Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

Anchors a-Weigh

I hate trying to lose weight. When I was in high school, I had to try to gain weight and I was embarrassed about my skinny arms. Oh,  those were the days.  But you know what I hate worse? Having someone not only tell me I need to lose weight, but reminding me whenever I eat something that might not be lettuce or a pickle.

Sound familiar? Or am I the only woman married to weight Nazi?Ladies, we all know that negative reinforcement does not work when it comes to losing weight. Heck, even in Weight Watchers I hear they encourage you, even if you haven’t lost an ounce. Do men really think telling us we could stand to lose a few pounds is the key to a happy marriage? In this season’s Mad Men Don Draper’s beautiful, svelte ex-wife is shown (in a fat suit and amazing makeup) as a rather overweight house frau. She’s depressed and she’s unhappy. And they show her eating half of her daughter’s ice cream sundae, after wolfing down her own. Great. Just what we need. The guilty, gluttonous woman.

Men just don’t get it. Well, some do. I know some men who actually prefer zoftig women, but the vast majority want their wives to look like they’re allergic to food. . . with overgrown breasts, of course. And the amazing thing is that the men who criticize us menopausal women (who, quite naturally, gain a few pounds), usually have a spare tire or chin themselves. But they see nothing hypocritical about pummeling us.

I had a  great idea for an ad campaign  for a weight loss program. It had to  resonate with women, because that was their target customer – it’s who they needed to hit with their marketing message. The idea was to create a radio ad campaign using 3-4 women who would use their program and then  discuss it (albeit for just :60 at a time) in a format like “The View.” You know; a bunch of women discussing how easy it was to lose weight with this program. I was sure it would be a great campaign because women are comfortable talking to (and listening to) other women when it comes to diet and weight, right?. But my boss just knew that it should be a man on the program, talking about his ability to lose weight and telling all those women listening how they should follow his lead.  Because who better to sell a weight loss program to  women than some guy? He really thought that was the ticket. And he wouldn’t even let me present my idea to the client.

Oh. They went out of business.

My point has many branches: why is it harder for women to lose weight than for men? Why do men think that discussing our weight will ever end well? And does everyone else strip naked and go to the bathroom before getting on the scale?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 8:16 PM and is filed under Grooming, Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. MICHAEL says:


  2. Judy Herring says:

    No you’re not the only one married or formerly married (in my case) to a weight Nazi! Four days after I gave birth to my second child, I was sitting down to dinner, which I made, across from my former husband, wearing a light pink warm-up suit my mother had given me to wear after I had the baby. My husband asked me why I wasn’t wearing my blue jeans?? I looked at him in amazement! I was holding my daughter in my left arm as I ate my dinner with my right hand. I held up our daughter and said “I just gave birth to her a few days ago and you think I should be wearing my blue jeans” His response was “why not”??? I was a size 12 when I got pregnant for the second time and I gained 21 lbs with the pregnancy – not bad right??? Fortunately, I did not get teary eyed over his question – I was PISSED as we say in New Jersey!! That same person has made remarks about our first born daughter’s weight over the years as well. SHe is a beautiful young woman who stands 5’11”, works out six days a week, just graduated from college, and worked full time the entire time she was in school!! She just bought a car and has a credit score close to 700!! She has taken her father’s weight remarks to heart, but she is realizing she is wonderful just the way she is!! What matters when it comes to our weight is what we feel and think about it. We really don’t need to explain or justify or make up excuses to anyone!!!!

  3. Chris Munson says:

    Times and tastes change with regard to the form most pleasing to the opposite sex. 100 Years ago the muscular male was seen to be too close an icon of the har laboring proletariat, whereas his “hefty” counterpart, (The President, William Howard Taft, weighed in at 300 pounds), was assumed to have made his boodle, and thus presumed to be a good catch. Women who were “full figured” were all the rage, and just recently liberated from the bustle…Think Edwardian fashion. “Muscular” women were assumed to have been forced into this condition as a result of physical labor, while those who were slim, cleasrly were underfed. By the 50’s we had moved to the Marilyn Monroe iconography of desire, and while not Rubenesque, MM remained a “full figured” feature in mens’ fantasies. Curiously if there are male “weight Nazis”, they are abetted by a “Girls’ Gestapo”, who begin tutting and sneering by the time they are in Middle School at their more fleshy sisters. Contemporary images of beauty found in such publications as Cosmopolitan and Vogue continue to highlight the lithe, athletic look, and ectomorphic body images to which you ladies are expected to aspire. Fear not, with the “epidemic of obesity” we are supposedly exposed, a more realistic body type is just over the horizon. We may alsoconsider that as the greying of America increases the number of geezers looking to maintain the illusion of youth with ever older companions marching onward in the economic sense, an older, more pruney, and rotund object of desire may become the norm.

    • Lucille says:

      The “Girls’ Gestapo” that you refer to are a direct result of the pressure put on us by society. Read that as Males, since they’re the ones who control the media (left AND right wing). The Mad Men are still running things, my friend.

  4. Chris Munson says:

    Au Contraire, mon petite Lucille, women have been dissing other women since they began competing to see who could recruit that mate who bested his colleagues in the Mammoth hunt. You console yourself with victimization, when the fault is not in your stars, but yourselves, and perhaps, our biological medula oblongata.

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