Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Fat Dumb and Happy?

posted by Jazz at 1/06/2005 01:45:00 PM


Katie, from A Constrained Vision, ponders the question, "Wouldn't things be easier if we all just wore sweat pants and got fat?" and why that just won't work. She quotes a few sources, including gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, who considers why gay men have to look so "fabulous", lesbians don't, and straight men don't need to bother.
If women weren't so damn forgiving of slobbiness, if they weren't prepared to look for the diamond buried in the rough of a man's beer-belly, men might have to shape up a little. The only reason gay men are - on the whole - better turned out than straight men is because they have to appeal to other shallow, beauty-obsessed males to get laid, find a mate, etc. The corollary, of course, are lesbians. Now there are many glamorous lesbiterians, but even the most enthusiastic Sapphic-lover will have to concede that many are not exactly, shall we say, stylish. The reason? They don't have to be to attract other women; and since women find monogamy easier, they also slide into the I'm-married-so-what-the-hell-have-another-pretzel syndrome. When straight women really do insist on only dating hot guys, men will shape up. Until then, it's hopeless.
As part of Katie's response, she makes an offer to all of us:
If all women chose to wear sweatpants, not makeup and heels, and/or if all women held men to a higher standard of beauty, all women would be better off. (Men would not be thrilled, but that's a different problem...) But if I alone decide to take Kipnis's or Sullivan's advice, I get screwed. Each individual woman thinks the same way as I do, so none of us does anything and we're stuck at a "beauty disequilibrium," as Althouse terms it.
I don't know about you, but I've swung to both sides of that dilemma over the course of my life. I went through periods, as a young single man, when I felt I had to be thin and in decent shape, dress by the current accepted styles, etc. (And God help me, that was during the disco era... trust me, you don't want to see pictures if you plan on eating this week.) Then again, I've also gotten more "relaxed" as I aged. I'd like to flatter myself and say that this is because I'm no longer a slave to convention or societal standards. Sadly, I fear the answer is something far closer to "I just really like Cheetos."

What do you think? Are all gay men hot looking? Are lesbians intentionally unattractive? Do single guys just not care because they know women will date them anyway? Can we even make such generalizations and still consider ourselves to be "fair" in any way?