I sat in the bar drinking a pint of Sam Adam’s Boston Lager when my friend Jim showed up and informed me that he had just broken up with his girlfriend. “What happened?” I asked, “Wasn’t everything going okay with you and Julie?”
“It was until about a week ago,” Jim exclaimed. “But then she told me her body fat percentage jumped to 22%. TWENTY-TWO PERCENT! This whole time she had these nice abs and skinny thighs, but then she just let herself go over the holidays and she’s only going to the gym 3 times per week on average now.”
“Oh, man, I’m sorry. I just saw her the other day too, I had no idea.”
“Yeah I know. She’s been wearing baggy shirts and yoga pants to hide it. But you can only hide something like that so long,” Jim said as he shook his head.
“Let me buy you a drink bro,” I said as the bartender made his way over to us.
“Girl got fat, huh?” the bartender asked Jim. “Sorry, I couldn’t help but over hear. This round’s on the house,” he said while he poured Jim a beer. “I know how that goes. Same thing happened to my ex-wife. It was too bad. I wanted to stay together, you know, for the kids’ sake, but after our third kid she just couldn’t pull her body back together. It’s really a shame.”
“That’s brutal bro,” I told him, “I feel like I should be buying you a drink.”
“Oh, it’s no big deal, really. Traded her in for a new model if you know what I mean,” the bartender said smirking.
We all started to laugh out loud as Jim I raised our drinks for a toast.
“Here’s to new models.”
This conversation never took place.
As far as I know, it never does take place. Not in the real world. At least not in Non Pompousville, where it is perfectly okay to be imperfect. I think a lot of women think that men think like the guys in the fake story above. Honestly, the vast majority of guys do not think like that.
But if we look at magazine covers and what Hollywood stars look like, we are essentially told that uber thin is the way to look. Many women fixate on this image of what a woman’s body is supposed to look like, so much to the point that we end up with consequences such as eating disorders, poor self-image, and lights-off sex. Not cool.
At the time of writing this I’ve only been a guy for 35 years, and honestly I can say that there are is not one type of body type or body composition that men prefer. In working as a construction worker, bartender, and a personal trainer, I have heard all kinds of details (sometimes TMI details) of men’s and women’s lives – especially in my bartending days. In the thousands of conversations I have had with men, I rarely heard men faulting women for not being perfect. Of the few that were uber-picky and critical about body type, they weren’t exactly magazine cover models themselves.
I think we (men and women) should celebrate being fit, strong, healthy, over ripped and skinny. Not that we can’t celebrate being ripped too. But let’s not feel like we are any less of a person and can’t feel sexy if we do not look like an airbrushed model.
What do you think?