, and why is he getting in my way? Did he buy you a drink?

  43. There is some great work being done on local agriculture and food politics at Berkeley, esp in their Geography Department, Dept. of Ag Econ, Journo Dept (thanks Michael Pollan!), and Anthro Dept.

    Hmmm, good to know! Maybe it’s Alton Brown’s fault, but I have this itch to become a nutritional anthropologist…

  44. I don’t know a single woman, fit or fat, who doesn’t have body image issues. Even the most confident.

    Totally agree.

    Camille, the two cookbooks from Millenium (SF’s veg restaurant) have some fantastic recipes, including vegan desserts. Some of them are quite time consuming, though.

    Thanks, Rahul! I will check them out. I have the Candle Cafe’s cookbook, but they use a lot of maple syrup in their main courses (I am not into the Umreekan method of adding sugar to savory foods). For deserts, I really like Vegan with a Vengeance, although their stuff is very heavy on the fat/sugar. I just wish I could find more fruit-oriented desserts, to be honest. I’m sure they’re out there, I just need to look harder. For veggies, I like Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

  45. So many naive comments!!! Let Divya help you out:

    For the ladies, ffering to pay is optional. Never go out with a man who expects you to pay UNLESS he is truly without resources. Even then, however, he should be man enough to take you to a modest place (ice cream date, walk in park) that he can afford. I don’t date the poor ones but there is NO SHAME in it. Just don’t let that cheap MD buy his BMW on YOUR NICKEL buy not paying for your dinner. PS If he really though you were hot he would NEVER try to pull this crap (he’d be too scared). See dieting, fashion and sex appeal 101 as needed.

    for DESI Boys: You better pay for the first drink, but paying constantly is too often like losing your quarters in Mr. Wynn’s slot machines… Try, politely touching the girl on the leg (or hair for advanced students). If she likes you she will not flinch. If she’s not interested, she’s involunarily flinch no matter how much she wants to take your hard earned currency (and BELIEVE ME we LIKE TO DO THIS).

    Ok, that’s your lesson. No mean posts for telling these secrets, I am trying to HELP MY SISTERS AND MY BOYZ. : Divya