Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Abundant Assets

In the dark ages, bodies were shameful. We were painted as if we were just heads floating over skinny, shapeless robes. Think Nicole Richie. Though, shapeless is apparently a timeless trend, it should be said the Dark Age Apostles never wore the Audrey Hepburn sunglasses but their sandals were always righteous.

Paintings are now arguably more interesting but the clothes haven’t changed much at least in their ability to accommodate our real-life curvy parts which are, apparently, still shameful. It’s funny that supermarkets have two isles of sugary breakfast cereals but in order to get dressed in the morning you can’t eat any of them. And, that fitness is fashionable yet fashion won’t accommodate a fit frame. Who should be ashamed here?

I’ve spent many an afternoon in dressing rooms trying to molt out of some frock because it slid over my head nicely but when my lats flared in an attempt to get the thing back off over my head, I’ve gotten hopelessly stuck. Who wants to go to the checkout counter caught in a strangle-hold by some ill fitting sales item that’s draped over head like a sock puppet and flapping open ‘hospital gown’ style in the back because flexing puts the zipper out of reach? If you call 911, will the Fire Department respond with a seam ripper? Or do you just go through the check out nonchalantly with a casual ‘I’d like to wear it’, toss you wallet out overhead through the flapping sleeve and then shuffle to the parking lot to blow out the seams ‘Incredible Hulk’ style because that’s way more dignified.

As it is, I’m confined to a few styles. Nothing with sleeves – makes my arms look like kielbasa; nothing with frills – it’s like garnishing flank steak with powdered sugar; and nothing too girly – it’s confusing even to me. So, when I started the new squat protocol and began sprouting a ‘squat ass’ that busted out of my jeans, I felt even more constrained.

As it is, statistically I’m doomed. A middle-aged single woman who only ever kicks up her heels when they’re clad in sneakers, is now sidelined in sweatpants 24-7. Mingling in the market with the women who spent $7,000 on their boobs – I went with the free ones – puts me at quite a disadvantage if I ever hope to date. But just in case buts are in vogue and nobody told me, I thought I’d poll my single male friends. Mind you, these are CrossFitters and they are men who stand behind strong women, literally, so the perspective may be skewed but, as it turns out, I’m glad they’re backing me up.

Michael Street, whose coaching reengineered my rearview, said, “Everyone needs to squat. Everyone needs a functional bootie. I think the best thing to do is tell people that if they don’t like it, we can change the training when the time comes. Usually it happens that they like having the “new them”, curves and all, it is something that is actually part of the programming for us all (intrinsic to our design – read: genetics/DNA). I think the best thing to say is “you’ll be fine”.

Reza Farsin, fleshing out the DNA angle, said, “Anyway, my ASSessment on this topic: well as they put it, I am an ass man. :) so the curvier and more pronounced it is the better - don't get me wrong about what they are packing, I rather solid stuff not smooshy stuffs. And by the way Yoga ass is a turn off for any guy at least the ones I know. By the way, I think there is theory called natural selection, that talks about how a man and woman are selecting their mate only base on survival rate. essentially what I understood it was saying, was that girls with bigger and curvier bottom can have more children easier, and male are hardwired to want them cuz they want to spread their genes. But who am I to talk about these kind of theories. I only look to justify my [preferences]”

Craig Cooper of NorthWest CrossFit clearly studied the topic and said, “'Squat Ass' is hot. I won't even look twice at a flat and/or flabby assed woman because a dysfunctional posterior chain affects many other aspects of your life besides your squatting abililty, most notably your performance potential in the bedroom. Besides, I like woman who can perform work, and a 'squat ass' tells me that she could probably help me move, and won't whine and complain when I suggest that we do something physically demanding. Except for the face, the ass is the next place I look in my assessment of a woman's physique. Spotting a 'Squat ass' is simple: it should be uniformly shaped, like two teardrops, and should bounce uniformly with every step. Fat asses jiggle, flat asses don't move, Squat asses bounce. I honestly couldn't care less about how a woman dresses.”

This being Seattle, it makes sense to give Sir Mix a Lot a mention and Harlan Worden paid the poet his dues when he said, “Interesting blog topic! Sir mix a lot made a ton off ‘Baby Got Back,’ so there must be something to it. For me it is about proportion. Everything looks right than you got something. And flabby proportion is never good.”

Perhaps on Sir Mix A Lot’s writing team, Vinay Venkatachalapathy said, “I like em juicy(not skinny) :) I don't care if its tight or jiggly and i don't care if they can squat well or not. Women with "squat ass" as you put it look good in stretch pants like hiking pants. I always enjoyed watching them hike in front of me.”

And finally, James Duggins puts it simply, “Thanks to CrossFit, the first thing I check out when I oggle a women is the posterior area. It's a great way to determine said woman's strength potential. That and it's nice to look at.”

No matter what I do, I always worry that my size is a measure of me even though I, of all people, know better. In good and bad ways, we give numbers a value greater than they deserve. My butt may have pushed it's way out of my skinny jeans, but it also pushed 22o pounds through a full range of motion. It's time I wrote my 1 rep max on the tag of the most expensive jeans I own, and be done with it already.