Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What's the skinny?

Something that baffles me, whether it's with indie rock fans my age or teenagers brainwashed in the ways of mall punk, why are so many of them skinny?

There was a time in college when I bulked up to a hefty 180 pounds. XL t-shirts and 36 inch waist pants was where I was at. With more outdoor activity (ie, walks at least twenty minutes long a few times a week), I was able to shed some pounds. A few years later, I started eating less (maybe because of insanely high levels of anxiety) and was walking/running more, so I dropped even more pounds. I've been able to keep my weight at a steady level (150 or so) ever since and I've been able to wear L-sized shirts with no problem.

I first became aware of all this skinniness when certain band t-shirts I got were L-sized at its largest. There were no XLs in sight, so it wasn't until I lost all this weight that I could actually wear them comfortably. Somewhere down the line, I realized that almost all of the merch makers kept a ceiling on the L-size. Plus, there was the mainstream popularity of wearing tight, vintage-looking clothing. This was all perfect for skin and bones people, but then I also noticed these sizes (and smaller) on people who couldn't fit into these sizes. Still to this day, I say "Huh?"

No matter how much I bulk up or slim down, I need some room in my clothes. Tight-fitting clothes literally rub me the wrong way, so that's a no-go. So I wonder: how can people, regardless of eating habits and exercise, remain so skinny. It's one thing with vegetarians to be skinny, but what about all the meat eaters that are skinny too? I don't think starvation is a key reason as I see them eat average portions of food, from super-healthy to pure junk food. I'm not seeing these people on regular exercise regimens either. So where's all this virtual weight not going?

Of course being skinny has been a desirable goal, regardless of age, but I get the feeling that a lot of these people aren't aiming to be thin. They aren't trying to fit in with an ideal shape, though there are plenty of others that want to be as rail thin as possible. For me, I've always had a little bit of chunk on my body, but as long as I'm active, eat regularly and can fit into my clothes, I'm on the right track. I don't aim to be a string bean, but I don't aim to be an overweight couch potato either.

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