Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Picture This

"I am walking down the street in Manhattan, Fifth Avenue in the lower Sixties, women with shopping bags on all sides. I realize with some horror that for the last fifteen blocks I have been counting how many women have better and how many women have worse figures that I do. Did I say fifteen blocks? I meant fifteen years."
Pam Houston, A Little More About Me

It reminds me of class picture day in elementary school, when shortly after passing out plastic, pocket-sized combs, the photographer would line us up by height—shortest to tallest—which would then determine our positioning for the picture, tallest in back.

As women, we gravitate toward a similar process, though this time, the variable’s weight. We size up where we fall in the thin-fat continuum and gently slip into place. Everyone in front of us is thinner and therefore somewhat better and everyone behind us, well, thank god, we’re not there. We know that just as the tallest kids occupied the final row (in grammar school, boys, generally proudly and girls, somewhat sheepishly and slouching), those of us weighing the least will be front-center, while the heaviest will be left behind.

1 comment:

ps22 said...

Wow. I admit that I do think about my weight and exercise, but have never done either of those things. Seriously, did people think that way about class pics? All i wanted to do was stand next to my friends and keep away from the dorkiest kid in class.