After a couple of months of neglecting the topic of bodies and a long week of binge-eating my birthday candy, I decided it was time again to have a little chat about our skin and bones.
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my guy friend about “The Freshman 15,” which, at Brown, seems to be more like “The Freshman Negative 15.” Not that people I know are necessarily losing weight, but there’s a definite fear of gaining it. We’re so aware of the possibility to gain that we can’t stop thinking about trying to keep it off. This, of course, is probably more unhealthy than the 2a.m. pizza I’m yet to have thus far.
He said, “I’ve been eating really well since I’ve been here. I work out every day, I watch what I eat… I’m all about that whole ‘My body is a temple’ thing. You know?”
Why, yes, I did know. “My body is a temple” is one of my personal favorite phrases. It sounds so nice, in theory of course, to treat your body with so much respect–to only give it beautiful and natural things like grilled chicken and chopped salad and lots and lots of Fiji water. That mantra reminds me of gentle yoga and intense SoulCycle in a candlelit room. I love saying “My body is a temple” because it sounds so pretty on the outside. And, in reality, we really should become conducive to that lifestyle. So when my friend told me that his body was a temple, what was my response?
Obviously, “Oh my God, I’m the same way!”
Do I feel like my body should be a temple? Probably. Do I always treat it like it’s a temple? Debatable. Does my body look like a temple? HA. Let’s be real… I love fro-yo too much to avoid chemical food products, and we all know it.
When guys tell you in a casual conversation that they are true believers that their bodies are temples, it says a lot about them. Generally, I jump to one of two conclusions:
1. You’re an asshole, or
2. You’re really effing earthy
And that about sums it all up. But if you’re good looking and your body not only is a temple in your minds eye, but it’s clear to see that you treat it like one, you’ll have nice Jewish girls lined up for miles to take a turn davening in your sanctuary. Screw the pews… they’ll be down to get all up in your bimah.
Guys that are earthy love treating their bodies as temples. That’s why the smoke the green stuff–because it’s “organic” and au naturale. They also love being skinny, because if you aren’t lanky and try to convince people that you’re earthy, they’re just not going to believe you. It’s a part of the look.
If you’re an asshole, you just tell girls that you like treating your body as a temple because you… (wait for it… wait for it…)
1. “…Just feel better, like all around, you know?”
2. “…Have more energy”
3. “…Like to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and like what I see.” (I swear on my life I’ve literally heard this one before)
4. “…Gotta compensate for the beer somehow”
5. “…Deserve to look good”
etc., etc., etc.
I have a very vivid memory of reading Siddhartha in my ninth grade English class. We learned about how he would only eat very little, as little as needed, as not to be selfish or indulgent. I’ve also learned that when on a tight budget I’d rather spend my money on things other than food (things meaning the necessary waxes, fro-yo runs, and shoes) that I’ll just eat and then complain about eating for the next five days until my temporary bloat/love handles fade and I start to be able to feel my hip bones again. All of these things, when put together, paint an idealistic picture of my body being a temple. The phrase just sounds so nice, the image it engrains in your mind is so zen, but no matter how long I rant upon it, I don’t know if it will ever be possible.
The next weekend, the guy who told me that his body was a temple went home drunk from a party and spent a good hour vomiting into a trash can. Doesn’t look so sacred to me.
I can’t even say the word “Tobi” without loling. Seriously.
I felt that it was time to write an ode to Tobi, our beloved online shopping friend. Old wealthy men indulge themselves in Russian mail-order brides. Every college girl indulges herself in mail-order Tobi. It’s just the way it is.
Tobi is odd because it doesn’t exist in real life. It’s like some warehouse in California where all of your wildest 50% off dreams come true. At first, Tobi attacked the newsfeeds of girls around the country. I would use the term “rape,” because if you remember what I’m talking about, it was literally that bad. However my (extremely) liberal arts college really doesn’t approve of using that term lightly so I took it out of my vocabulary. Whoever is the chief over there is actually a genius, and uses an incredible marketing strategy. In order to get the ridiculously huge discount on already fairly-priced clothing, you have to link Tobi to your Facebook. Great for you, Tobi, but shitty for us.
From then on, Tobi is attached to you by something seemingly as strong as an umbilical cord. Every time you “like” something on Tobi from that moment on, or any time you put something in your cart, essentially all of Facebook will automatically see it. It’s really awkward. Like, no, I don’t want to know what you’re shopping for and yeah, it’ll be a little weird when I see you wearing that out the next weekend.
Tobi sends you daily emails which I have not attempted to unsubscribe from because I’m automatically assuming that there is no physical way to unsubscribe, no matter how hard I try. Tobi is clingy as f—. Let me guess–today, you got an email with the subject line, “50 new items today – 30% off the first 7 days for you!” And let me also guess–you get that email on the effing daily.
The funniest thing is when you see someone wearing something and it’s clearly from Tobi. This is easily recognized as Tobi thinks that it’s OK to make a million different articles of clothing that all look exactly the same but are in different forms (dress version and shirt version… and tank top version) and colors. The site doesn’t even have an “If you like this, you might also like…” function because everything looks exactly the same so that wouldn’t even be helpful.
Once, I was visiting a “friend” at an anonymous Big Ten school, and we were going out for the night. While walking outside, we encountered four girls emerging from a freshman dorm. I pointed at each of them, “That’s from Tobi, that’s from Tobi, that’s from Tobi, and that’s from Tobi.” They were all wearing the same thing in different colors, and it was the most ridiculous thing ever.
That same night, I also happened to be wearing Tobi. I was wearing the long-sleeved version of the exact same shirt that they were wearing, obv:
Now do you know the shirt that I’m referring to? Of course you do.
Tobi, we love you for being convenient. We also hate you for being both unoriginal and a pain in the ass. You’re great for staple tops, I suppose. Hmph.
My second post (ever) on The Fro-Yo Diaries was about “not knowing how old I am,” metaphorically, of course. Often, I feel like I really don’t. I can take care of myself, sometimes I can’t; I’m independent until I need someone desperately; I sometimes cry for hours (but then again, this could be somewhat unrelated to age and instead related to the menstrual cycle).
So on today of all days–my birthday–I would think that age would feel like more than just a number. I would expect to know how old I am for just this one day, if ever. I haven’t really had that epiphany of self-awareness ever before. But then again, I’ve never been as old as I am right now, in this millisecond. I’m getting older with each word that I type, and I’ve never been this old and I’ll never be that young again. This doesn’t worry me yet, but then again, my boobs haven’t started to sag yet and hopefully they won’t for a couple more decades. When they do, I’m sure I’ll freak the fuck out come every September 22nd.
I feel like the fact that we don’t abide to the law takes away from a birthday. Everyone says that it’s impossible to survive your 21st without vomiting all over yourself even though you’ve probably vomited all over yourself before. The only difference is that the alcohol you’re regurgitating was consumed legally. Maybe it will make you feel cooler to have covered yourself in “legal vomit,” but vomit is vomit and it’s absolutely disgusting either way. When you break it down, no one cares about the legality of your vomit. It seems cool for a second until you realize that you’ve been drinking underage since you were thirteen or fourteen, perhaps even since the sacred moment of a sip of Manischewitz from the kiddish cup at your very own Bar or Bat Mitzvah. In reality, vomit is vomit. You’ve done it before, you’ll do it again, and congrats, you’re 21.
But don’t get me wrong–I absolutely love birthdays. I always was very into themed parties. Kindergarten was Dalmatian themed. A clown came and did Britney Spears karaoke with us. We got spots painted on our faces and made our own dog ears. First grade was Luau. Everyone wore bathing suits, grass skirts, and leis. I had an epic sandbox in my backyard and we obviously played limbo. A week before the party, a girl who I didn’t like much from my class in school came up to me and told me that she got her invitation, to which I responded, “You did? But you weren’t invited.” To my knowledge, she wasn’t. And clearly, things haven’t changed much since then as my lack of both a filter and a patience for people who piss me off remains to this day. If you were wondering how the story ends, she insisted that she was invited, which was odd because she was talking to me and it was my party. She didn’t show up, but, like, whatever. She also peed in her pants once and I told everyone about it, so I guess the lesson learned is don’t go where you aren’t welcome/karma’s a bitch/all things happen for a reason/God has a plan or something like that.
My mom would always get me a cupcake on my half birthday, and all of my friends thought that was weird. It’s not weird, it just bolstered my reputation as a
chunky bodacious preteen and made my mom the coolest mom ever.
The most interesting thing about birthdays to me is how well-celebrated they are. It’s as if someone is patting you on the back and saying, “You’re alive!!!! Yayy!!!!!” Last night I went out to celebrate the eve of my birth, and I happened to run into a lot of my international friends. Each of them kept telling me “Congratulations!!!!!!!!!” I think they only said that because of the literal translation of whatever the word they use at home to send well wishes on a birthday is. But, I could be wrong. Maybe they mean “congrats” when they say it. As cliché as it sounds, today I keep thinking about how I should celebrate being alive every day. I’m dead serious. Before I get sappy enough to film an Activia commercial–maybe even a birth control one–I’m going to stop. But you get what I mean.
To close, I would like to show everyone to a great BuzzFeed article I saw that lets you find out which fictional character has the same birthday as you. So, I would like to cordially wish a very happy birthday to Frodo and Bilbo Baggins!