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. 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).

    I prefer the hand on the small of the back especially if you’re side to side. If the woman doesn’t move away, then a gentle stroking of the back communicates, this isn’t about being friends.

  2. Camille said

    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.

    Well I do think another point should be made here, which is that we will probably never see this type of discussion about body image and men because it is not socially acceptable for short/fat/bald men to complain about being judged by their looks and rejected by women. As evidenced by prior threads, he will likely be ignored, ridiculed, told to hit the gym, or told to get his game on. It’s definitely not the social norm for men to discuss such things, so I don’t know if we have a fair representation of just how ubiquitous this issue is for men. However, many men have mentioned this issue in private.

  3. aren’t you buying sex here?

    In the dating world, men tend to be “buy-sexual”.

  4. aren’t you buying sex here?

    Sex is the sweetener. At some level I am paying for companionship, future long term relationship prospect and yes sex. Without any action, its hard to keep forking out money after a few dates as far as I am concerned.

  5. I think all non-english words here should always carry a translation :)

    Agreed.

    Why would you offer to pay if you don’t actually want the guy to take you up on the offer? That seems like kind of a shitty thing to do.

  6. in our community, the men usually stay with one group, while the women marry into a family that belongs to another group, and then take on that gothram (no idea how to explain this term).

    Endogamy?

  7. To add nuance to Rahul’s comment 626: The progeny of Shiva/Vishnu devotee combo can wear the tilak at a rakish 45 degree angle. That’s what I do to my sons’ hapless foreheads. It enrages the elders and confuses the children.

  8. Unless there is sex involved its ridiculous to expect the man to keep paying after the second date.

    LOL – dude….

    yeah. a lot of grls have no interest in womens lib. dont get me wrong. everyone likes the benefits of working, equality etc. but…a lot of people would never give up the benefits of inequality.

    Pinda got it right, as did HMF

  9. That’s what I do to my sons’ hapless foreheads. It enrages the elders and confuses the children.

    Normally, I’d squeal “PICTURES!”…but since it’s you, illustrations would be just as, if not even more delightful to behold. ;)

  10. At some level I am paying for companionship, future long term relationship prospect and yes sex

    Is that really the way you are prioritizing things, is sex really number 3?

  11. For people who need a visual. Iyengar naamam Iyer vibuthi pattai

    That second link went to a page that said “No hotlinks” until I refreshed it. This may be the first time anybody has called a vibhuthi pattai hot.

  12. I clarified my point to ak in #625. I apologize for the misunderstanding..I wrote it wrong.

    I didnt see it until I clicked in mine.

    Why would you offer to pay if you don’t actually want the guy to take you up on the offer? That seems like kind of a shitty thing to do.

    Thank you Camille, as everyone says they value honesty in others, they should value it in themselves as well.

    VMN:

    It’s definitely not the social norm for men to discuss such things, so I don’t know if we have a fair representation of just how ubiquitous this issue is for men

    I think you rock man. and you’re totally on point, many times I feel most women think men pop out of their mothers wombs 25 years old, with degrees and steady paychecks, without childhoods or social pressures to look a certain way, act a certain way, do certain things.. etc..

  13. $hit…maybe this is a bad idea….this is sounding complicated.

    you might find a sympathetic female audience at the meet-up, esp. if you refer back to your comments on the thread ;)

  14. in our community, the men usually stay with one group, while the women marry into a family that belongs to another group, and then take on that gothram (no idea how to explain this term).
    Endogamy?

    You can find very detailed info here.

    The short version, people from the same gothra are assumed to be related (of the same clan). So marriages within the clan are not favored. Again this is a very orthodox way of looking at things. People are more lax now.

  15. Shalu and DQ, not impressed. PindaUSA #640 was precise and HMF graphic in their details about why.

    The progeny of Shiva/Vishnu devotee combo can wear the tilak at a rakish 45 degree angle. That’s what I do to my sons’ hapless foreheads. It enrages the elders and confuses the children.

    Do you pair it with a hat too? The women love a jaunty bowler. Also, why does tilak get precedence in a Shiva/Vishnu combo? Why not a checkerboard of namam and pattai? Or a hybrid?

  16. Actually, I think that “gothram” is kind of like a clan affiliation — the extended family on the father’s side are “pangali” and share some ancestors. I don’t think that gothram has anything to do with Iyers or Iyengars / the Saivaite or Vaishnavite traditions; my family’s gothram is Vatulam, and though I am Iyengar, I’m pretty sure that there are Iyers who are of the same gothram.

    As for the puja in which folks promise to worship Vishnu (and the avatars) but no other god, I think it’s called a “bharanyasam,” which is preceded by “samasrayanam,” in which a devote enters into Vishnu’s following. I’m not sure if the above is limited to Ahobila Mutt disciples, but that’s all I know since that’s the affiliation of my family.

  17. People are more lax now.

    Yes, so lax that some of them consider Mallu girls “close enough”. ;)

    [Camille, I heart you more!]

  18. Is that really the way you are prioritizing things, is sex really number 3?

    When you go on the first date, companionship is guaranteed and sex mostly unlikely. So on the first two or three dates the only thing that is guaranteed is companionship and the prospect of something long term.

  19. you might find a sympathetic female audience at the meet-up, esp. if you refer back to your comments on the thread ;)

    What’s even more interesting than ‘sepia destiny’ is getting together with someone, then finding out later you both posted on here, and say disagreed vehemently on some things.. I guess that’s called ‘sepia holy shit’

  20. Actually, I think that “gothram” is kind of like a clan affiliation

    gothram refers to some sort of sage from whom you descended, I think. You are not supposed to marry in-gothram, the pseudo-scientific basis being that it could lead to inbreeding. As always, it descends through the male line, and I think the wife takes her husband’s gothram. (don’t know if he has to buy her a drink to compel her to do this).

  21. anyone ever been to a korean club… i used to go with friends when i lived in LA. they have this interesting practice–if you have a imbalanced sex ratio (more men than women–these clubs are very hetero-normative), you can tip the waitress and she’ll bring over an extra woman or women from a table that’s imbalanced the other way. You offer her a small glass of soju, and chat–if she’s interested, she sips the soju and stays–if she isn’t interested, she just chats briefly and then returns to her original table. it’s called “booking”

  22. I also agree with Shalu that my opinion of a man goes down when he too easily accepts my offer to pay

    This is utter bullshit. If one is being mature and honest, and if YOU, the female offers and the guy easily accepts that, then take full responsibility for your words. If you’re not going to pay, then don’t offer. It’s as simple as that. Offering to pay just to be ‘nice’, but not really backing it up with honest intentions is deceptive and playing games.

    It’s actually refreshing to most dudes I know who meet a woman that is confident, past the mid*%$# games, and can actually focus on communicating well each other. I used to like to pay, but if a woman made a confident pitch of wanting to pay half (or full, asking I take the bill next time), I accepted with a smile and a sincere thank you.

  23. i was watching an episode of The Office yesterday where Jim asks Ryan if he’s interested in Mindy Kaling’s character, the ditzy, talkative Kelly Kapoor. Ryan responds to Jim’s query by saying, “Sure, if you like a lil junk in the tru…” and then trails off. I loved that! I thought of this post and SM immediately:)

  24. That second link went to a page that said “No hotlinks” until I refreshed it. This may be the first time anybody has called a vibhuthi pattai hot.

    Nope, I think this was the first time. It was the first google hit on vibuthi pattai.

  25. HMF:

    I wouldn’t let a man pay whose circumstances were far worse off than mine. That’s just common decency. However – if we’re on par, and I offer to pay on the first couple of dates, and he accepts, I do get turned off. There’s no inconsistency there. I have been on dates (not first or second, but later) when it would have been reasonable for me to pay, and the man got embarrassed.

    The issue’s nuanced by issues of respective salaries, situations etc., I’ll admit, as well as by the stage the relationship is in.

  26. [Camille, I heart you more!]

    beam!

    What’s even more interesting than ‘sepia destiny’ is getting together with someone, then finding out later you both posted on here, and say disagreed vehemently on some things.. I guess that’s called ‘sepia holy shit’

    I actually think I’d be secretly horrified, depending on what the disagreement was about. :)

    Oh, and no worries re: honesty. I just don’t understand the whole concept of games in dating/hooking up. I mean, I do think there are things that “make sense” or are “too forward,” but offering something and not meaning it isn’t cool in my book. What do I know, though? I’m someone who doesn’t need an expensive dinner to feel special. I’d feel much more special if someone took me to do something they knew I would love, regardless of whether it was expensive or affordable. Sorry, I’ll stop my self-reverie.

  27. the pseudo-scientific basis being that it could lead to inbreeding.

    i like hindus’ views on inbreeding – in TN, children of same-sex siblings are not allowed to marry, but those of opposite gender siblings are, the logic being that women inherit all their genes from their mothers, while boys get the same from their fathers – wtf? (i accept the idea that this is true to some extent, but obviously not categorically for all genetic traits). one cousin even told me that i wasn’t really my maternal grandfather’s relative, genetically speaking…

  28. Actually, I think that “gothram” is kind of like a clan affiliation — the extended family on the father’s side are “pangali” and share some ancestors. I don’t think that gothram has anything to do with Iyers or Iyengars / the Saivaite or Vaishnavite traditions; my family’s gothram is Vatulam, and though I am Iyengar, I’m pretty sure that there are Iyers who are of the same gothram.

    You might find this very interesting (if you have not already seen it).

  29. That’s what muralimannered says when he takes one of his muscled muses home for the night. He calls his headboard Iraq, btw.

    Zing me while i’m at work and can’t respond, will ye!!!!

    I wish i had a headboard Rahul, but one night, blinded by the vascularity of a particular muse’s exquisitely developed gluteus maximus, I accidentally shattered it with the right trapezius.

    all terrible jokes aside, I’m a child of a generations-long shaivite, SL Tam family (that only converted to an ecumenical view in the previous generation), so I’d hardly be ‘grounded’ or confident enough to sweep such amazons off their feet.

    don’t worry people, you too can become a spiritual successor of Yogaswami (pronounced, “Yo-grrrr swami”) too! And live in Kauai!

    Now, in the immortal and spiritually revealing words of learned Yogaswami, Summa Irru!

  30. i like hindus’ views on inbreeding – in TN, children of same-sex siblings are not allowed to marry, but those of opposite gender siblings are, the logic being that women inherit all their genes from their mothers, while boys get the same from their fathers – wtf? (i accept the idea that this is true to some extent, but obviously not categorically for all genetic traits). one cousin even told me that i wasn’t really my maternal grandfather’s relative, genetically speaking…

    i had a distant cousin who married her cousin talking about it, and my mom knowing my interested in genetics brought it to my attention. this cousin said that only “blood groups matter.” so i drew out sewall wright’s coefficient of relationship and explained how they can be elucidated by pedigrees.

  31. I suspect based on past threads that some sort of Gothram’s Law applies to Sepia Mutiny. As a thread grows in length, the probability of someone mentioning gothram asymptotically approaches one, excluding deliberate self-references to Gothram’s Law.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

    and others

  32. i like hindus’ views on inbreeding

    Not just Hindus, but also among TN Christians the same practice. So, a cultural, rather than religious, practice.

    I wonder if how property rights were handed down had anything to do with this…not sure. I am just throwing it out; need to work out in my head the scheme of how property would stay in the family if one married in this side as opposed to that side of family

  33. I wish to survey the South Asian readers of this blog on their views on heterosexual anal coitus. Will this post be a good place?

    Thanks

  34. Melissa, Allow me. 2 subspecies of humans in Tamil Nadu :Iyer sapiens and Iyengar sapiens , called Iyers and Iyengars for short.

    Habitat: originally the south of India but have been spotted in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in increasing numbers.

    Food: Sambaar, rasam, thayir saadam .Iyengars also specially partial to Puliyodhare( Tamarin rice) ( Hence :P uliyogare in the USA- see above)

    Likes: Educational degrees, Carnatic music ,Bharata Natyam ,long poojas, longer weddings,simple living Dislikes: Non-vegetarian food, miniskirts, North Indians( tend to identify everyone North of the Vindhya mountains as North Indians), free thinking
    Interesting facts: Each one – Iyer and Iyengar thinks they are superior to the other.Long years ago, they killed each other .Now they marry each other ( “Anything better than a Northie!”)

    Iyers rule the roost and Iyengars come a poor second.

    Rahul: In the words of the immortal Captain Haddock”Sometimes you make my ancestor’s fighting blood boil…”

  35. So Shalu and I are getting far more flack for saying that a guy who can but doesn’t pay for the first drink/date is unimpressive than Al Chutiya is for saying that he’ll only pay if he gets sex too. And you guys are crying patriarchy at ME? Gimme a break. As for the offer to pay being disingenuous, it is NOT. I will pay, and have paid, under such circumstances (when a guy is well able to pay for a first date, but easily accepts my offer). Does a guy who does this impress me? NO WAY. Somehow, this feeling of being ‘unimpressed’ is more criminal to the guys on this board than Al Chutiya’s reduction of his dates to whores. SURPRISE SURPRISE.

  36. i like hindus’ views on inbreeding – in TN, children of same-sex siblings are not allowed to marry, but those of opposite gender siblings are, the logic being that women inherit all their genes from their mothers, while boys get the same from their fathers – wtf? (

    Dravidian system uses modulo-2 arithmetic to decide marriageability marryability ability to marry someone.

    That aside, it is still a WTF.

  37. i guess i just roll with an older married crowd. i need to change that…

    260 Puliogre in da USA: I hear ya homey! Looks like I have the same problem. Time to change that…!

  38. Al_Chutiya_for_debauchery

    I went on a date last week (it was the third date with the same girl in succession) and I was secretly hoping throughout dinner that she would pay at least for her half. Its very expensive to go to nice places and women who can easily pay need to start shelling out the money. Unless there is sex involved its ridiculous to expect the man to keep paying after the second date.

    You had me until “unless there is sex involved”.

    I was going to say that I agree that a woman should agree to pay for a date around Date 2-3…it’s only courteous. Certainly by Date 3 I would feel bad that the guy is paying the whole time. I think it’s just the initial date that I have expectations of.

    ak, you’re absolutely right. Guys need to be made to feel special too..would it help to buy you flowers?

    I’m not saying any of this is right, and all the guys on here are free to pay/do whatever they want on dates. I’m only speaking on behalf of my women friends and how they feel. I wonder if it’s just a Southern thing… However, I think it goes without saying that there’s no way to go wrong with treating a woman on a first date.

  39. Geez, 600+ posts. It looks like if I want to actually participate in a comment thread, I need to be here the moment the post is made. Well, I just wanted to add that the woman in the picture is hot, and after years of ignoring my instincts and going with girls who don’t match that body type, I’m thinking it’s time to do this. And in case I change my mind, I’m posting this anonymously. :)

  40. Long years ago, they killed each other .Now they marry each other

    Prolonging the suffering by other means?

    I kid, I kid…

  41. I wish to survey the South Asian readers of this blog on their views on heterosexual anal coitus. Will this post be a good place?

    This is by far the best comment.

    As for the offer to pay being disingenuous, it is NOT. I will pay, and have paid, under such circumstances (when a guy is well able to pay for a first date, but easily accepts my offer).

    DQ, Shalu, I’m not trying to dog on either of you. I was just taking issue with Shalu’s comment that she sometimes feels disappointed when a guy takes her up on her offer to split the bill. I understand what she’s saying, but it seems a little unfair to offer if it’s then going to count against a guy, you know?

  42. So Shalu and I are getting far more flack for saying that a guy who can but doesn’t pay for the first drink/date is unimpressive than Al Chutiya is for saying that he’ll only pay if he gets sex too.

    couldn’t we all just skirt the issue by not going to bars?

    Seriously, i’ve been meaning to recruit brown people to give the jam band scene a hot brown injection akin to Bhut Jolokia and they share most of their drugs willingly.

    You never run into a, “should i buy the quarter ounce this time…or should I let Moon Unit do it…i wonder…” situation.

    just kidding kiddos–I would never encourage you to stop subsidizing Mallya, Busch and Daniels.

  43. All this talk about Iyers, Iyengars, Saivites, Vaishnavites, etc. needs a fine twist. Ok, you understand Iyers wear a vibhuti and Iyengars wear a naman, right? Here’s something to prove how all-embracing and all-accepting these folks can get…

    A few villages in Palakkad (which you must know is now in Kerala) are called “nama-Iyers” in that they are Iyers but wear a namam. They conduct their rituals like most other Palakkad Iyers but have some twists, including the wearing of a namam instead of vibhuti, to claim adherence to Vaishnavism.

    I happen to be born into one such family. With a dad from Kerala and a mom from Mysore, when folks ask me: are you Iyer or Iyengar? Tamil or Kannadiga or Malayalee? I answer: ALL!

  44. GujuDude,

    What’s utter bullshit is your distortion of my post. I did not say I had no intention of paying. If I offer and it’s accepted, I’ll pay. However, if the man is well able to pay, perhaps makes a bigger salary than me, and it’s a first/second date – yeah, I get turned off. In an earlier comment, I pointed out a case where I refused to allow the person to pay because he was young and a student. I once literally kept a guy who was a lot younger and an artist. I have no issues with shelling out money. But I strongly dislike petty-minded, well-off men who use feminism as an excuse to treat their dates shabbily. It seems, from this board, that there is NO DEARTH OF SUCH SCROOGES.

  45. ak, you’re absolutely right. Guys need to be made to feel special too..would it help to buy you flowers?

    shalu, i appreciate the offer – cala lillies, peonies, and orchids are best:) but if it’s an effort to make a guy feel special, it would be wasted on me, as i am not one ;)

  46. Why not a checkerboard of namam and pattai? Or a hybrid?

    Because I’m a tamebram, not tambram. Also, I specialise in petty crime. Nothing that would inspire tandava from my long suffering Shaivite wife.

    Normally, I’d squeal “PICTURES!”…but since it’s you, illustrations would be just as, if not even more delightful to behold. ;)

    Thanks, but I don’t leave evidence =)