Back Fat

When I was in college – thinking I was journalism bound (Cs in my Intro class proved to convince me otherwise) I applied for an editorial position at the newspaper I eventually became a copy editor for. Phew! Did you get through that sentence? Anyways – my sample piece for the editorial application was about the women on campus not wearing the correct size of pants. Of anything, really. I didn’t know that editorials had to be based on some sort of research so what I turned in was basically a large, hilariously ranting blog entry. I didn’t even know what a blog was at that point. Wrong audience is what I’m saying. I wish I had it on this computer but I don’t know where it went. All I remember for it is the phrase “Cascading back fat” and that everyone I showed it to thought it was really funny and really spot on because holy jesus people! Pull your two sizes too small jeans up and OVER the love handles, don’t just pinch them out creating the well described muffin top!

Fast forward 6 years later and I’m at work la di da, doing my thing when Maris texts me “You would not BELIEVE the back fat spilling out of the girl’s shirt in front of me.”

I have to admit (because I am now older and gentler) my first thought was “oh come ON maris, it can’t be that bad, stop being so judgmental!” I did. I had that thought. And I went about my busy food service, bakery ways. And then a few minutes later, that crafty maris sends me a picture text. I think my mouth actually hit the counter. I think the entire room heard my intake of breath. I’m pretty sure I started laughing immediately and not more than twenty seconds later went running to the back to show my co worker because ladies and gentlemen this is no ordinary back fat scenario.

My first response was “It’s like a BREAST is attached to her back!” my next response “WHY DOESN’T SOMEONE TELL HER NEVER TO WEAR THAT SHIRT EVER AGAIN!”

I have been called insensitive and judgmental, yes. But sometimes you just have to laugh at the ridiculousness of life, the human body, and lumps of fat that resemble boobs on someone elses back. Otherwise, is life really worth living?

5 thoughts on “Back Fat”

  1. i'm a terrible person, but in my defense, i felt like it was staring at me for the entire class. also, there were moments when it looked like it was going to try to secede from the rest of her body…

  2. although this apparent excess in body weight may seem abhorrent to you and to the modern world, when one examines trends in standards of physical beauty, the shape itself has waned significantly. certainly, the ideal woman of the 16th century possessed a figure that more closely resembles the photographed student above than it does the figure of the average american girl who abstains from eating food derided by interesting documentaries. but, into the elizabethan age and then into industrialization, the curvaceous standard endured. it wasn't until after world war I that our western venus began to shed some pounds. perhaps it began with the flapper sensation, and the perpetuation of the feminist movement in post war propaganda- rosie the riveter, for instance- the able bodied woman. but marilyn monroe and the false comfort of the cold war brought back the "healthy" girl standard, but this time it took only a decade of civil rights and revolutions in modern thought to discern her kind of beauty as limited and sheltered, perhaps best embodied ( no pun ) by betty friedan's famous text, "the feminine mystique" after which came a radically different aesthetic, you see, the pared down life of the folksy woman who is acquainted with a more global and acetic view of the space she occupies.
    let us examine now, the last thirty years of the past century, when thinness was complicated, as the initial liberation of the body from the curvy bodice to the twiggy mentality started to loop back on itself and turn into a control mechanism as well. into the 80's and 90's the media representation of women (more immediately accessible than ever before) began to contribute directly to raggedly low self esteem in young women who were unable to fit the image of the american supermodel while also participating in a consumerist culture. this is when we encounter a surge in "made for tv" movies about anorexia and bulimia and ex-cast members from 90210. only very briefly, and perhaps on a subcultural level, the "booty" has made a comeback, but it is also regarded as tasteless and perhaps even animalistic by the mainstream (as illustrated by sir mix-a-lot's poignant epigraph spoken by two disgusted white girl personas in "baby got back").

    so basically. you only thought that was gross because you're a blind product of your convoluted culture la la la la goodbye.

  3. To Anonymous:

    At no point did anyone say that this body shape is abhorrent. Actually, none of us are stick thin, and we love the fact that we are all different and not obssessed with being stick thin. As long as you are healthy and get some exercise (again, health reasons), I think (as does Lauren, per many many conversations over the years) you shoud love the way you look.

    That being said, it seems that you have missed the entire part of this (lighthearted) blog. The point was, regardless of this girl's body shape, the shirt was less than flattering, which resulted in some giggles.

    While it has been interesting to read these long comments, and various takes on american culture, literature, etc, I find it interesting that you are leaving these very opinionated statements anonymously. If you were confident in your opinions, perhaps you wouldn't be hiding behind the veil of the internet.

  4. ma'am forgive me but the sentiment of this account was, as far as i could tell, a torrent of abhorrent. a slew of eww, a sneeze of tease, an encasement of abasement, an epidemic of polemic! all derived from some loosely hanging fabric on that innocent note-taker.

    but far more interesting is this question of anonymity and the internet. i realize i had not introduced myself! my name is dolphin. nice to meet you.

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