You get to do a lot of people-watching when you have to wait in a grocery line-up for 30 minutes. You also get to read all the headlines on the magazines in those racks by the cash registers. I rather enjoy reading the gossipy titles of articles I’m not that interested in, often regarding people I’ve never even heard of. It’s the literary equivalent of a potato chip. Some of the titles are so tantalizing, even though the contents are undoubtedly fluffier than cotton candy.
While in the interminable line-up today (WHY did I go grocery shopping on a holiday Monday?!) one headline seemed to smack me upside the head:
“GET RID OF EMBARRASSING BACK AND BELLY BULGES”
Guess what? I was at a party last week and was asked by two people if I was pregnant. (I’m not, just in case you wondered.) Clearly, the clothes that I was wearing combined with the delicious mom-cooked supper I had eaten combined to create quite the belly bulge. Happily, I’m comfortable enough in my own skin that I wasn’t mortified. In fact, I was highly amused.
Okay, maybe I should exercise a bit more — that’s true for most of us. But telling me that my totally normal-looking body should embarrass me? Is infuriating.
There’s no real point to this little rant. We’ve all seen this headline and its five thousand and one variants. And I’m certainly vain enough that, yes, I do spend time on my hair and makeup (not to mention clothes and jewellery).
But, to me, this kind of headline just sounds like bullying. It makes me want to scream right back,
“STOP MAKING MY GIRLFRIENDS FEEL BAD, JERK!”
Hmm, if only problems could be solved by screaming, I’d have the whole world fixed by now.