I’m not hip to most things, nor do I want to be. I think it is fairly comical to see a parent trying to stay trendy and blend in with their teenagers. That is a losing proposition. No, I’m the old fart who doesn’t get it, and is relatively unconcerned about the “it” I don’t get. My favorite sayings are quickly becoming:
“Get a haircut, hippie!”
“Take a bath!”
“Who let them out of the house in their underwear, put some clothes on!”
“Get off my lawn!”
I’ve tried to understand the world around me but it is a hopeless endeavor. Things move too fast and I’ve gotten slower.
I was privy to some young mens’ water cooler discussion lately and perked up because they were talking about the NBA draft. I’m not a huge basketball fan anymore. But just like my city, if the Hawks get good, I’ll pay attention. I didn’t know most of the players the guys mentioned and they seemed generally dissatisfied with the results. Since I couldn’t really participate, I started to leave when the conversation turned to something called a “thigh gap”. I’ve never heard of such a thing. My interest was piqued. What is this thigh gap, you ask? Evidently, this is a new standard measurement of attractiveness.
They started talking about some weird named celebrities that sound like they are part of Frank Zappa’s family. I couldn’t even tell if they were discussing men or women. Hey world – what’s wrong with names like John and Sue?
Anyway, this got me wondering if I had a thigh gap. Not that I’m vain, I’m just curious. I mean here is a standard of beauty that doesn’t have to do with how your facial features align, your inability to grow hair, or the shape of your nose. Those are totally out of my control (and evidently out of my parents’ control also). This is just a measurement.
I can be measured.
When I got home I searched the Internet for the term and found the ideal gap is about an inch. I even found a cartoonish drawing of this gap. Unfortunately, a quick check with a ruler said my thigh gap was exactly 0.0. Wow, they don’t call me thunder thighs for nothing! This was going to be tough. Short of surgery, there must be a way to increase my thigh gap. In front of the full length mirror I stood every which way I possibly could and found one way that I had a minuscule thigh gap: the bowl-legged cowboy stance. That’s it! I stood there for a moment pondering the trade-off between having a thigh gap and looking like I just dismounted a burro after a ride through the Grand Canyon.
So I did some further searching on the web (aka “source of all knowledge”). Upon reading a little deeper I realized that I had overlooked one key piece of information. This is for women. I am not a slave to this standard and don’t have to learn to walk like Roy Rodgers. And actually, no one should! How crazy is it that our standards of beauty and conformity aren’t already exclusive enough, so some jackleg has to invent a new one?
Be free, I say. Forget the standards other people set for you and be yourself… Unless you’re some long-haired smelly hippie – then get a haircut!, take a bath! and get off my lawn!
Photo credit: topgold on flickr via creative common license