LADIES, WHEN YOU see a woman in Muslim head-coverings, do you feel guilty? I so do. They're the ones being freaks acting like the body is shameful, but somehow I always feel the shame.
I was out running the other day (okay real talk I was walking by then; I can't run more than three minutes), wearing a wifebeater and Old Navy knockoffs of Lululemon capris and soaked in unearned perspiration. And this Orthodox Jewgirl is walking toward me. (Her Orthodox Jewgirl status was made conveniently evident by both her attire and the fact that she was heading right for a synagogue.) As she got closer, I realized that not only was she averting her gaze from the impurity that was sweaty, meagerly-clothed Me, she was actually shielding her eyes with her hand! Lest the sin corrupt her holy soul.
It didn't help my case in the courtroom of my self-loathing mind that I was, at that moment, listening to Pitbull, he who says things like:
I party like a rockstar
Look like a movie star
Play like an all-star
Fuck like a porn star
So yeah. I felt whorish and it hurt my feelings.
IN RECENT YEARS I have tried to trod a path of embracing whatever personal hotness I may possess, having prior pursued a path of sweats and misery. And shouldn't it be thus? For surely the world is better when we're all doing our best selves. In looks, and all things.
The danger of course is that hotness suggests a dearth of other qualities. It somehow signals that one cannot be, for example, serious or tender-hearted. This is true for women, especially. I'd venture to say, too, that to look good in a certain way--non-dainty, and without Tina Fey glasses--is particularly damning. Genetic fate decreed the variety of attractiveness available to me to be (in Mad Men terms) less pretty Peggy, more jiggly Joan. With implications.
Hotness also connotes invincibility. Which could be a useful trick. Or troublesome.
Jiggly Joan. Things aren't working out for her last I checked.
I HOPE I sound smart, and that if I sound smart you won't suppose I look bad. And I further hope that if you believe I look good, after a jiggly fashion, you won't disbelieve me a decent person.