Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Body Hatred and the Dangers of High-Waisted Jeans

A lot of people are talking about recent pictures of Jessica Simpson taken at a Chili Cookoff in Florida over the weekend where she was performing some of her newer country material. Erhm, yeah. Musical taste aside, many people on the inter-WEBS have decided to generally be dicks and unleash a torrent of mean-spirited insults on her because of the fact that she has gained some weight. This is like a Choose Your Own Adventure blog entry. If you want to read the empowering, feminist take on the whole thing where I rail against a society of pudgy dudes sitting behind the comfort of a computer screen hurling insults at a woman who is more in shape than they have ever or will ever be, please skip over the next few paragraphs and proceed to the one where I get all Jezebel on everyone.

Here’s my deal…clearly, no one has any right to be as mean towards her as they are being simply because she looks a little rounder. But that out of the way, I have to speak now from the perspective of a top-heavy girl who has long toed the line of developing Oprah-sized batwing upper arms. Let’s put it this way, if you ever see me wearing something sleeveless, you should probably check to make sure I was not just in some freakish farming/combine accident. Some gals just can’t do sleeveless. I am one of them. Summer is a bitch. But if you’re top heavy, you must give up the dream of wearing wife beater tank tops with reckless abandon. Now bearing in mind that I don’t have the kind of upper arms which are flattered by sleeveless tops, I also remember that I have big boobs. Some say that I am lucky. I’m kind of “meh” about them but the cheapskate in me is always happy when I have something given to me that other people have to pay for. Like when you have a hookup for Mavs tickets.

But again, this is a physical attribute that is both a blessing and a curse. One thing that you are precluded from wearing is a sleeveless tank top tucked into high-waisted Mom jeans. Now for most people, that isn’t a big loss. But apparently Jessica Simpson said “Rules Be Damned!” and went ahead and tried to pull off the tank top tucked into high-waisted jeans. And it looked horrible. Now maybe Jessica Simpson doesn’t know the very simple rules of what clothing is flattering to what types of shapes. Though the fact that I know them and, unlike her, do not have my own fashion line seems a bit odd. But there are two safety nets for those people who don’t know these simple rules. #1 is a mirror. Individually, those two items might have looked alright on her. She might have done that thing where she laid them down on the bed and they looked ok draped on the duvet. It happens to the best of us. That’s why we have mirrors. And I am not saying that in some 5th grade insult sort of way. If one were to objectively look at oneself if oneself happened to look like Jessica Simpson did over the weekend in that outfit, oneself would certainly realize that the outfit was not flattering to oneself.

The second and most important (and presumably highly paid) safety net which catastrophically failed, double bird strike style, for her was the fact that I assume she has a stylist that she pays not only to put her onstage outfits together but to physically stop her from wearing something atrocious and unflattering. If someone gets paid to clothe her and has not received their pink slip after this weekend, I would like to submit my resume for some stylist positions.

But none of this excuses the vitriol and mean-spirited insults that have been hurled her way since the pictures came out. We’ve all worn something that in the mirror, in our heads or in the reflection of passing patrol car windows looked pretty good to us. Then we see a picture and realize that we were wrong. Lesson learned. Imagine now if those pictures were leered at and mocked by pale, bald, overweight loners whose only fleeting moments of superiority come from scoffing at the untoned bodies of people that they will never know and whose success they can never emulate. Clearly, I’m no huge Jessica Simpson fan. But I am a fan of anyone who can take a meh singing voice and a lack of acting ability and spin it into a recording career, a clothing and shoe line and fragrance and skin care deals which are worth millions. I’m assuming that few, if any, of the people who have cracked jokes about her weight have had as much success in the business world as she has. I’d like to do a BMI-to BMI comparison of her to her critics. In a country where over 50% of the population are considered obese, it takes real guts to point out someone’s love handles or double chins from the well-respected pulpit of gossip site message boards. God Bless America, you fabulous bunch of fatties.

1 comment:

MCBias said...

Jessica has made herself a career despite everyone thinking she's dumb. It actually sounds like she feels more comfortable with herself since dating Romo, and thus took one chance too many. Still, though, what an awkward trade-off--either you feel terrible about yourself, so you exercise like crazy to look great; or it seems that if you're comfortable with yourself, you start looking more like a normal person and don't look as good. Maybe that's a false trade-off, but it seems like that is what is going on.