Commenters! This week’s unicorn award for best comment goes to… every last one o’ ya! Why? Because y’all made me think Very Hard Thoughts on a Sunday.
Here is a smattering of observations from readers:
I feel more stigma now for my weight than anything I wear.
… society continues to undermine women, despite our (relatively) newfound career freedom, by severely objectifying our bodies – fatness being the ultimate stigma.
But of course everyone knows that only women who are capable of keeping their bodies in check are capable of anything beyond the most rudimentary tasks. If you can’t keep yourself thin, you can’t do anything, can you? -Nanifay
Turns out, this issue has ACTUAL SCIENCE behind it. Did you know, for example, that overweight women earn less, while overweight men earn more? How is that fair? Answer: It isn’t. No dice if you’re “average weight,” either – you have to be RAIL THIN (25 pounds below the median, to be precise) in order to reap the salary benefits. If I lost 25 pounds, I would no longer be able to support the weight of my own head. But hey, I’d make an extra $16K!
And lest we forget, it’s not just women’s weight that is policed by the patriarchy Gestapo, it’s also our faces:
I recently learned that not wearing make-up was making people thinking of me as less professional. Sad face. – Kate Dino
Sadface indeed. We all know that having wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, flat eyelashes or mussed-up hair is directly correlational to job performance. AMIRITE, ladies? Who here finds it hard to think when her lipstick shade is a bit off? Can I get a hell yeah? Ugh.
Meanwhile, there are definite benefits to looking the part (besides being seen as professional and getting paid more):
Most of my life I’ve tried to appear as anonymous as possible, probably following the example of my Communist Dad who thought you should dress for rallies and demonstrations in such a way as to give you time to dodge a blow while the cop was momentarily unsure if you were a dirty Red or a respectable bystander. – John Burke
Smart thinking, those Red Diaper babies. I get pulled over way less now that I have brown hair instead of pink. A friend of mine quipped that when she quit driving a hippie car, and started strapping a baby in the back, she was harassed a heckuva lot less by the coppers. Although it’s not surprising, it’s still kind of shocking. “Racial profiling” is in the news a lot, but that’s clearly not the only kind of profiling that goes on.
Thanks for being a bunch of smartiepants, guys! And keep those comments coming – I get a wonderful surge of a feeling I can only describe as “validation as a human being” every time someone comments.*
*Unless you are a crazy person who is threatening me ‘cuz darnit, who told ladies they could have opinions anyway?! Then I just mock your poor grasp on grammatical conventions and picture you drowning in a lake of fire.