13 Jan 2012

Honey, who shrunk the kids?

A friend of mine, well-intentioned as he always is, emailed me this song by a band called The Honey Trees. Even before I hear the first needy purr of the synthesizer, before the slickly produced video begins to roll, before the  bridge mellows out into the chorus, I know exactly what's coming. It's the same whineysweet tune you've heard a hundred times before, the harmless type that fades nicely into the background, that Volvo will probably feature in an ad sometime in the near-now. The girls all look and dress and laugh like Zooey  Deschanel, and the boys...well, the boys look like Zooey Deschanel too. How did this happen?

Have you bought a pair of jeans lately? Did you know they've completely done away with the old system of measurement? Its not enough to just look for a 32 waist any more. There's a skinny 32, an urban skinny 32, a slim 32, a slimmer-than-slim 32, a so-skinny-you're-probably-just-bones 32. And if you ask really nicely, the so-skinny-she's-an-alien shop assistant will fish out a comfortable 32 from the back of the establishment. If it's a busy day, they're yours for free. If it's not crowded, she'll direct you to a little room at the back where the fat people pay for their clothes. Rip off the label with a jackhammer, throw the garment in an anonymous, plain white bag and whisper: "just don't tell anyone you shop here, yeah?"

They're everywhere, these Slim Jims. At work, at the pub, at the cinema. I've even seen a couple at the local take-away or I'd be convinced they're all starving, morally-ambiguous vampires. Some of them are even known to sparkle. They are believed to breathe only through their eyelashes because their noses are in a constant state of being turned up in disgust at the Mainstream. But who or what is this Mainstream? I look around and all I see are clones and clones of clones and clones of skinny people. I see brogues and fedoras and waistcoats and teeshirts with pictures of bands that look and sound and laugh like other bands. I see The Great Depression, or a Truman Show-like screen at the end of the horizon that's actually a cleverly disguised vagina with an extended clitoris that's cleverly disguised to look like a conveyor belt, delivering row after row of Topshop-babies, one after the other, in an unending line.

I'm no more alone in my despair than they are in their indie-kinship of course. I've heard the odd grumble about these beautiful men looking like they're photoshopped, the odd celeb outcry against Size Zero. But these upholders of dignity of the horizontally challenged are all ridiculously fit themselves. Sure they can talk! As a 90s child, this whole thing scores heavily on my injustice-meter. Cable TV and sitcoms have let me down again. What happened to the lovable, overweight losers who get the cute girl? They're hung by their excess skin on a clothesline in Zooey Deschanel's garage, that's what. She's probably waiting for them to loosen up a little to make a holder for her folder full of quirky brain n' bean salad recipes.                



goatman said...

Where are you !!!
This will register as my laugh for the day -- my eyes are still watering -- thanks , I needed that.
Hey, wait . .. I wear size zero. Just kidding.

You have a skill at this writing stuff.

icyhighs said...

Aww, cheers Goatman. You're not so bad yourself!

red dirt girl said...

That King of Queens clip was hysterical! The rest of the piece made me wince.

You see I have this incredibly gorgeous teenage daughter who thinks she must become one of them: the sect of Zeros. I keep telling her she's perfect the way she is ... but you know, I'm the mom, and I'm going to say stuff like that regardless.

I find I'm attracted to your writing the way a moth is attracted to a light bulb: I'm afraid if I get too close, your cynicism will burn me.


red dirt girl said...

Don't get me wrong ~
I do like the bite and sharpness of your writing. It's dark, it's funny, it hurts, sometimes. I'm scouring my brain for an appropriate metaphor, and it's just not happening for me tonight.
Carry on ... I'll keep reading.

icyhighs said...

Hey red dirt girl, the moth thing is the coolest thing anybody's ever said about my writing! (I'm actually very flattered.) I was just thinking about your daughter and the 'sect of Zeroes': granted I was last a teenager almost a decade ago (and a messed up one at that) but as I'm sure you'll know, the best thing is usually to let these things play out. The 5-greens-a-day aside, there's only so much parents can make a teenager do. My own vitriol about skinny folk is part jest/ part rant of a permanently embittered soul; it surely doesn't apply to the youngsters. If anything, much better she cares about her looks/image than not, I think. I found out with great disappointment that its increasingly important to 'success' as defined by 'those who matter' these days. Not what's inside, not what you can do, but a fancy suit and shiny shoes.

The Blog Fodder said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog.
As an old guy, i look for comfort.
I buy jeans at Mark's Work Wearhouse and ask for 44-32-Fat.
At one time my younger brother and I wore opposite jeans - 36-32 and 32-36. He still fits the 32-36 after 40 years.

red dirt girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
red dirt girl said...

Hi icy,

I have one more html trick for you. It's how to leave live links in your comments on blogs. I've tried to write it out, but same problem - it links me to nowhere. So I'm going to live a link in this comment for you. It will take you to the page that explains how to write the html code:
Bexter Review Blogger Tips

okay, class dismissed
good luck

icyhighs said...

Red Dirt Girl, you're a LEGEND. Thank you!

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