August 19, 2010
I have been on a dating website (well, several) lately. My good friend calls it the man catalog. What a way to meet men! It’s like going to a smorgasbord with no theme to the cuisine. You pay the buffet price, grab your plate, and start deciding. But when you actually get there, some dishes are food you would never, ever try, others might be very appetizing, but they don’t want to jump on your plate. Still others might be worth a try, but when you attempt to put some on your plate, you discover there is no spoon, no way to get it on there. Eventually you go back to your table with a glass of water and perhaps a pumpernickel roll (and you really don’t like pumpernickel, but it seemed to be the only thing available that wouldn’t make you throw up). And you sit at your table, leaning on your elbows because there’s no one to impress with your impeccable manners, and you pout.
So I decided to re-analyze my dating profile. I asked some experts, one male friend and one female, to assist. The male friend, a self-proclaimed horndog, told me to shorten the description – leave some mystery! – and warned me that one of my photos makes me look like a party girl – “a few shots of tequila and she’ll jump in bed with you”. “But,” I protested, “I am a party girl. Some days, not always. Maybe that’s okay. I don’t want boring guys who never go out.” He raised his eyebrows. My girlfriend said to change my main picture: “Is that a cowboy hat, or a sun hat? It makes you look cheap.” And she advised me to take out the line “I’ll try anything.” Too suggestive. I meant on a date, like rollerblading, country line dancing, opera, whatever….. but I took it out anyway.
I waited (figuratively) by my mailbox, ready for the dozen swains I had emailed to respond. And waited. And waited. (No, I actually don’t have a life, thanks very much for asking!) A careful second look at the men’s dating profiles made me realize two things: Number one, most guys, by the time they shell out the bucks to join a dating website, are desperately looking for that “you complete me” gal, and they are not messing around! (So I took out the part on my profile that said I just ended a serious relationship and was looking for something not so serious! They’ll find that out soon enough, no need to scare them…)
Number two, which brings me to the point of this essay, most guys are looking for skinny chicks! In each and every profile, when you reach the part where they check off all the things they are looking for in a woman, they have not bothered with anything else except the “body type” description. Here they check two boxes: slender, and athletic and toned. Sometimes they also check average. (Average is what I entered, even though I prefer “curvy”. But one of my advisors said, “A beach ball is curvy! Check average.” Well, there ain’t nothing average about me…. But okay.) So here are men who have decided that, no matter what her religion, her job, her drinking habits, her income (for all these are left as “no answer”), she damned well better be thin.
Now, let me describe myself. I range from a size 8 at my slimmest to size 12 when I’m heavier. I am not, have never been, and never will be, tiny. Nor am I huge. But when given the choice to say I’m over or under anyone’s idea of the perfect weight, I will have to confess to being over. I am the very essence of an hourglass, much like the shapely actresses of the 40’s and 50’s. Men used to dig this! Dark guys still do (and so I also dig them!) But white guys, American guys, are conditioned – as are American girls – to think that women should look like Barbie dolls. Damn you, Barbie! Slim, long hair, big boobs. More recently, someone decided they are now allowed to have a little bigger bottom, junk in the trunk, booty (thanks, pop culture!) Women scramble to the lingerie shop, and some to the plastic surgeon, to reach this standard. Okay, so we starve ourselves, pad and lift our meager breasts, buy hair extensions. Let’s look for a moment at the men for whom we are altering our bodies. Are they built like the Ken doll, do they have a distinct jaw, waves of golden hair (ok, his was plastic) and a six-pack of abs? Um, no. Actually not. They have paunchy bellies, thinning, graying hair that they cleverly gel into shape, wrinkles around their eyes. They are doing the best with what they have. Why can’t they allow women to do the same? (Reason number 238 on my “I wanna be an expatriate” list….)
And I realize that I am one of the lucky ones. I’m curvy, but not plus-size. What chance do those poor ladies even have out here? It’s tragic! There is the saying, “beauty is skin deep”. There is also “water seeks its own level.” Am I, perhaps, shooting too high? Am I emailing dudes who are clearly out of my league? Hmmmm….. Maybe they might think so, these men who are seeking skinny Ms. Right. And damn them all for making me defensive about my beautiful shape! I change the search, selecting “Men seeking women”, and check out the competition. I, also, am drawn to the slim women. Rats! Society has corrupted me, too. And if they click on “who has viewed my profile”, I will have some ‘splaining to do!
OK, a final word to men on whether to choose a more voluptuous woman. Note to self: here is where I’m about to get in trouble. Note to my mother: skip this part! Note to scientists: I have not yet properly researched this theory!!! Disclaimers out of the way, here it goes… I have a pet theory that draws a correlation between women who find pleasure and comfort in food (and thus, are on the curvy/heavy side) and …. Um…… other things that they might like to put in their mouths for pleasure. Like, in the sexual way? Do I hafta spell it out for you guys? Whew! Light bulb moment, right? Are you now reconsidering those bigger gals based on my theory? So far my research has not extended to anyplace outside my own realm, mostly because I am having a lot of trouble writing up the proposal for the grant money to conduct my study!
Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go get some new photos taken for my dating profile. Well, maybe after I lose ten pounds….
Yours in the search for the perfect dessert!