Friday, May 29, 2009

You can't fake thin

I have learned in my almost 40 years how to fake a lot of things. In academic circles you can quickly learn how to fake intelligence-use a few key buzz words, mention a few good books-and you’re golden. You can fake an accent. You can fake wealth. I live in an affluent area. I know the key to faking wealth (at least in my neck of the woods). You need the right school magnet on your bumper, a fresh pedicure, an expensive tennis outfit, a new car-detailed weekly, throw in expensive haircut, and busy, attractive kids and voila-fake wealth. You can fake who you know. You can fake talent. You can fake love. You can fake success. You can fake almost anything-but you can’t fake thin.

Thus I have decided that where I live-thin is the one true currency for “belonging.” I was thinking about this at a birthday party I attended recently. I felt oddly out of place as I sat amongst the other moms. Although I adore where I live for a variety of reasons, I have never really felt like I fit in. What was it….my hair was cute, shoes (just causal enough to show I didn’t care –but looked great anyway), my toes were freshly pedi-ed, clothes-check, nice car-check, well dressed kid-check, right school-check…..what the heck could it be….I thought some more….then as I crammed another bite of ice-cream cake into my mouth I noticed…not an ounce of cellulite in the room (oh excluding mine). These women were thin-way thinner than the average women. I am not talking size 6 thin-I’m talking if Kate Moss had three kids thin. Then I thought back…yes that is it….nearly everyone in this town is pencil thin. The more expensive the neighborhood-the thinner the women.

We were recently on vacation and it rained for days-in desperation we took the kids to a local indoor kids play area-I was startled by what I saw. The place was full of average and large sized women. I was a little taken aback-until my kids started fighting and I forgot all about it. I don’t get out of town much. My tony suburb is where I spend about 95% of my time. It tends to skew my image of reality. And these women are not reality. I mean good for them. Who wouldn’t want to be a size 2. But sadly I get the distinct feeling they aren’t thin because they are just super health conscious-but because e they too have come to understand that if they want to be a part of the group they must be emaciated. It is a little sad that women have such poor self images that they feel they can’t belong unless they have a great body-and it is a little sad that some days I wish I were just like them.