The scene: sitting at a restaurant bar with a colleague I just met discussing a project we'll be working on together. The US Open plays on the television above us. . . .
The colleague: a sixty-something-year-old male, who does not specialize (to my awareness) in eating disorders
The dialogue: I mention, at some point, my interest in eating disorders and the book I'm currently writing. Conversation shifts and then returns to the book. He's curious what underlies the problem. "So, why do you think EWHAED?", he asks. I go through my typical spiel, the whole cultural piece, our societal obsession with thinness, how women are valued most for their looks and even more so for their bodies, yada, yada, yada. . . .
He draws my attention to the television screen, where Serena Williams sports one of her usual flashy get-ups. "Now, she's not thin," he says.
"Well, I might not call her skinny, but she's solid. She's pure muscle, and she's certainly thinner than the average American woman."
"She is?" he asks, seemingly surprised.
I provide him some stats on the average American woman (AAW), which last I checked (and this could be slightly different now) has the AAW coming in at 144 pounds.
"144?", he exclaims. "That's fat!"
"See, you're the problem."