Friday, September 10, 2010

She Casts a Long Shadow

So, Angelina Jolie says she doesn’t have many friends. Frankly, I’m not surprised. Not that I have any reason to doubt that she’s a worthy human being. She seems to be pretty alright gal. But, indisputably, she’s gorgeous. And let’s face it, most women have trouble being friends with really gorgeous women. It’s one of the less lovable things about us. If to men the words “she’s got a really great personality” are code for “she’s about as attractive as a bowl of vanilla pudding,” then to women, it should probably mean “she’s really gorgeous, but don’t hold that against her.” It’s atavistic. It’s lizard brain territory. It’s basic instinct. Gorgeous women are out to steal your man. Even if she isn’t. Even if she wouldn’t ever. Even if you don’t have a man to steal. We’ll have friends who are smarter, funnier, richer, more creative. But prettier? That’s a toughy.

One time I went to the beach with a friend, who I knew was pretty – tall, platinum blond, jaw line that will never age. But when she came out of the bathroom in a hot pink bikini, my very first thought was “I’m a really, really good person for being friends with you.” I wouldn’t say I was jealous. I’d just say that, even without her making an effort, I look like a sack of potatoes next to her. It’s kind of demoralizing. I don’t discriminate against friends who are better looking than me. It’s just harder to like a person who is way, way better looking. Not a nice thing to say, but I think true. My friend throws a lot of shade. And she’s totally, totally worth getting to know in spite of that blindingly obvious fact. I'm so very glad I got beyond it. Unfortunately, lots of people miss out. Maybe she’s not hated because she’s beautiful. But she’s also not befriended much either.

It’s kind of like the matching theory. Where psychologists say that we tend to fall in love with people who are pretty much the same level of attractiveness that we ourselves are. We also tend to flock with birds of similar feathers. And not many people have as good looking feathers as Angelina Jolie. I almost feel sorry for her. But I’m not quite that good of a person.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Those by any other name

Okay. The “I [heart] Boobies” bracelets in support of breast cancer awareness. Am I the only one thinking people need to take a chill pill on this one? What is the big deal here?

Boobies. Yeah. It’s childish. But frankly, of aaaaalllll the words that are out there for breasts (and let’s face it when it comes to synonyms for one simple concept, this one has to be up there), this is one that I find relatively inoffensive. Almost affectionate. Boobs, maybe not so much. But boobies is okay. Way better than fun bags or tits. And for the record, tits should only be used in the context of the phrase “like tits on a bull”. Because, guaranteed, if you sat that to me, I will laugh.

And the bracelets kind of make me laugh. And it’s getting to the point where women have lost their senses of humors about their ta-tas. I mean, let’s face it, big or little, they are kind of ridiculous. Functional. But a really weird design. And, gawd knows why men are so fascinated. But they are.

And that leads me to the second point. Anything that makes men realize that they have a vested interest here is a plus. Women’s medical research has lagged behind men’s for years. So, if guys are thinking that “Hey, I do like boobies. Maybe I should pitch in”, it’s all good.

In fact, it’s kind of a clever marketing scheme. We could start putting in subliminal nipples on images of the earth, and men might start thinking of the planet as one giant breast. Guys would be recycling and bicycling to work in no time. “Dude, you can’t buy an Escalade. Do you know what those emissions do to the breast, I mean, breath, I mean, breathing, I mean, air?” Kyoto Protocol? Done.

TIME: Quotes of the Day