Friday, June 25, 2010
What Does Hollywood Have to do with Norman, Oklahoma?
I'm working on a research article about teaching in prison. Spent the afternoon puttering around OU and talking to my qualitative research professor. She's pretty amazing, having taught at the university for 27 years, written several books and generally been a successful woman despite what she called her resistance to the soriority world by becoming a GDL during her first year in college. GDL means Goddamnliberal. And snubbing her affluent roots, turning her back on the small Oklahoma high society cost her dearly in terms of friendships and support, but paid off in the long run for her sanity and self-actualization.
I had to go get a transcript too, so I went to the records office. I was third in line, and as soon as the guy in front of me left, the blonde haired, blue-eyed young lady with very white teeth turned to the carbon copy of herself at the next window and said: "Did you see that cute guy that was just in here? He was totally checking me out. I looked at the carbon copy's customer. She looked at me. We shared this "do they realize we can hear them?" moment- silently- because they could hear us too. The records clerk went on to talk about the guy for another 30 seconds, ignoring me standing right in front of her, the IT guy standing behind her waiting to fix her computer, and apparently, the rest of the world.
A word to the wise: be careful about what you say in public. You never know when it will end up in someone's blog.
It was a long hot day, and I needed to cool off. I'd ridden my little 150cc red, zebra-striped scooter all over in the heat. So I grabbed Luke and we went to the OU pool to jump in the water and swim laps in the sun. Very refreshing. Fun. And too much sun. Too much heat. By the time we got home, I had a little heat exhaustion. Had to drink fluids and nap for about half an hour. I was cranky for the rest of the day.
I noticed the people at the pool, in all stages of life and in all sorts and sizes and shapes of bodies. An older man in medium shape wore long swim trunks that covered from his waist to the knees. They were speedo trunks because he was there to exercise, swim laps and have a low-impact work out. I've seen men with far heavier, decrepit bodies wear far less (think thong speedo) out there working it, but thankfully not today. I saw a couple of moms with typical mom bodies, and they had some cellulite. Still attractive, I say, even if my younger self would object and argue to hide that stuff. I think after the reality of turning 30, just being grateful that all the body parts still work (me, I've got a few physical challenges) and that you can have fun in the sun is more important than the mythological Hollywood image forced upon American women.
Speaking of Hollywood, there was a young woman, maybe 18. She was very thin, and wearing the latest in gold two-piece attire. She was so skinny that her vertebrae stuck out. She weighed may 90 pounds. Lots of women are naturally that thin, but her highly blonded hair was also dull and her entire aspect was one of being simultaneously angry, proud and not wanting to be looked at, despite her repeated walking to and fro around the pool for no apparent reason. It made me feel sad and I hope that she doesn't suffer from an eating disorder the way that 40% of college women do.
Peaches Geldorf is sort of a normal sized woman. She's got some curves and a little going on in the rump section. An English subject, she was visiting in LA and hanging out by the pool, when photos were taken (unflattering ones, of course) and printed in the rags. London's Daily Mail printed some of the photos- both flattering and unflattering- and defended her for her resistance to "beauty" standards- and commended her on her beautiful body and healthy self-image. I've posted a photo so you can judge for yourself.
Yesterday I wore a two-piece swimsuit. For a long time I wouldn't go out in public wearing shorts or a swimsuit or anything that wasn't very flattering. I'm still a little that way. I like to cover things up. But now I do it because something hidden is more tantalizing that just putting things out for the world to see. And I've got some good stuff going on. It's just not for public consumption.
So what did we do? Went to Tarahumaras for Mexican food. And later, much later because we were so stuffed, we went to Sonic for ice cream.